Florida Sire Stakes Begins 3-YO Races and 2015 Series for 2-YOs at Gulfstream Today
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By Jim Freer
The Florida thoroughbred industry’s racing program for Florida-breds will enter an expanded and potentially more lucrative era this afternoon with the Florida Sire Stakes Series’ first races for 3-year-old fillies and for 3-year-old males.
Those two races will be at Gulfstream Park, along with this year’s first two legs of the Sire Stakes divisions for 2-year-old males and for 2-year-old fillies.
Today’s races for 3-year-olds will include the colt Sing Praises and the filly Holywell. Last year, each won two of the three races in their respective Sire Stakes divisions for 2-year-olds.
Gulfstream will have 12 races, with a total of seven stakes, and a first post of 12:45 p.m.
The Sire Stakes races are open to sons and daughters of Florida-bred and Florida-based stallions whose owners have nominated them as sires for the program and then make annual sustaining payments.
This year, the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association added the 3-year-old races to give owners of those horses a follow-up chance to race them in Florida for large purses.
Today’s $75,000 purses attracted ten entrants for the Unbridled, for males, and eight entrants for the Three Ring, for fillies.
Sing Praises is among likely favorites in the Unbridled. He is from the barn of trainer Stan Gold and owner Jacks or Better Farm. Fred and Jane Brei own and operate Jacks or Better in Ocala.
Gold and Jacks or Better have combined to win a record 16 Sire Stakes races. They have eight entrants in today’s Sire Stakes races–with at least one in each race.
Here is an overview of today’s Sire Stakes race:
- Desert Vixen (2-YO fillies) –$200,000 purse; six furlongs on dirt. Fifth race with scheduled post of 2:45 p.m.
- Ballet Diva, from the Gold-Brei stable, is unbeaten in two starts and is the likely heavy favorite. On July 5 she won the 5 1/2 furlong Cassidy–this year’s first Gulfstream stakes for 2-year-olds.
- Three Ring (3-YO fillies) — $150,000 purse, seven furlongs on dirt, eighth race, scheduled post 4:18 p.m.
The race will feature a rematch between Holywell, trained by Jose Pinchin, and Momentofdelight, trained by Bill Kaplan.
Last year Holywell won and Momentofdelight was second in the seven furlong Susan’s Girl and in the 1 1/16 mile my Dear Girl in the Sire Stakes, eighth race, scheduled post, 4:18 p.m.
• Unbridled (3-YO males) — $150,000 purse; seven furlongs on dirt; ninth race with scheduled post of 4:51 p.m.
Sing Praises will face his stalemates Southern Barbecue and HearThat Tune. The speedy Wicked Rascal, trained by Kathleen O’Connell, has won two of his three starts at Gulfstream and could be the biggest threat.
• Dr. Fager (3-YO males) — $200,000 purse, six furlongs on dirt, 11th race, 6:04 p.m.
Danbury, trained by Kaplan, and Fellowship, trained by Gold, are the likely favorites.
The Sire Stakes will continue with four races on Sept. 5 and conclude with four races on Oct. 3 – all at Gulfstream.
Today’s Other Stakes
Gulfstream’s other three stakes races on Saturday’s card are:
- $75,000 Jackson Bend — seven furlongs on dirt for Florida-bred 3-year-olds, third race.
- Eight Miles East — 1 1/16 miles on turf for males 3-years-old and up, 4th race.
- $75,000 Soaring Softly — one mile on turf for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up, 10th race.
Sire Stakes Background
Owners of horses nominated to run in Sire Stakes races also must make sustaining payments. Owners awards are paid to owners of sires whose progeny finish in the first three in a Sires Stake race.
It began in 1982 at Calder as the Florida Stallion Stakes Series, and was held at that track under that name through 2013. It moved to Gulfstream as the Sire Stakes last year. In addition to raising purses for the 2-year-old races, Gulfstream worked with the FTBOA to establish the 3-year-old program.