Monday, August 24, 2015

Gulfstream Notebook: Rainbow 6 Keeps Growing; Gaffalione and Sano Head lead Summer Meet

by Jim Freer

Here’s what is ahead at Gulfstream Park when it begins another four-day race week on Thursday. First post is 1:15 p.m. each day.
250x125-special-sizeAug-5On Thursday Gulfstream will have a Rainbow 6 carryover of $393,366. The Rainbow 6 is a 20-cent-only per combination bet on the last six races each day.                                                                       

The Rainbow 6 carryover has been growing since July 16. That was 23 Gulfstream race days ago, and the last day on which there was just one Rainbow 6 ticket with the winners of all six races. The payoff was $164,483.32.

Gulfstream pays out the full Rainbow 6 pool (day’s bets plus carryover) only on days when there is just one ticket with all six winners. On other days, Gulfstream divides 70 percent of the day’s Rainbow 6 bets among the multiple winning tickets and puts 30 percent into the carryover. Gulfstream will have ten races on Thursday. The Rainbow 6 is on the fifth through tenth races.
* Tyler Gaffalione leads jockeys in wins with 43 for the Gulfstream summer meet that began on July 1 and will end on Oct. 3. He is followed by Harry Hernandez with 33 and Eddie Castro with 27.
Tyler Gaffalione

Antonio Sano leads trainers with 18 victories. Ralph Nicks is second with 17, followed by Stan Gold with nine. Jacks or Better Farm in Ocala leads owners with nine wins, followed by Frank Carl Calabrese with seven.

Fred and Jane Brei own Jacks or Better, whose numbers for Gulfstream wins are always the same as those for Gold.
Gold trains exclusively for Jacks or Better, which utilizes him as its only trainer at Gulfstream and during the Gulfstream Park west meets.

* Gulfstream’s Condition Book shows two stakes races scheduled for this coming Saturday Aug. 29. Both have $75,000 purses.

The Plum Country is 1 1/16 miles on dirt for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up. The Social Pro is six furlongs on dirt for males 3-years-old and up.

On Wednesday afternoon Gulfstream will draw post positions and announce entries for those two races and the other races on Saturday’s card.

The Condition Book shows no stakes races scheduled for this Sunday.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Wildcat Red Impresses in Saratoga Breeze



Wildcat Red breezed five furlongs in  59.3 seconds at Saratoga  Race Course this  morning, said  is trainer Jose Garoffalo.

"They said he's looking good," Garoffalo said.   "We're feeling good about  the race. It  is a nice distance  for  him."

Wildcat Red  is  in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., for next Saturday's $750,000 Forego Stakes (Grade 1) at seven furlongs.

Garoffalo was at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.  He said he will fly to Saratoga on Tuesday.

Entries will  be  drawn Wednesday afternoon for  the Forego and  Saturday's other races on  a card that will be topped by the 1 1/4 mile Travers (Grade 1)  for 3-year-olds.

Jose Lezcano rode the 4-year-old Wildcat  Red  this morning and will have  the mount in the Forego.

Paco Lopez rode Wildcat  Red in  his  last  race–a win  n the six furlong Teddy Drone  Stakes  on Aug. 2 at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.  Garoffalo  had  been  planning to have Lopez ride Wildcat Red in the Forego.

"But Paco has  commitments at Monmouth (next  Saturday), " Garoffalo  said.
The Big Beast,  Private Zone and Bourbon  Courage are among  other horses listed as probables for  the Forego

Garoffalo will be hoping for a fast pace that could work in favor of  Wildcat Red,  whose future  is probably as a late-running  sprinter.

Gulfstream is Wildcat Red's home track.  Last year  at Gulfstream he won the 1 1/16  mile Fountain  of Youth (Grade 2) and finished second in the 11/8  mile Florida  Derby (Grade 1) 

James Freer, Editor
954 771 6053

Barry Unterbrink, Business Manager
954 719 1151

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Calder Watch: Marshall Takes Job in Ohio; CDI Stock Keeps Soaring

(Editor's Note - Calder Watch is a periodic report on Calder as it continues to reduce  its involvement in thoroughbred racing)
by Jim Freer
JohnMarshallPhotosbyZ225Wednesday, Aug. 19 – After seven years as the top racing official at Calder Casino & Race Course in Miami Gardens, John Marshall has taken a management position at another affiliate of Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI).                       

Marshall (above photo) this summer was named vice president and assistant general manager at Miami Valley Gaming in Lebanon, Ohio.

As Marshall has moved on, there are new and unconfirmed reports that CDI is considering a sale of part of the land at Calder that it has designated for a non-racing commercial redevelopment.

Miami Valley is a harness track that offers a casino with slot machines. It is a joint venture of Louisville, Ky.-based CDI and Buffalo, N.Y.- based Delaware North Cos. Delaware North manages food services and hospitality at several dozen U.S. stadiums, arenas and racetracks.

From late 2008 until this summer, Marshall was vice president and general manager of racing at Calder. Florida racing history will show that he was the man who had the job of turning off the lights on Calder’s racing operations.

Marshall previously was vice president and general manager at Meadows Racetrack, a harness track in Washington, Pa.

He joined Calder at the end of a year when its handle began a steep decline, amid disputes with the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association over purse contracts and other economic issues.

Calder’s problems soon grew with the onset of the bitter battle over racing dates with Gulfstream Park. The resolution came in July 2014, when CDI leased Calder’s racing dates to Gulfstream and its parent company Stronach Group through 2020. CDI continues to own all of the Calder property and manages its casino, offering 1,200 Las Vegas-style slot machines, a prototype plan for CDI’s other casinos.

All of the approximately 100 Calder racing employees except Marshall lost their jobs in mid 2014.

He remained at Calder to help Gulfstream officials coordinate the inaugural Gulfstream Park West meet at Calder last October and November. He stayed until the middle of this year to work on other details of the transition with Gulfstream.

Calder opened in 1971 as Calder Race Course. It now uses the name Calder Casino, but Calder Race Course is still its corporate name.

Calder plans to tear down its grandstand building starting his December, shortly after the end of the Gulfstream Park West meet.

CDI and Calder have not yet provided details for redevelopment of land on Calder’s east side that until this year had housed barns with approximately 1,400 stalls.

Despite constant turmoil surrounding Calder, Marshall made and maintained many friendships in Florida’s racing community. But as conditions in Calder’s barn area continued to deteriorate, so did his working relationship with many trainers and owners.

In doing his job, Marshall was the public face of an out-of-town parent company that had become unpopular with many trainers, owners, breeders and fans.

Based on CDI being able to gain an agreement that lets it keep the Calder casino, one would have to say that Marshall did a good job from his employers’ perspective.

One also would have to say that it would have been callous if CDI had not found another good job for Marshall.

From a distance, it would seem that Marshall’s experience and friendly personality should help make him successful and popular at Lebanon Valley.

Unlike at Calder, Marshall is not walking into a smoldering controversy.

Lebanon Valley opened in early 2014 as one of the first racinos permitted in Ohio under a 2012 state law. It has a harness racing program that enables CDI to have a casino – one of the growth sectors of its business model.

Churchill Downs Stock

Churchill Downs’ stock (Nasdaq; CHDN) closed Tuesday at $139.56 – up 46 percent from $95.30 last Dec. 31.

That is an indication that money managers at mutual funds and other institutional investors do not give a horse’s tail about the way CDI treated employees, horses, horsemen and fans during the final years of racing at Calder.

Now, many people in racing are concerned about the ongoing decline in racing and in the facilities at CDI-owned Arlington Park in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, Ill., and at CDI-owned Fairgrounds in New Orleans.

But that apparently is not a concern for institutional investors. For them, what’s important is that CDI is reducing many of its expenses in racing while diversifying into new businesses and expanding its casino operations.

In releasing second quarter results on July 29, CDI chief executive officer Bill Carstanjen said:

“Our second-quarter delivered record revenues and Adjusted EBITDA ($157.2 million) driven primarily by a fantastic 2015 Kentucky Oaks and Derby and by the contributions of our Big Fish Games division.  While all of our segments showed improvements, Big Fish Games was our largest growth catalyst for the quarter and further validates our strategy to enter the online and mobile games segment.”

CDI acquired Seattle-based Big Fish last November. It makes social games for use on home computers and mobile devices.

Gulfstream Stakes Racing to Resume on Saturday with Gold Mover

By HorseracingFLA Staff
Hallandale Beach, FL - Gulfstream Park has released a tentative horse racing stakes schedule for the next four weekends, starting with the $75,000 Gold Mover this Saturday Aug. 22.

The Gold Mover is for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at six furlongs on the dirt track. Entries will be drawn late on Wednesday afternoon, and it is likely that there will be at least the minimum of six horses that Gulfstream generally needs to fill a stakes race.
Gulfstream's Condition Book for Aug. 20 through Sept. 13 also shows at least one stakes race for each of the other three Saturdays during the period. It also shows one stakes for Sunday Sept. 6 and one for Monday Sept. 7, Labor Day.

Eight stakes are listed on Aug. 29, including the four second leg races in the Florida Sire Stakes Series.
Whether or not any weekend's non-Sire stakes races are  run is dependent on the number of entries.

The upcoming stakes races have purses of $75,000 except for the four Florida Sire Stakes races  on Sept, 5. The Sire Stakes has three races in each division, and will conclude on Oct.3. It is open to sons and daughters of Florida-based stallions whose owners have nominated them (stallions) for the program.
Here is the tentative schedule:

Saturday Aug.  29
* Plum Country, 1 1/16 miles dirt, fillies and mares, 3-YO and up
* Social Pro - 6 furlongs dirt, 3-YO and up.

Saturday Sept. 5

*Bayou's Lassie - one mile turf, 3-YO fillies bred in Florida
* Hear No Evil - one mile turf, 3-YOs bred in Florida
*Wasted Tears - 1 1/16 miles turf, F&M  3-YO And up
*Vid - 1 1/16 miles turf, males 3-YO and up
* Florida Sire Stakes - $150,000 Jewell Princess, 3-YO fillies, one mile turf
* Florida Sire Stakes - $150,000 Prized, 3-YO males,  one mile turf
* Florida Sire Stakes - $300,000 Susan's Girl, 3-YO fillies, seven furlongs dirt
* Florida Sire  Stakes  - $300,000 Affirmed, 3-YO males, seven furlongs dirt

Sunday  Sept. 6* Uanme - 3-YO  fillies, 7 furlongs dirt
Monday Sept.  7
* Hard Worker - F&M 3-YO and up, 5 furlongs turf

Saturday Sept. 12* Three Chopt Road - 3-YO males, 7 furlongs dirt* Sensitive Prince - males 3-YO and up, 1 1/16 miles dirt







Sunday, August 9, 2015

Gulfstream: Long Odds Sire Stakes Winner Helps Lift Rainbow 6 Carryover to $164,986

By HorseracingFLA Staff
Sunday, August 9 -- A longshot and photo finish win by Yourdreamsormine provided  the biggest thrill on Saturday’s Florida Sire Stakes card, and was a big reason why there were no tickets with  all six winners in the Rainbow 6 at Gulfstream Park.

All Rainbow 6 tickets with five winners paid $2,069.76.  And with $88,724 in Rainbow  6  betting the carryover grew to $164,986 for today’s 11-race card that has a first post of 1:15 p.m.

Yourdreamsormine, at 35-1, rallied from ninth and last place after a half mile to catch the pace-setting Wicked Rascal and win by a head in the $75,000 Unbridled Stakes for 3-year-olds.  Later today, we  will have a story and analysis of  the Unbridled and of Saturday’s six other Gulfstream stakes races. 

There are no stakes races  on today’s card.  The Rainbow 6 is on the sixth through 11th races.  They have 68 combined entries, including main track only and also eligibles.

The carryover has been  growing because there have been 14 race days without just a single ticket that had all  six winners.

Gulfstream pays out the full Rainbow 6 pool (day’s bets plus carryover) only on days when  there is just one ticket with all six winners. On July 16 there was one winning ticket that paid $164,183.

On days when there are multiple tickets with six winners, Gulfstream pays out 70 percent of the day’s new Rainbow 6 bets to holders of those tickets. It adds  the remaining 30 percent to the carryover.
That 70-30 rule also is in effect on days when there  are no tickets with more than five winners.

The Rainbow 6 is a 20-cent only per combination bet.  A ticket can have multiple horses race.  For example, a ticket with two horses per race has 64 combinations and costs $12.80.

It is likely that $30,000 or more will be bet on the Rainbow 6 today--raising the jackpot carryover to the $200,000 range if there is a single winner.


Saturday, August 8, 2015

35:1 odds Yourdreamsormine Wins!

Jim Freer@HorseRacingFLA 27 minutes ago

Rain falling at Gulfstream Park.

Yourdreamsormine (35-1) for trainer Bill Kaplan rallies from last to win the Unbridled for 3-YOs in Sire Stakes at Gulfstream Park this afternoon.
 W                P             S
$73.60       $25.40    $12.20

Gulfstream Park set for Big Stakes Race Day Saturday

Gulfstream Park set for Big Stakes Race Day Saturday

Look for reporting today via our blog on today's races !


James Freer, Editor
954 771 6053

Barry Unterbrink, Business Manager
954 719 1151

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tampa Bay Downs Poker and Simulcasts Closed Today Due to Inclement Weather

By HorseracingFLA Staff
Tuesday, Aug. 4 -- Due to heavy rains and flooding Tampa Bay Downs will be closed  today for the second day in a row.

Tampa Bay Downs’ Web site will have updates on when the facility will be able to re-open for  its regular schedule of simulcasts, poker and dining.

Tampa Bay Downs, in Oldsmar, is one of numerous Tampa Bay area businesses that were forced to close on Monday due to inclement weather.

During its non-racing season, basically from early May through late November, Tampa Bay Downs (Tampa Bay) is open daily for poker and in-bound simulcasts. Hours of operation  and other details may be found on the track’s Web site.

Tampa Bay will resume live racing on Nov. 28--the Saturday directly after Thanksgiving. It will have 88 race days in its 2015-2016 meet.

The main portion of the meet will end on May 8, 2016.  The fourth annual  two-day Summer Festival of  Racing will be held on June 30-July1, 2016.  Then, Tampa Bay will have its regular five-month dark period before resuming racing in late November 2016.  

Wildcat Red Headed to Forego at Saratoga After Winning Teddy Drone at Monmouth

By Jim Freer
Monday, Aug. 3 -- Wildcat Red will soon be headed to Saratoga Race Course in  Saratoga Springs, N.Y., for a likely run in the seven-furlong Forego (Grade 1) on Aug. 29, his trainer Jose Garoffalo said today.

Garoffalo was speaking by phone from Oceanport, N.J., and still basking in the excitement of Wildcat Red’s victory in Sunday’s six-furlong Teddy Drone Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Wildcat Red, who shipped in from Gulfstream Park, and his jockey Paco Lopez split horses in the final 50 yards and edged through to beat Stallwalkin’ Dude on their outside by a head. Delta Bluesman, on the inside, finished another nose behind in third.

Garoffalo said the win convinced him to keep Wildcat Red in sprints.  He said he thinks “the seven-furlong distance in the Forego is ideal for him (Wildcat Red).”

Garoffalo plans to van Wildcat Red from Monmouth  to Saratoga in mid August. Meanwhile he will make several trips from his base at Gulfstream to Monmouth, where he has several horses stabled this summer.

Sprints or Routes?
Wildcat Red, a 4-year-old colt, spent most of last year on the Triple Crown trail. He became one of the most popular horses in South Florida when he won the 1 1/16 mile Fountain of Youth Stakes (Grade 2) and finished second in the 1 1/8 mile Florida Derby (Grade 1)--both in  close and thrilling finishes.

Wildcat Red finished 18th in the Kentucky Derby (Grade 1) after a bumping-filled  and troubled trip.

As a son of D’wildcat, Wildcat Red is generally regarded as having a sprinter’s pedigree.  Since late last year, Garoffalo had basically alternated the horse between  sprints and two-turn races.

A big test for the future came in the Smile Sprint (Grade 2) at Gulfstream on July 5. Wildcat Red  finished third in a very strong field--behind Favorite Tale and Work All Week.

Teddy Drone
The Teddy Drone proved to be the convincer in determining Wildcat Red’s future--at least through this year.

With Lopez riding him for the first time, Wildcat Red was in third place for most of the race.  Delta Bluesman led through a quarter mile in 21.44 seconds and a half mile in 44.05 seconds.

“I was a bit concerned when that horse took a clear lead,” Garoffalo said. “When I saw those (fast) splits, I thought our chances were good.”

Wildcat Red was third by 2 ½ lengths after a half  mile.  He began gaining when coming out of the turn and caught Delta Bluesman at the wire while holding off Stallwalkin’ Dude. Wildcat Red  won in a solid 1:09.01 on a track listed as fast.

“Paco gave him a great ride,” Garoffalo said. “He knew when to time  his  move, and then  found the opening to  split horses.”

He said there is a good chance that Lopez will ride Wildcat Red in the Forego, for 3-year-olds and up and a $700,000 purse.

In the Teddy Drone, Wildcat Red and Stallwalkin’ Dude (ridden by Joe Bravo) were both sent off at 7-2 and produced a $43.00 exacta for $2.

Brothersofthetime, who is stabled part of the year at Gulfstream, finished fourth at 43-1. The $1 superfecta paid $1,726.00. Catron, the 9-5 favorite, never threatened and finished seventh.

The Teddy Drone was Wildcat’s second start at Monmouth Park, which has a deserved  reputation as a speed favoring track.  Last July 27,  he finished third behind speedsters Bayern and Albano in the 1 1/8 mile Haskell  (Grade 1) for 3-year-olds.

The Teddy Drone was four races before Sunday’s edition of the Haskell--won by American Pharoah in a romp in his first start since June 6 when he won  the Belmont Stakes and became the first Triple Crown winner since  Affirmed in 1978.

What’s Next
Wildcat Red is owned by the husband-wife team of  Salvatore Delfino and Josie Martino Delfino. who have homes in Venezuela and in South Florida.

His Teddy Drone winner’s check of $60,000 raised his career earnings above $1 million to $1,020,875.  That is an  impressive return on  the $30,000  the Delfinos paid for him in June 2013 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s sale of 2-year-olds,

Wildcat Red has six wins in 16 career starts, along  with four second place finishes and three third place finishes. The Teddy Drone win was his first away from Gulfstream.

If Wildcat Red runs in the Forego, it will be the second straight year for him in an undercard race on  Travers’ Day at Saratoga.

Last year, he hit the gate at the start of the seven-furlong King’s Bishop (Grade 1) for 3-year-olds and finished fifth.

The Travers (Grade 1) is 1 ¼ miles for 3-year-olds. There is a  prospect  that it will be the next start fot American Pharoah.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Gulfstream Weekend: Trinniberg Stakes today; American Pharoah via TV Sunday

Gulfstream Weekend: Trinniberg Stakes today; American  Pharoah via TV Sunday

By Jim Freer
Saturday, Aug. 1 -- A live sprint stakes with  a strong field on Saturday and American  Pharoah via  simulcast on Sunday.

Those are the main attractions at Gulfstream Park on this first weekend of August.

It is the start of a month when some of South Florida’s top stakes horses are often  flown or vanned north to run in rich graded  stakes races at Saratoga and other tracks.

But the owners and trainers of Grande Shores, Falling Sky and City of Weston have decided to keep those horses home, at least for this weekend.  All three have won at least one sprint stakes at Gulfstream.

They are among seven entrants for Saturday’s $75,000 Trinniberg Stakes at Gulfstream.  The race  is seven furlongs on dirt for 3-year-olds and up.  It is the eighth race with a scheduled post of 5:07 p.m.

The Trinniberg will be part of  Gulfstream’s  11-race Saturday card with first post of 1:15 p.m.

On Sunday, Gulfstream will again have 11 races with a 1:15 p.m. first post--but with no stakes races.

Sunday’s big event will be the simulcast of the $1.75 million Haskell Invitational (Grade 1) at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., where American  Pharoah will make his first start since June 6 when he won the Belmont Stakes. That made the Bob  Buffer-trainee the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

The Haskell will be the 12th  race at Monmouth with scheduled post of 5:52 p.m.  Gulfstream on Sunday will have a series of drawings and giveaways connected to American Pharoah.

Trinniberg Stakes
For Grande Shores, Falling Sky and City of Weston the Trinniberg will be a chance to bounce back from a rare off-the-board finish.

For all three that came in the Smile  Sprint  (Grade 2) at six furlongs at Gulfstream on July 5.

Grande Shores finished fourth and City of Weston  finished sixth in a very deep nine-horse field. Falling Sky, in his first start since last August, did  not show his accustomed early speed and finished eighth.

Ledokol, seventh in the Smile, also is back for the Trinniberg. He has done most of his racing in optional claimers at Gulfstream and at Tampa Bay Downs.

Favorite Tale led the entire race and won the Smile in a fast 1:08.85 by 4 1/4 lengths over Work All Week, the winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Grade 1) at Santa Anita. Wildcat Red was second for most of the Smile and came in third by 1 1/4 lengths over Grande Shores, who started slowly but then showed his usual late run.

The Smile was a “win and you’re in” race for this year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Keeneland in  Lexington, Ky., on Oct. 31.

That was a main reason why Favorite Tale and Work All Week shipped in  for the Smile. Those two horses and Gulfstream-based Wildcat Red are not in the Trinniberg.

Grande Shores’ fourth place finish followed 15 races in  which he had six wins and nine second place finishes.  All  were in stakes or in optional claimers at Gulfstream or at Calder.

 “He didn’t get to run the whole race, but he was still coming at the end,” said Stan Gold, who trains Grande Shores for Jacks or Better Farm. “There was plenty left in the tank.”

City of Weston, also a closer, defeated Grande Shores by a neck in the seven-furlong Blue Heron at Gulfstream on April 23. They resumed their Gulfstream rivalry in the 6 ½ Parrot Key on June 6, with Grande Shores winning and City  of Weston coming in third.
Last year Falling Sky won the seven-furlong Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3) in a very fast 1:20.85.

His last race prior to the Smile was a third place finish in the six-furlong Alfred G. Vanderbilt (Grade 1) at Saratoga last August  2.

Prior to the Smile, Falling Sky’s owners transferred the 5-year-old from George Weaver to Marty Wolfson. Weaver trains at Gulfstream during the winter and primarily at New York tracks the remainder of the year. Wolfson is stabled year-round at Gulfstream.

Past performances indicate that Falling Sky and Phish Fan, in his stakes debut, will battle for the early lead and that City of Weston, Falling Sky and Ledokol will be making late runs.

Regular jockey Eddie Castro will ride Grande Shores.  Wolfson has Harry Hernandez on Falling Sky,  while trainer Peter Walder has Jesus Rios on city of Weston. Jose Ferrer will ride Ledokol for trainer  Marcial Navarro.

Casiguapo and Taverni Bay round out the field and will be long shots.

However, Casiguapo has some attractive back form  and could hit the board at a price if any of the favorites falter.  He finished second in the seven-furlong Hopeful at Saratoga in 2013. Jonathan Gonzales will ride Casiguapo for trainer Roderick Rodriguez.

The race is named in honor of Trinniberg the South
Florida-based horse that won the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita  and was later voted the winner of that year’s Eclipse Award for sprinters.

*The three top finishers in the Smile are racing outside of Florida this weekend.

Favorite Tale is in Saturday’s Vanderbilt at Saratoga. Work All Week is in Saturday’s $100,000 Senator Robert Byrd Stakes at six furlongs at Mountaineer Park in  Chester, W.Va.

On Sunday, Wildcat Red will run in the $100,000 Teddy Drone at six furlongs at Monmouth Park. Trainer Jose Garoffalo is using that race as a possible prep for richer sprint stakes later this year.

* There will be a carryover of $88,046 on the Rainbow 6 on  the day’s final six races.