Sunday, December 13, 2015

Gulfstream: Cali Star Wins Rampart for Wolfson

Gulfstream: Cali Star Wins Rampart for Wolfson

(Editor’s Note–Gulfstream Park will have eleven races today with first post of 12:35 p.m. The main track is listed as fast and the turf is listed as good. We will have coverage on our blog.)

By Jim Freer
Cali Star, a Florida newcomer, became a graded stakes winner on Saturday when she beat her stablemate Best Behavior by three lengths in the Rampart (Grade 3) for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at Gulfstream Park.

Marty Wolfson trains both horses. Ben Walden Jr., who lives in the Lexington, Ky., area, is part of the ownership group of Cali Star (photo on home page). Miller Racing, whose principals live in Palm Beach County, owns Best Behavior.

The win was the second in two South Florida starts for Cali Star, a 4-year-old filly who has taken to her new home state with apparent enthusiasm that matches any condo complex-full of newcomer retirees.

And the results of the Rampart, at one mile on dirt, provide an example of why Wolfson has a core base of owner clients–and why that has translated into a large, loyal following among bettors and other fans.

Trainer Marty Wolfson
Trainer Marty Wolfson

This past August, Walden sent Cali Star and turf specialist Prayed For, a 4-year-old filly, to Wolfson from trainer Alice Cohn in Kentucky. There were numerous upcoming stakes races for fillies and mares at Gulfstream and at the Gulfstream Park West meet, which Gulfstream held at Calder.

Cali Star made her first start for Wolfson at Calder on Nov. 15. With Tyler Gaffalione riding, she led almost the entire race and won by five lengths in the allowance/optional claimer at one mile on dirt.

Gaffalione was on Cali Star again for the Rampart.

This time, breaking from the rail post, they did not seek the lead.

At the half mile Best Behavior, with John Velazquez riding, led Pink Poppy by a head in 46.50 seconds. Cali Star was sixth in the eight-horse field, two lengths behind the leaders.

Cali Star, the 9-5 favorite, began gaining on the inside. She took the lead in mid-stretch and went on to win in 1:36.35–a solid stakes time on the track that was listed as fast.

Stiffed finished third, 1 ¾ lengths behind Best Behavior. Curlin’s Princess, trained by Wolfson and owned by Alter’s Racing Stable, finished seventh. Pink Poppy faded and finished last.

“Marty told me just to get position and, when she was ready, to let her run,” Gaffalione said. “She did everything perfect. She wasn’t afraid to be down inside. I honestly didn’t really want to be inside there, but my filly was running so good and I did have the inside post, so I didn’t want to give that up. I held my position and when I asked her she just ran away.”

The win was the fourth in 18 career starts for Cali Star, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Street Cry.

She was winless in her six starts prior to being sent to Wolfson. Those were all in allowance/optional claiming races at tracks in Kentucky and Louisiana.

She has adjusted well to Florida and to training at Gulfstream. Since Nov. 14, she has had two bullet workouts and one second-fastest workout at Gulfstream.

Wolfson said he was not sure when Cali Star will have her next race.

“I was more pleased with the other filly (runner-up Best Behavior), because she hadn’t run for six months,” Wolfson said. “She was game.”

He said he expects that Miller Racing will soon sell Best Behavior at a sale with the prospect that she will become a broodmare.

1 -CALI STAR 5.80 3.20 2.80

7 -BEST BEHAVIOR 4.00 3.20

2 -STIFFED 3.80

$2 EXACTA 1-7 PAID $18.60; $1 TRIFECTA 1-7-2


$40.84 $1 SUPER HIGH FIVE 1-7-2-8-6 PAID $647.60

On Saturday, Gulfstream continued its strong recent handle. It had all-sources handle of $10,206,126 for 11 races, compared with $9,268,469 for ten races on the comparable Saturday last year.

Gulfstream had three other stakes races on Sunday, all ungraded and all with $100,000 purses.

* Valid beat Madefromlucky by three-quarters of a length in the Harlan’s Holiday at 1 1/16 miles on dirt. Mr. Jordan finished third, three lengths behind Madefromlucky.

Trainer Marcus Vitali
Trainer Marcus Vitali

Valid was ridden by Javier Castellano and won in 1:42.27. Marcus Vitali trains Valid, a 5-year-old gelded son of Medaglia d’Oro.

The American Graded Stakes Committee recently announced that the Harlan’s Holiday will be a Grade 3 stakes next year. It made that decision based on its view of the strength of the race’s fields in the several preceding years.

* Tuttipaesi, trained by Bill Mott, beat Hope Cross by 1 ¼ lengths in the South Beach at 7 ½ furlongs on turf for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.

Tuttipaesi was ridden by Chris Decarlo and won in 1:31.58 on the course that was listed as good but still soft in sots following a week that had seeral days of rain.

* Reporting Star beat Aztec Brave by a head after some heavy bumping down the stretch in the El Prado at 7 ½ lengths on turf for 3-years-old and up.

Corey Lanerie, the rider of Aztec Brave lodged an objection against Miguel Vasquez, the rider of Reporting Star. There also was a stewards’ inquiry.

But the stewards determined that there was not sufficient reason to change the result, and they let Reporting Star stand as the winner.

Pat Parente trains Reporting Star who won in 1:31.29.

— Home page photo from Gulfstream Park, by Lauren King.

Gulfstream: Cali Star Wins Rampart for Wolfson

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