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Albertus Maximus returns after winning the 2009 Donn Handicap
The $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) at Gulfstream Park is the first major race of the year for the North American older horse division. A field of 10 older horses went to the post for the 1 1/8 mile race on the main track Saturday under sunny skies with temperatures only in the mid 60's. Meadowlands Cup winner Arson Squad was sent off as the 5-2 favorite exiting a close fourth in the Cigar Mile last out. In to challenge him included 3-1 second choice Albertus Maximus, winner of the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, and 7-2 third choice Einstein, winner of the Clark Handicap.
30-1 outsider Finallymadeit opened up a 1 1/2 length lead on the clubhouse turn and set a pace of 23.48, 47.00, and 1:11.75, while being pressed by Albertus Maximus to his outside the whole way. At the top of the stretch, jockey Alan Garcia asked Albertus Maximus to challenge for the lead. The pair battled head to head through most of the stretch run, getting the mile in 1:37.39, but in the final strides Albertus Maximus pushed ahead to win by just 1/2 a length in 1:50.96 over the fast main track. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to Einstein third, and 3 3/4 more to late-running favorite Arson Squad fourth.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 2 Albertus Maximus Garcia 8.20 4.80 3.20 1 Finallymadeit Nunez 26.20 11.00 10 Einstein Leparoux 3.60 $1 Exacta 2-1 179.40 $2 Trifecta 2-1-10 523.60 $1 Superfecta 2-1-10-7 1,900.20 Winning Time: 1:50.96Results Chart
Winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said, "He's trained great on the dirt and obviously handled it well today (after racing on synthetic tracks). He's a very professional racehorse. We're just grateful Sheikh Hamdan bought him after he won the Breeders' Cup (Dirt Mile) at Santa Anita and sent him to us. It's great for us have a horse like this in the barn. We can look forward to going to Dubai now ($6 million World Cup) with the same team that took Invasor two years ago. Hopefully, Alan (Garcia) gets to go, too, but that's up to Sheikh Hamdan."
Saratoga Sinner with Julien Leparoux up
34-1 Bear's Rocket was sent to the front immediately by jockey Kent Desormeaux, getting fractions of 23.62, 47.88, and 1:12.73 while a length in front of 12-1 Saratoga Sinner who stalked him the whole way. At the top of the stretch, Saratoga Sinner moved up to challenge for the lead, passing Bear's Rocket with a furlong remaining. Bear's Rocket continued to fight the rest of the way but Saratoga Sinner crossed the line 3/4 length ahead in 1:51.45. It was another 3 lengths back from Bear's Rocket to West Side Bernie third, while favorite Danger to Society finished seventh.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 4 Saratoga Sinner Leparoux 26.80 14.20 7.40 3 Bear's Rocket Desormeaux 27.80 11.40 10 West Side Bernie Trujillo 3.60 $1 Exacta 4-3 580.80 $2 Trifecta 4-3-10 1,942.30 $1 Superfecta 4-3-10-11 5,184.70 Winning Time: 1:51.45Results Chart
Winning jockey Julien Leparoux said, "Everything was good today. Exactly, what I wanted. We started good, broke good. I just tried to stay with Kent (Desormeaux on Bear's Rocket)) the whole time and not lose (touch of him). We didn't have a lot of room. We got some around the three-eighths pole, but Kent got an excellent ride from his horse and made it real tough. I was just trying to stay in good position. It worked out at the end for all of us. I don't know what's next. Hopefully, I have a future with him and ride again."
Winning trainer Eddie Kenneally said, "After he broke his maiden in his last race, Julien (jockey Leparoux) came back and said he's even better than he showed. He ran a little green that day. So we decided that we go ahead and step him up to this race rather than run back in an allowance race. He's had two wins over the track at 1 1/8 miles, so we'll definitely be pointing for the Florida Derby (Mar. 28). I don't know if he'll run again before then, but he won't go back to a one-turn race again."
Nicanor finishing 11th
His jockey Edgar Prado said, "(Nicanor's) better than that. I've worked him in the mornings and he showed me a lot . He broke really fast and unfortunately grabbed his let quarter. We'll just have to see how long it takes to heal, but I know he's better than that."
His trainer Michael Matz said, "He grabbed the quarter (heel) of the left front leg leaving the gate. He wasn't comfortable, so Edgar just wrapped up on him."
Frolic's Dream with Jermaine Bridgmohan up
Gemswick Park battled for the lead with Frolic's Dream down the backstretch through quick fractions of 22.86 and 45.84 over the fast main track, with 6-1 fourth choice Dr. Zic stalking them in third the whole way. Turning for home, Gemswick tired and faded to finish fifth, as Frolic's Dream opened up a 5 length advantage at the 1/8 pole after 3/4 in 1:10.84. 15-1 Renda rallied from fifth but was left with too much ground to make up, as Frolic's Dream cruised under the line 2 1/2 lengths in front in a time of 1:24.15. It was a long 10 lengths back to Dr. Zic third.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 5 Frolic's Dream Bridgmohan 5.00 3.20 2.20 2 Renda Prado 8.80 3.80 6 Dr. Zic Lezcano 3.20 $1 Exacta 5-2 41.60 $2 Trifecta 5-2-6 99.40 $1 Superfecta 5-2-6-3 326.20 Winning Time: 1:24.15Results Chart
Winning trainer Marty Wolfson said, "The race set up the way I hoped. She was able to sit outside off the rail behind (Gemswick Park). She got all that speed, but had learned to relax even on the lead. She ran today pretty much like she did when she won the 7/8 eighths race at Calder (Joe O'Farrell). She probably should be undefeated. If she draws an outside post rather than inside in her last race (Old Hat Stakes, beaten a head), she probably wins it. I think 7/8 is her game and her limit might be a one-turn mile. We'll see."
Winning jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan said, "There was nothing difficult about the ride. We broke really well. I knew she was going to be in there the whole time, and when I asked her to give me a little more, she responded. Once we hit the 1/4 pole I felt pretty good she was going to pull through. This is the nicest filly I've ever ridden in my life, and Mr. Wolfson just does a great job with her. You have to give him a lot of credit. Unfortunately we hit the gate last time and couldn't make up enough ground, and we still almost took it."
Capt. Candyman Can with Julien Leparoux up
Hello Broadway set the early pace under pressure by Capt. Candyman Can and 4-1 Rocketing Returns through a quarter in 23.76 and a half in 46.14. Entering the stretch, jockey Julien Leparoux moved Capt. Candyman Can wide for the drive and he easily passed the pacesetting favorite at the 3/16 pole, getting 3/4 in 1:10.83. Through the stretch he steadily increased his lead, finishing up 1 1/2 lengths in front in a time of 1:23.69. It was another 4 1/2 lengths back to 35-1 longest shot Bee Cee Cee third.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 Capt. Candyman Can Leparoux 7.40 3.80 2.80 4 Hello Broadway Prado 3.40 2.60 2 Bee Cee Cee Velasquez 3.80 $1 Exacta 3-4 21.60 $2 Trifecta 3-4-2 85.90 $1 Superfecta 3-4-2-5 404.30 Winning Time: 1:23.69Results Chart
Winning trainer Ian Wilkes said, "All we were looking for from him today was to relax. We've been teaching him to (relax) in the mornings, but until they do it in the afternoon you don't know whether they get it. Julien was able to get him back out of there (early speed duel down backstretch) and he came on from there. The second horse (Hello Broadway) ran a great race, too, and never gave up. We'll talk it over with the owners, but the Fountain of Youth Stakes would certainly be logical."
Winning jockey Julien Leparoux said, "He was very good today. I was able to back him off (at the rail) and take him to the outside. It wasn't a problem. I wanted to keep him in the clear from there. There were no excuses today. A lot can happen between now and (the Kentucky Derby). We still have a lot to do. The big difference today was he listened. His last race, he went to the front and wouldn't listen. Today, he was good."
Lady Carlock winner of the Suwannee River Stakes (G3)
8-1 Flibberjibit battled on the pace with Tejida through fractions of 24.63, 49.41, and 1:12.50, with 8-1 Mushka stalking them out wide in third. Entering the stretch, Mushka moved up to challenge, taking over the lead at the 1/8 pole after a mile in 1:35.87. However, 14-1 Lady Carlock, who was last for the first 6 furlongs, came out wide into the stretch and closed with a rush to get up by a head in the final strides in 1:47.65 over the firm course. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to 15-1 longest shot Drop a Line third. Favorite Callwood Dancer raced in seventh early but showed no late rally, finishing fifth.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 2 Lady Carlock Bridgmohan 29.60 13.80 8.00 8 Mushka Desormeaux 9.00 7.20 4 Drop a Line Dominguez 11.00 $1 Exacta 2-8 247.20 $2 Trifecta 2-8-4 1,597.10 $1 Superfecta 2-8-4-1 8,647.20 Winning Time: 1:47.65Results Chart
Winning trainer Carl Nafzger said, "She's an easy filly to train. You just point her in the right direction and she does what you ask. She's been Graded stakes-placed before, but this is her first stakes win and it's Graded. I was concerned that the pace might not be fast enough up front, but she got there. She's good and sound and will go on and race this year."
Kip Deville winner of the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1)
As expected, regular rider Cornelio Velasquez sent Kip Deville to the front immediately, and he set a pace of 24.22, 47.44, and 1:11.21 while being pressed by 26-1 Pick Six to his inside. Turning for home, Kip Deville pulled away from the tiring Pick Six, as the closers made their moves to the front. However, Kip Deville held off late-running 25-1 Just as Well to prevail by 3/4 length in a time of 1:45.70. It was another head back to favorite Court Vision third.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 8 Kip Deville Velasquez 7.00 5.20 3.20 1 Just as Well Leparoux 17.00 6.80 4 Court Vision Dominguez 3.00 $1 Exacta 8-1 126.60 $2 Trifecta 8-1-4 171.00 $1 Superfecta 8-1-4-2 950.20 Winning Time: 1:45.70Results Chart
Winning jockey John Velasquez said, "Once we broke clear, I knew we had a pretty good shot. Coming down the stretch, I wasn't even thinking about the one (Just As Well) or four (Court Vision,) I knew we would have enough."
Winning trainer Richard Dutrow Jr, said, "Kip has natural speed and is a push-button horse. He settled in nicely and Cornelio did a great job. Naturally I had to be concerned when the field closed in on him coming into the stretch, but Kip showed up today, and that's what we needed to win. We'll see what the (Dubai Duty Free) looks like, and if it's a stretch to go all the way there and run him 1 1/8 again, we can always go back to Keeneland (Maker's Mark Mile) and try to get another Grade 1. Our main objective with him this year is to get an Eclipse Award."
Some photographs courtesy of EquiSportPhotos.com
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