By HorseracingFLA Staff
Sunday, Sept. 27 – Valid, a 4-5 favorite, and Prayed For, a 23-1 shot, won Saturday’s stakes races at Gulfstream Park.
Valid (above photo, green cap) beat Falling Sky by a neck in the $75,000 Groomstick. Grande Shores came in third, another three-quarters of a length behind, in the seven furlong dirt race for 3-year-olds and up.
Matthew Rispoli rode Valid who won in 1:22.87 on a track listed as fast.
Valid, a 5-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro, notched his second straight victory and second overall at Gulfstream. He won the Philip Iselin (Grade 3) at Monmouth Park in his last start and won the Fred W. Hooper Stakes (Grade 3) at Gulfstream in February.
In the Groomstick, Valid was allowed to settle into stride and wasn’t hustled out of the gate by Rispoli. But after Ledokol went to the front and took the field through a 22.76-second first quarter, Rispoli guided Valid through an opening along the rail and seized the lead from that rival.
After the half went in 45.18 seconds, Valid appeared to be going comfortably, and as the field turned for home, the gelding was in command.
But others were beginning to launch their own bids. Grande Shores made up ground along the rail before angling out for a run, Falling Sky came relentlessly from second, and Ledokol re-rallied on the outside. But Valid would never relinquish his top position.
Prayed For beat Claiming Victory, at 27-1, in the $75,000 Panama City Stakes at one mile on turf for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.
Prayed For rallied from seventh place after a half mile and held off a late run by Claiming Victory.
They were the two highest odds horses in the eight-horse field. The $2 exacta paid $635.20
In My Time finished third. Yrtheoneeyelove, the 9-5 favorite, finished sixth.
Prayed For was ridden by Jonathan Gonzales and was timed 1:36.33 on the course that was listed as firm.
It was the first stakes win for Prayed For. It came in her second start for trainer Marty Wolfson, after being transferred by her owner-breeder Ben Walden.
Gulfstream has two stakes races on today’s 11-race card, with first post of 1:15 p.m.
The $75,000 Mr. Steele is one mile on turf for 3-year-olds and up. It is the third race with scheduled post of 2:21 p.m.
The $75,000 Added Elegance is seven furlongs on dirt for fillies and mares 3-years old and up.
It is the tenth race with scheduled post of 6:15 p.m.
Flutterby, trained and owned by 94-year-old Jerry Bozzo, is among likely favorites in the Added Elegance.
When Flutterby won the Sea Lily on May 30, it made Bozzo the oldest trainer to win a thoroughbred stakes in North America.
She finished second in the Princess Rooney (Grade2) on July 5 and won the Gold Mover on Aug. 22.
All three races were dirt sprint stakes at Gulfstream, with Luca Panici riding Flutterby. He has the mount again today.
Photo: By Leslie Martin, Gufstream Park