Fast-Improving Good and Proper Making Stakes Debut in Bear’s Den at Gulfstream

By Jim Freer

Saturday, July 25– If Gulfstream Park had an award for most  improved horse at this year’s spring and summer meets, Good and Proper would be one of the top contenders.

This afternoon, Good and Proper will seek  his third straight win and attempt to take another step forward  as he makes his stakes debut.

He is one of seven entrants for Gulfstream’s $75,000 Bear’s Den at 1  1/16 miles on turf for 3-year-olds.

The Bear’s Den is the ninth race with scheduled post time of 5:41 p.m.

In  the Bear’s Den the probable favorites are Rizwan  and  My Point Exactly.  Each  has a win in  a Gulfstream turf stakes this year.

The field also  has Semblance  of Order.  That  horse has a recent record of improvement that  is similar to Good and Proper–but not as sudden and dramatic.

Semblance of Order  broke his maiden in a 1 1/16  mile turf race at Gulfstream on May  2.  Two races  later  on  June 30 he won a one mile optional claimer on  the turf at Gulfstream, He beat a field that included older horses.

Good and Proper is  a gelded son of Awesome Again.

Through April 25 Good and  Proper was winless in four starts–all on turf at Gulfstream. He had one third place finish, but was off the board in the other races.

Trainer Larry Bates then gave Good and Proper a two-month break.

In  his first start back, Good and Proper broke his  maiden  at one mile on turf  at  Gulfstream  on June 21.  He won in the impressive time of 1:35.56.Good  and  Proper’s next  race was a 1 1/16 mile option claimer (not in for a tag) at Gulfstream  on July 11.  He was facing  older horses  for the first  time,  and was sent off at 18-1 in an 11-horse field,

Jockey Edgard Zayas kept Good  and  Proper near the outside  and  in the clear  for most of the  race.

They rallied coming around the turn and  came head-to-head  with Concert  Stage. After a stretch  duel,  Good and Proper beat that rival by a half length.

The winning time if 1:42.01 was solid, especially  for a  day when other turf winning  times  were relatively slow.

Good and Proper earned a Brisnet speed  figure of 90.  Among Bear’s Den  entrants  only Rizway,  twice at 94, has a higher Brisnet number.

“He’s like a plant you’ve been watering, and now you’re seeing  it blossom,” Bates  said of Good and Proper.

Zayas is out until late next month  with a broken  collarbone.

Bates found a more than  able replacement for the Bear’s Den–Hall of Fame rider Edgar Prado.

Rizwan, trained by Phil  Gleaves, won  the 1 1/16 mile English Channel Stakes at  Gulfstream on  May 2. He won in the fast 3-year-old time  of  1:40.48 and earned  a  94 Brisnet figure.

My Point Exactly, trained by Bill Kaplan, won  the King Cugat at 1 1/16 miles on Gulfstream’s turf on June 20. He was clocked in 1:40.88 and earned an  85 Brisnet figure.

Rizwan finished fifth in the King Cugat,  three lengths behind My Point Exactly.

“We had  the outside post (9) and I  think that hurt o  chances a bit,” Gleaves said.

Rizwan has the outside post (7) again today.

Jesus Rios will ride Semblance of Order for trainer Jena  Antonucci.

If Rizwan ca0nnot grab the  early lead,  Semblance of Order and longshot  Mr. Amos Rizwan  could end up  making  the early pace.

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