NOTE: This article is based largely on a Gulfstream Park news release.
Ron Paolucci Racing LLC’s Uno Mas Modelo was the dominant performer on Monday’s program at Gulfstream Park, where the 12-race Presidents Day program included 11 starter stakes with purses ranging from $50,000 to $60,000.
Uno Mas Modelo (photo on home page) captured the $50,000 Rough and Ready, a one-turn mile for horses that started for a claiming price of $12,500 or less, by 1 ¼ lengths under Hall of Famer Javier Castellano.
The 6-year-old son of Macho Uno ran the mile in 1:34.76 while collecting his seventh victory in his last nine starts.
His only losses during the productive nine-race span came in a fourth-place finish in the Dec. 22 Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream and an off-the-board finish in the Sept. 29 Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont.
Uno Mas Modelo, the 3-5 favorite in a field of six, settled in fourth as Guns of Steel set a solid pace along the backstretch through fractions of 23 3/5 and 45.26 seconds for the first half mile.
The veteran gelding advanced on the turn into the stretch and launched a sustained stretch drive that resulted in a comfortable decision over late-closing Donji.
It was the third stakes victory in four starts at Gulfstream during the current Championship Meet for Uno Mas Modelo, who captured the $110,000 Claiming Crown Rapid Transit at seven furlongs Dec. 1.
“He’s much better at seven-furlongs or a one-turn mile. I knew he’d show a little more speed,” trainer Anthony Quartarolo said. “Believe it or not, he’s not that fond of this surface, but he puts it together. He runs his heart out.”
Quartarolo reported that Uno Mas Modelo will get a little break while targeting the $500,000 Churchill Downs (G1), a seven-furlong stakes on the Kentucky Derby undercard May 4.
Plesa Wins Pair
Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. scored a double with wins in the $60,000 Mrs. Presidentress and the $60,000 Sage of Monticello, both run at a mile on turf.
Laurie Plesa’s Itsmyluckycharm ($6.40) won her fourth consecutive race in the Mrs. Presidentress for 3-year-old fillies that started for a claiming price of $35,000 or less. Eddie and Laurie Plesa are husband and wife
The daughter if Itsmyluckyday pressed pacesetter Sister Peacock into the stretch before wearing down that rival in the final yards to win by a neck under Joe Bravo.
“We’re just going to play it by ear with her,” Eddie Plesa said. “That’s four in a row for her and that’s her fifth win, so she’s accomplished an awful lot in a short period of time. We’re tickled to death,”
Plesa saddled Itsmyluckyday for victories in the 2013 Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream and the 2014 Whitney (G1) at Saratoga. Laurie Plesa was among the co-owners of Itsmyluckyday—who for several years was one of the most popular horses stabled in South Florida.
Itsmyluckycharm ran a mile over a firm turf course in 1:35.91.
“She’s by Itsmyluckyday, so that’s good for us.” Edde Plesa said.
Itsmyluckycharm was bred in Kentucky by Eddie Plesa Racing Stable.
David Melin, Leon Ellman and Laurie Plesa’s Vow Me Now pulled off a 25-1 upset in the Sage of Monticello for 3-year-olds. The son of Broken Vow ran a mile on turf in 1:35.91, while prevailing by 1 ¼ lengths under Julien Leparoux.
“I said to Julien in the paddock, ‘Draw a line through his last two races. I really think this horse is going to run big today,” Plesa said. “He had some nagging thing that when you thought you got rid of it, you didn’t. Now, we were positive we had gotten rid of it.”
Navarro Wins Three
Leading championship meet trainer Jorge Navarro saddled the winners of three starter stakes Monday, scoring with Starship Reina ($4.80) in the $50,000 Lady Bird, a seven-furlong sprint for fillies and mares that raced for a claiming price of $12,500 or less.
Navarro also won with Wildwood Dancer ($4.80) in the $60,000 Rail Splitter, a 6 ½ furlong sprint for older horses that started for a claiming price of $35,000 or less.
Navarro’s other winner was Zulu ($6.40) in the $60,000 Old Hickory, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for older horses that have started for a claiming price of $35,000 or less.