An Exciting Saturday at Gulfstream Park

An Exciting Saturday at Gulfstream Park

Grade 3 Winner Classic Rock Star of Show for Reeves, Ritvo
Video: Navarro Looking Forward to Saturday’s Smile with X Y Jet
Rainbow 6 Mandatory Payout Set for Summit of Speed Card
Five Stakes, Two Graded, Worth $725,000 in Purses Saturday

Gulfstream Park’s Spring Meet will conclude in style Saturday with a 14-race program that will determine leading owner, trainer and jockey; a 20-cent Rainbow 6 mandatory payout that could be in the millions; and five stakes highlighted by the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2) and $250,000 Smile Sprint (G3).

Doors to Gulfstream’s Silks Simulcast Room open at 10 a.m. First race post time is 11:55 a.m.

The Princess Rooney, featuring defending champion Curlin’s Approval and Barbara Fritchie (G2) winner Ms Locust Point, will offer the first automatic starting position of the year into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3 through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series ‘Win and You’re In’ program. Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the Princess Rooney winner to start in the Filly & Mare Sprint. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a $10,000 travel allowance for all horses based outside of Kentucky to compete in the World Championships.

Along with the Princess Rooney, Gulfstream’s five stakes includes the Smile, featuring multiple graded-stakes winner X Y Jet making his first start since finish second in the Golden Shaheen (G1) in Dubai; The Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint with record-setting sprinter and defending champion Pay Any Price; and the Azalea with Florida Sire Stakes winner Starship Bonita.

There will also be mandatory payouts of the Rainbow 6, Late Pick 5 and Super Hi 5. If no one hits the Rainbow 6 through Friday, the carryover is expected to be approximately $1 million.

Meanwhile, the leading trainer and jockey races are both very tight. Jockey Tyler Gaffalione holds a slim lead for the riding title but Emisael Jaramillo, Edgard Zayas, Miguel Vasquez and Nik Juarez are all within three to five victories of him.
While Oscar Gonzalez and Victor Barboza Jr., are tied at the top for leading trainer, there are seven other trainers within two victories, including Todd Pletcher, Stanley Gold, Ralph Nicks and Antonio Sano.

Arindel is leading all owners with 14 wins, five ahead of Bruno Schickedanz.

Grade 3 winner Classic Rock, the latest success story for Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and groundbreaking trainer Kathy Ritvo, will put his three-race win streak on the line in Saturday’s $250,000 Smile Sprint (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

The six-furlong Smile Sprint for 3-year-olds and up is one of five stakes, two graded, worth $725,000 in purses on a 14-race Summit of Speed program that also includes the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2), a designated ‘Win and You’re In’ qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs.

Ritvo became the first female trainer to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) with Reeves’ Mucho Macho Man in 2013. The towering son of Macho Uno finished in the money in 20 of his 25 career starts with nine wins, seven of them in stakes, and more than $5.6 million in purse earnings from 2010-14.

“Kathy and I now are probably close to going on 10 years [together]. It’s a mutual love affair, she puts up with me and I put up with her,” Dean Reeves said. “She does a great job. She’s very consistent [in her] quality of training. These horses look spectacular. Whether they can run or not, they’re going to look good, they’re going to be well-trained.

“We had some early success, we took a dip for a little while and I think we just didn’t get the right horses,” he added. “I think now, the crop that we have we’re excited about and Classic Rock – he’s our headliner.”

Classic Rock, a 4-year-old son of Maclean’s Music, was purchased by Reeves for $180,000 as a yearling in September 2015, making his debut the following fall at Saratoga. He broke his maiden in December 2016 at Gulfstream, the first of three straight wins capped by the Roar Stakes in April 2017.

Following a pair of graded-stakes tries, Classic Rock went unraced for nearly five months after finishing fifth in the Carry Back (G3) on last year’s Summit of Speed program. He returned to beat older horses Dec. 20 at Gulfstream. From there he captured the Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3) March 3 and, most recently, the Jeblar Stakes May 6.

“It’s a horse we bought as a yearling and I think for them to be successful it makes you feel good about what you’ve done at the sales,” Reeves said. “He started out real well. We had a couple of setbacks, he came back and won some races, and we gave him some time off. Kathy’s just done a great job getting him back, and now he’s really coming into his own.”

Classic Rock will break from Post 2 in a field of eight for the Smile Sprint with his regular pilot – record-setting Championship Meet-leading rider Luis Saez – in the irons at topweight of 123 pounds.

Trying six furlongs for the third time in his 11th career start, Classic Rock has won six of his seven races at Gulfstream Park. His work tab is riddled with bullets, including a half-mile breeze in 45.77 seconds June 23 at Gulfstream, the fastest of 95 horses.

“He’s been very successful here at Gulfstream Park, he loves the track and it’s always an advantage whenever you can just walk out of your stall to the racetrack. That’s been really helpful,” Reeves said. “This is what we’ve aimed for, for a good long time.

“He’s working extremely well. He’s probably the best work horse I have ever been around and that includes Mucho Macho Man, who was pretty solid in his works,” he added. “This horse he just does consistent works time in and time out. He’s training well, I think we’re ready to go.”

Video: Navarro Looking Forward to Saturday’s Smile with X Y Jet

Trainer Jorge Navarro recently spoke to Gulfstream host and analyst Acacia Courtney about his multiple graded-stakes winner X Y Jet beating the odds and preparing for Saturday’s Smile (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

X Y Jet will be making his first start since finishing second by a head March 31 in the Golden Shaheen (G1) in Dubai. The 6-year-old enters the Smile with nine wins in 21 starts and earnings of $1.3 million. The son of Kantharos has finished first or second in 11 starts at Gulfstream and is seven for 12 at the Smile’s six-furlong distance.

Video link: click here to watch.

Rainbow 6 Mandatory Payout Set for Summit of Speed Card

A mandatory payout of the 20-cent Rainbow 5 carryover jackpot is set for Saturday’s Summit of Speed program at Gulfstream Park, where there will also be mandatory payouts of the Late Pick 5 and last-race Super Hi-5 pools on the final day of the Spring Meet.

The Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot was $801,668.76 heading into Thursday’s program and is expected to grow to approach $1 million should the popular multi-race wager go unsolved through Friday’s twilight card.

The Rainbow 6 has gone unsolved for 26 consecutive racing days after producing a $101,000 jackpot on May 13, three days after a lucky bettor took down a $1.2 million jackpot through the Lewiston, Maine hub.

The carryover jackpot is routinely paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool. However, on mandatory-payout days, all betters with the most winners share in the entire pool.

Saturday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 9-14, and will include the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2) in Race 12 and the $250,000 Smile Sprint (G3) in Race 13. Curlin’s Approval is scheduled to clash with seven other fillies in mares in her quest to win back-to-back runnings of the Princess Rooney, a seven-furlong sprint that is a designated Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ race that will award the winner a fees-paid berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs Nov. 3. Multiple graded-stakes winner X Y Jet looms as an odds-on favorite in the Smile, a six-furlong dash in which he will make his first start since finishing second in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) at Meydan March 28.

First-race post time for Saturday’s 14-race card is set for 11:55 a.m.

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S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D. Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.

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