HRFLA Staff Report
American Giant and Monforte were the winners of Saturdays co-feature stakes race at the Gulfstream Park West meet.
American Giant beat Secret Time by 1 3/4 lengths in the $60,0000 Cellars Shiraz, at one mile on turf for 3-year-old fillies.
Monforte beat Jolting Joe by1 3/4 lengths in the $60,000 Showing Up, at one mile on turf for 3-year-olds.
Those were the first two stakes races this season at the GP West meet, which is sponsored by Gulfstream Park and run at Calder in Miami Gardens, Fla.
We will have more details about those two races later in this article.
First, here is a look at what will be happening at GP West this week.
Tropical Storm Eta
GP West cancelled its Sunday race card because of the threat of Tropical Storm Eta. As of Monday evening, it has not announced if there will be a make-up date.
That storm brought heavy winds and rain to South Florida on Sunday afternoon and night and early on Monday.
GP West’s next scheduled race day is this Wednesday Nov. 11.
First post is scheduled at 12:30 p.m. for an eight-race card.
The first race has a Super Hi-5 carryover of $5,524. The Rainbow 6 carryover is $49,824. It is on races three to eight with the sequence scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m.
Four of the races are scheduled for turf.
However it should be noted that the Weather Channel forecast lists the rain chance as 40 percent or higher throughout Tuesday and Wednesday with periods of wind gusts up to 30 m.p.h.
In addition, there is a prospect that Eta’s path could turn and bring its center back toward Florida later in the week.
On Wednesday morning we will have a report on track conditions.
NOTE–First post has moved from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. for the remainder of the GP West meet, which will end on Nov. 28
The Gulfstream Park championship meet will open on Dec. 5.
GP West Stakes Schedule
GP West will have nine stakes races on Saturday Nov. 14–all restricted to Florida breds.
GP West is calling the Program the Millions Preview.
Four of the stakes are similar in age group, gender, distance and surface to richer stakes that will be run at Gulfstream on Jan. 16–its Sunshine Millions day.
Entries and posts for this Saturday’s card will be out on Wednesday afternoon.
Rancho Alegre’s Monforte, outrun to the lead by long shot Allegedly Perfect, sat a perfect stalking trip before pouncing on the leader and powering through the stretch to capture Saturday’s $60,000 Showing Up.
Monforte ($8.80), a Florida-bred son of Carpe Diem, completed the distance in 1:38.58 on a turf course rated good for his sixth win from the last seven starts and third in stakes company. Five of those wins have come since being claimed for $35,000 last fall by trainer Ruben Gracida.
Allegedly Perfect, sent off at 25-1, was hustled to the lead by Emisael Jaramillo, with the typically front-running Monforte forcing the issue under Hall of Famer Edgar Prado. The opening fractions went in 24.29 and 48.38 seconds before Prado gave Monforte his cue, getting the jump on his rivals and having plenty left to dismiss a late bid up the rail from 2-1 favorite Jolting Joe.
In third was Grade 3 winner Island Commish, making his first start in nearly two months and first in South Florida since May 2, who lost for the first time in three tries at Gulfstream West.
The Showing Up honors the Barclay Tagg-trained horse that banked more than $1.6 million in purse earnings, winning his first two career races at Gulfstream Park in the winter of 2006 before going on to finish sixth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and capture both the Secretariat (G1) and Hollywood Derby (G1) on turf.
Forty-eight hours shy of a year to the day since she last won, Live Oak Plantation homebred American Giant returned to Gulfstream Park West to duplicate the winning effort in Saturday’s $60,000 Cellars Shiraz.
Ridden by Paco Lopez for trainer Mike Trombetta, American Giant ($9.40) ran one mile in 1:38.37 over a turf course rated good to snap a five-race losing streak, all in stakes, dating back to her triumph in the one-mile Juvenile Fillies Turf last November 9 at Gulfstream West.
American Giant settled in third on the inside as 35-1 longshot Maries Melody ran the opening quarter-mile in 23.99 seconds pressed to her outside by American Giant’s stablemate Virginia Beach, winner of the 5 ½-furlong M. Tyson Gilpin for Virginia-breds last out at Laurel Park.
Lopez tipped American Giant off the rail to a contending position after Maries Melody went the half in 49.16 and set the Florida-bred More Than Ready filly down for a run to the wire, turning back a late bid from Secret Time. Charge Account finished third with 2-1 favorite Logic N Reason fourth.
The Cellars Shiraz is named for the Florida-bred mare that won 10 of 32 career starts and $728,410 in purse earnings from 2001-04. Eight of her victories came in stakes, highlighted by the 2002 Herecomesthebride (G2) at Gulfstream Park.