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Papetu Makes Return in Saturday’s 75k Carry Back

Jul 8, 2021
Saffie Joseph Jr. Slated to Saddle Four in 3-Year-Old Stakes
Competitive Speed, Shea D Summer to Clash in Hallandale Beach    


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Magic Stables LLC’s Papetu, who stepped off the Triple Crown trail after a subpar showing in the March 27 Curlin Florida Derby (G1), is set for a return to action in Saturday’s $75,000 Carry Back at Gulfstream Park.

The Carry Back, a seven-furlong sprint that drew a strong field of nine 3-year-olds, will headline a 13-race program that will also feature the $60,000 Hallandale Beach, a seven-furlong overnight handicap for 3-year-old fillies.

Papetu showed Triple Crown promise during the Championship Meet, recovering from a hard bump at the start to finish second in the Mucho Macho Man before going on to finish fourth in the Holy Bull (G3) and third in the Fountain of Youth (G2). The son of Dialed In’s performance in the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth was particularly impressive, finishing 3 ½ lengths behind Greatest Honour after breaking from the extreme outside post position and making an impressive four-wide sweep into the contention at the top of the stretch.

Papetu was again saddled with the far-outside post position in the 11-horse Florida Derby, in which he finished seventh after racing four and five-wide throughout the 1 1/8 miles.

“We gave him some time after the Florida Derby to rest,” trainer Antonio Sano said. “He’s feeling good now.”

Papetu showed ability right from the start of his career, breaking his maiden at first asking by five lengths at Gulfstream in June 2020. He came right back to capture an optional claiming allowance in his next start. After finishing sixth in the Saratoga Special (G2), a race won by the Sano-trained Gunnevera in 2016, and fifth in the Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga, Papetu was given a break to prepare for a 3-year-old campaign.

Papetu will again break from the far-outside post position for the Carry Back, but the draw is hardly the handicap his outside posts were going two turns in his last two starts,

“Papetu is doing very good. I’d say he’s 90 percent,” Sano said. “We’re very happy with him.”

Leonel Reyes, who rode him in the Mucho Macho Man and Holy Bull as well as his first two career victories, returns to the saddle.

Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. is represented by four entrants in the Carry Back: Sonata Stable’s Moonlite Strike, Stefania Farm LLC, Magic Cap Stables’ Twelve Volt Man, and John Fanelli, Cash is King LLC and LC Racing LLC’s Awesome Gerry.

Moonlite Strike and Lauda Speed finished 1-2, respectively, in the May 15 Roar, in which the former prevailed over the former by 3 ½ lengths in the 6 ½-furlong stakes. The winner was returning to one-turn competition after finishing third in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and sixth I the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park.

Moonlite Strike broke his maiden at Gulfstream Park West and won an optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream around one turn to conclude his 2-year-old campaign.

“I think the cut back in trip definitely helps him. We’ve been pointing for this race after that last race,” Joseph said.

In the Roar, Lauda Speed finished 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Collaborate, a highly regarded stablemate in the Joseph stable who came back to win impressively. Lauda Speed, a son of Bayern, had previously finished third in the March 6 Hutcheson and won an April optional claiming allowance.

“He and Twelve Volt were going to run three weeks ago in a mile handicap that never filled. That’s basically why they’re here now,” Joseph said. “Lauda Speed deserves a chance. He’s consistent and always tries hard. I think he’s going to run his race again.”

Twelve Volt Man is undefeated in two career starts, a six-furlong maiden special weight race April 10 and a mile optional claiming allowance. The son of Violence has closed from off the pace in both starts at Gulfstream.

“He ran and 83 Beyer [speed figure] in his last race which fits very well in this race,” Joseph said. “This is going to be a much tougher race for him. This will give us an indication how he stacks up.”

Awesome Gerry, who finished third in the Fountain of Youth and off the board in the Tampa Bay Derby and Jeff Ruby Steaks, is slated to make his first start since finishing third in an optional claiming allowance at Churchill Downs in May.

“We had him all about this year trying to pick up Derby points. I don’t think he wants to go two turns. It was a bit ambitious,” Joseph said. “I thought the cutback at Churchill helped him and it was one of his better races.”

Edgard Zayas has the return mount aboard Moonlite Strike; Emisael Jaramillo is back on Lauda Speed; Chantal Sutherland is scheduled to ride Twelve Volt Man for the first time; and J.C. Diaz Jr. has the call on Awesome Gerry.

Trainer Kathy Ritvo is slated to saddle a pair of Reeves Thoroughbred Racing 3-year-olds for the Carry Back: Isolate, who is scheduled to make his 2021 debut after showing considerable promise as a 2-year-old; and Raison d’Air, a versatile gelding who switches to the main track Saturday after finishing fifth in the English Channel and winning an optional claiming allowance on turf.

Isolate hasn’t started since finishing third in the Nashua (G3) at Aqueduct in November. The son of Mark Valeski had previously won his first two career starts at Gulfstream, most notably a 10-length optional claiming allowance romp at six-furlongs.

Luca Panici has the call on Isolate, while Cristian Torres has been named on Raison d’Air.

Bell Racing LLC’s Real Talk, who finished second behind Lauda Speed before capturing a six-furlong optional claiming allowance last time out; and Alex and JoAnn Liebling’s Big Thorn, who is slated to make his first start since finishing a distant third in the Jan. 22 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park, round out the field.

Competitive Speed, Shea D Summer to Clash in Hallandale Beach

John Minchello’s Competitive Speed and Shea D Boys Stables’ Shea D Summer are set to clash in Saturday’s $60,000 Hallandale Beach, a seven-furlong overnight handicap for 3-year-old fillies, at Gulfstream Park.

Javier Gonzalez-trained Competitive Speed finished second behind Shea D Summer in the Game Face last time out in her first start since finishing off the board in the Kentucky Oaks, in which she fell out of contention after experiencing bumping while breaking from the No. 13 post.

“I was very happy with her effort. She showed she had a lot of heart,” Gonzalez said. “I was happy with her race after what happened to her in the Oaks.”

Competitive Speed had earned her way into the Oaks field by third in both the Davona Dale (G2) and Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) during Gulfstream’s Championship Meet. The daughter of Competitive Edge’s prior three career wins were accomplished at sprint distances.

Competitive Speed broke slowly from her rail post position in the 6 ½-furlong Game Face before making a wide rally to finish second, 2 ½ lengths behind front-running Shea D Summer.

Carlos David-trained Shea D Summer’s triumph was her first of the year and her first since capturing her first two lifetime races at Gulfstream Park West, including the Juvenile Filly Sprint for Florida-breds.

Leonel Reyes has the return mount aboard Competitive Speed, while Emisael Jaramillo will once again guide Shea D Summer.

Legacy Racing LLC’s Coach Jer’s Joy will be seeking to rebound from a disappointing sixth in the Game Face, which came on the heels for a solid optional claiming allowance score at seven-furlongs.

“She’s been one race good and one race bad. She’s hard to figure out,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said. “In the Forward Gal [fifth-place finish], she had a sneaky good race behind Zaajel, who came back the other day to win the Mother Goose. I think it was her best race to date and if she were to come back and run something like that, she’d have a good chance.”

Trainer Daniel Pita’s Princess Secret, who is winless in three starts since winning the $400,000 My Dear Girl for Florida-breds in September, will return to racing against fillies in the Hallandale Beach after finishing an even fourth behind highly regarded Collaborate in an optional claiming allowance against the boys.

Karl Glassman and Debbi Glassman’s Restofthestory, Prostar 10 Stables Inc.’s Appointed, Crossed Sabres Farm LLC’s Single Lady, and Kadima’s Emunah round out the field.

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