Thursday, April 4, 2013

Florida Derby day

Just a quick, photo-centric post from Florida Derby day at Gulfstream Park, on Saturday, March 30 -- a beautiful day to be at the track in Southern Florida. Jockey Johnny Velazquez would be inclined to agree with that assessment: he rode the winners of five races, including the Florida Derby-G1, Gulfstream Oaks-G2, Rampart-G3, and Skip Away-G3. (It was also a good day to be a gray horse, with three such winners on the card.)

Orb was an impressive winner of the Florida Derby, and with the victory he became the first Grade 1-winning colt for his sire, Malibu Moon. (Malibu Moon’s champion Declan’s Moon is a gelding.) But the breathtaking horse of the day was A.P. Indy’s Dreaming of Julia. Wow!

Ciao Bella, trained by Todd Pletcher for Michael Tabor, on her way to be saddled.
Ciao Bella and Johnny Velazquez in the post parade.
Ciao Bella, a daughter of Giant's Causeway and Grade 2 winner Bella Bellucci, winning her first stakes race, the Grade 3 Rampart.
Second gray winner of the day: stakes winner Rattlesnake Bridge (for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin for Mill House) on his way to an allowance/optional claiming victory.
Live Lively, the $1.80-to-1 second favorite in the Grade 2 Florida Oaks. Lee Lewis' Medaglia d'Oro filly looked like a million bucks under Rajiv Maragh for trainer Mark Hennig in the post parade.
A.P. Indy's daughter Dreaming of Julia, under Johnny Velazquez and trained by Todd Pletcher for Stonestreet Stables, the $1.60-to-1 favorite in the Gulfstream Oaks. She looked like ten million bucks!
And Dreaming of Julia, the first foal foal out of Grade 1 winner Dream Rush, pulling away with ease under Velazquez.
Monster! Shades of her great-granddaddy Secretariat, on the 43rd anniversary of his birth, with her competition nearly 22 lengths behind her.
Live Lively and Cue the Moon running second and third in the Oaks...21 3/4 lengths behind Dreaming of Julia.
Dreaming of Julia on the left getting a post-race spray with the hose, while the field for the Grade 3 Orchid Stakes passes by. From left to right, they are: Regalo Mia (who won the Orchid); graded stakes winner Closing Range (tenth); and Canadian classic winner Irish Mission (third).
The handsome Cigar Street, a son of Street Sense trained by Bill Mott for Jake Ballis and Lewis Rashard, in the paddock before winning his first stakes race, the Grade 3 Skip Away. Johnny Velazquez rode him, too.
The start of the Skip Away. Last year's Louisiana Derby winner Pants On Fire (10) is on the outside, with eventual winner Cigar Street (9) and second Take Charge Indy (8; he won last year's Florida Derby) to the inside. The others are: Remsen S.-G2 winner O'Prado Again (7); Argentine G1 winner Al Qasr (6); Delta Jackpot-G3 winner Gourmet Dinner (5); dead-heat Travers winner Golden Ticket (3); Where's the Baby, the only horse in the field with no black type (2); and Breeders' Cup Marathon winner Eldaafer (1).
Cigar Street and Velazquez over Take Charge Indy and Rosie Napravnik.
Before shot of Kenny McPeek-trained Travers winner Golden Ticket...
...and after shot of Golden Ticket.
Another gray winner! This is Live Oak Plantation's Za Approval (trained by Christophe Clement), who won his first stakes race, the Appleton-G3, 
Multiple Grade 2 winner Silver Max had an off day in the Appleton, running fifth.
Beau Choix, a six-year-old homebred for Belle Meadows Farm and Lael Stables, who almost always shows up on raceday. The Barclay Tagg charge was second in the Appleton.
Reigning champion 2-year-old colt Shanghai Bobby, trained by Todd Pletcher, prior to the Florida Derby-G1, owned by Starlight Racing and several partners in Coolmore.

Stuart Janney and Phipps Stables' Orb.
Merit Man, trained by Bob Hess Jr. for Bruce Chandler, Robert McKee, and James Glavin.
Florida Derby favorite Itsmyluckyday (a son of the ill-fated Lawyer Ron) under Elvis Trujillo in the post parade. He's trained by Eddie Plesa for Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa.
Orb, with Johnny Velazquez aboard for Shug McGaughey.
The Florida Derby trifecta: Orb, Itsmyluckyday, and Merit Man.

1 comment: