By Jim Freer
Monday, July 13 — Spring has turned to summer at Gulfstream Park and the trainer-owner team of Stan Gold and Jacks or Better Farm is picking up where it left off.
They led their respective categories in purses won during Gulfstream’s spring meet that ran from April 8 through June 30.
Through yesterday, the eighth day of the summer meet, Gold and Jacks or Better are both first in wins and in purses at Gulfstream.
They have combined for five victories and for $270,195 in earnings.
Jacks or Better is in Ocala and is owned and operated by Fred and Jane Brei who established in 1997.
Their numbers for wins and earnings are identical because since 2006 Gold has trained exclusively for Jacks or Better, which uses him as its sole trainer at Gulfstream and at Calder Casino & Race Course.
This October and November, Gulfstream will again hold 40 days of racing at Calder using the name Gulfstream Park West.
Two of the Gold-Jacks or Better summer meet winners were in stakes races on the Summit of Speed card on Sunday July 5.
Dogwood Trail (above photo) won the Grade 3 $150,000 Azalea Stakes at seven furlongs on dirt for 3-year-old fillies. Ballet Diva won the $75,000 Cassidy Stakes at 5 ½ furlongs on dirt for 2-year-old fillies.
In the Summit stakes races Gold and Jacks or Better also combined for one second place finish, one third place finish and two fourth place finishes.
Gold and Brei sent out two other winners this past Saturday.
Their 4-year-old colt Hand Picked won the second race, a $6,250 claiming race at six furlongs–for his second straight victory.
Hear That Tune won the eighth, a $16,000 optional claimer with a $40,000 purse. He led almost the entire route in the seven-furlong dirt race, winning in the solid time of 1:22.84 in one of the weekend’s most impressive performances.
.The early July results indicate that the Gold-Brei team could be headed for a very big summer meet at Gulfstream, especially in the expanded Florida Sire Stakes Series.
They have sent out a record 16 winners in that series of races for 2-year-olds–through 2013 at Calder and last year at Gulfstream.
This year at Gulfstream, the sponsoring Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association and Gulfstream have added six Sire Stakes races for 3-year-olds.
The Sire Stakes races are open to Florida-bred sons and daughters of Florida-based stallions whose owners have nominated them for the series. This year, there will be three Sire Stakes races in each of these age groups: 2-year-old males; 2-year-old fillies; 3-year-old males; 3-year-old fillies.
The race dates are Aug. 8, Sept. 5 and Oct. 3.
Gold and Jacks or Better swept the 2-year-old male division with Jackson Bend in 2009 and with Fort Loudon in 2011.
They swept the 2-year-old fillies division with Awesome Feather un 2010. She went on to win that year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Stakes (Grade 1) at Churchill Downs and Eclipse Award as champion juvenile filly.
This year, Gold and Brei will have one or more strong contenders in all four Sire Stakes divisions.
That list includes their 3-year-old colts Sing Praises and Twotwentyfive A, neither of which ran on Summit day, and several of their horses that ran in Summit races.
Almost all of Jacks or Better’s runners are homebreds. Many are sons or daughters of the Jacks or Better stallions Awesome of Course and Hear No Evil.
Gold and Jacks or Better combined for 13 wins and $449,020 in purses at this year’s Gulfstream spring meet.
That placed Jacks or Better first in owner earnings and second in victories behind Frank Carl Callabrese who had 21.
While Gold was first in purse money, the 13 wins put him in a tie for sixth place.
Gold’s topping the money list was attributable largely to a series of third place or better finishes in stakes races.
After eight days of the summer meet, five trainers are tied for second place with three victories. They are Gustavo Delgado, Luis Duco, Bill Kaplan, Ralph Nicks and Wesley Ward.
Among owners Frank Carl Calabrese, Duco, Gary Jackson and Ward are tied for second with two wins.
Three jockeys are tied for the lead with eight wins. They are Eddie Castro, Edgar Prado and Edgard Zayas.