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Ex-MLB Star Mike Napoli Celebrates 1st Win as Owner

Feb 10, 2019
Pletcher 3YO Prospects Outshine, Orra Moor Deliver
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Former Major League Baseball star Mike Napoli celebrated his first win as a Thoroughbred owner Sunday at Gulfstream Park, visiting the winner’s circle with Queen’s Bird following the 3-year-old colt’s victory in the fourth race.
Napoli, who was born in nearby Hollywood and grew up in Pembroke Pines, FL, ventured into Thoroughbred ownership after officially announcing his retirement from baseball in December after 12 seasons in the big leagues.
“It feels great to be here and get my first win. It’s exciting to do it with all my friends,” said fan-favorite Napoli, whose first winner was also a fan favorite at 3-2 odds. “I’m happy to be here. It’s a special time.”
The Aubrey Maragh-trained Queen’s Bird, who captured a $25,000 maiden claiming race by a length under Davie, FL native Tyler Gaffalione, was Napoli’s second starter.
Napoli played in three World Series while playing for the Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox. The 37-year-old veteran, who was a catcher, first baseman and a designated hitter, played on the Red Sox’ 2013 World Championship team.
Napoli is no stranger to South Florida Thoroughbred racing.
“When I was little my grandfather would take me to Calder – Gulfstream West now. I always loved it,” said Napoli, who was an All Star in 2012 with the Rangers. “I’m from the area. It’s great.” 
Pletcher 3YO Prospects Outshine, Orra Moor Deliver

Todd Pletcher-trained 3-year-old prospects Outshine and Orra Moor delivered with strong winning performances in the fifth and 11th races, respectively, at Gulfstream Park Sunday.

Let’s Go Stable and Richard Schibell’s Outshine came off an eight-month layoff to prevail by two lengths in the 11th race, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds. Ridden by John Velazquez, the son of Malibu Moon sat off the pace along the backstretch before making a wide move on the turn and wearing down pacesetter Admiral Lynch in the stretch.

“It looked like a pretty high-quality allowance race, like something you’d expect this time of year at Gulfstream. We’ve had high hopes for him all along,” Pletcher said. “We had to stop on him and he’s come back and trained really well. We were optimistic heading into today. I’m glad he delivered a big performance.”

Outshine won at first asking at Belmont Park May 17 before finishing fifth in the Tremont June 8 and going to the sidelines.

Pletcher said a two-turn stakes would likely be next.

“We’ll see how he comes out of it. There’s pretty much an option every weekend. It’s just a matter, timing-wise, where he’ll run,” Pletcher said.

Outshine ($7.60) ran seven furlongs in 1:23.18.

StarLadies Racing’s Orra Moor, who captured her Dec. 22 debut by 3 ½ lengths, handled winners convincingly Sunday, when the undefeated daughter of Orb scored an off-the-pace 7 ¾-length triumph under Velazquez.

“I thought it was very impressive. I was pleased with her debut and she’s been training very well. This is one of those allowance races, when I picked up the overnight I said, ‘Man, this is like a graded stake,’” Pletcher said. “I thought this was a good class test and she handled herself well.”

Ridden by John Velazquez, Orra Moor ($6.10) ran six furlongs in 1:10.94 in the optional claiming allowance race for 3-year-old fillies.

Pletcher said the daughter of Orb is slated to return in an undetermined two-turn stakes.

Who’s Hot: Trainer Chad Brown and jockey Javier Castellano teamed for a pair of impressive maiden special weight victories for 3-year-olds in the seventh and ninth races. Growth Engine ($ 4.60) captured the seventh race, run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, by 2 ½ lengths in his second career start. Valid Point ($5.40) debuted to win the ninth race, run at a mile on turf, by a length.

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