Super Spender edges Little Baltar in turf sprint at GP West
By Jim Freer
Friday, Oct. 9 -- Super Spender, trained by Jane Cibelli, edged Little Baltar by a nose in Friday's feature at the Gulfstream Park West meet at Calder.
The result came on the third day of the GP West meet, and provided an indication that the snowbird trainers and their horses are starting to arrive back in South Florida and that some of them will be major forces in allowance and stakes races.
Super Spender, the 2-1 favorite, won in 57.89 seconds in the five furlong turf allowance for 3-year-olds and up. The course was listed as firm The race had a $39,000 purse.
Super Spender was ridden by Matthew Rispoli. It was the first race of the GP West season for Cibelli, who had been based at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., since May with her stable oF several dozen horses.
Cibelli had 14 wins in last year's eight-week GP West meet--tieing her for fourth place among trainers. She did that in just 44 races. Super Spender's win suggests that Cibelli, a native of Great Britain, could be headed toward another strong season at GP West and later at Gulfstream Park' s championship meet
For the second straight fall. Gulfstream is holding the GP West meet under a lease agreement with Calder.
Super Spender and Little Baltar were in fourth and third place, respectively, in mid-stretch. Super Spender found an opening along the rail, and Little Baltar made a late run on the outside. After reviewing the photo, the placing judges declared Super Spender the winner.
The 3-year-old colt Little Baltar was sent off at 13-1, third highest odds in the eight-horse field. He was ridden by Jeffrey Sanchez for trainer Carlo Vaccarezza. More Applause, the leader in mid-stretch, finished third--a half length behind Little Baltar.
The $2 exacta paid $58.40.
Super Spender, a 3-year-old gelding, won for the third time in 11 career starts. The other two victories were early this year at five furlongs on turf at Gulfstream. He is a son of Super Saver, the 2010 Kentucky Derby winner.
Little Baltar's second place finish continued Vaccarezza's strong start at GP West. In three races, he also has win and a third place finish.