It’s long been considered that a Florida freshman sire has had a successful first year if his progeny earn between $300,000 and $500,000. With 2 1/2 months remaining in the season, Poseidon’s Warrior’s earnings jumped to $516,792 after the victory of first-time starter Oh My Warrior at Gulfstream West. The colt owned and bred by Just For Fun Stable and ridden by Luis Castillo went off at 4-1 in his debut and became the fourth winner for Poseidon’s Warrior. Racing six furlongs over a sloppy track, Oh My Warrior settled in just off the early pace, then easily put away Smiling Mason after a half-mile and galloped off to score by nearly eight lengths, collecting a winner’s check of $14,400 plus the breeder’s award.
Firenze Fire broke new ground for Pleasant Acres and the Speightstown stallion Poseidon’s Warrior yesterday, scoring an 11-1 upset in the Gr. I, $500,000 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park. The prestigious event has been run since 1867 and won by such racing legends as Count Fleet, Never Bend, Buckpasser, Riva Ridge, Seattle Slew, Alydar and Spectacular Bid. Among the winners since it has been contested at one mile in 2005 are First Samurai, Scat Daddy, Uncle Mo and Shanghai Bobby.
Firenze Fire broke sharply with Irad Ortiz Jr., who then took the colt back to race near the rear of the pack. On the turn, Ortiz swung him to the outside and Firenze Fire put it in another gear, cruising past horses with ease and making a run to the wire that wound up in a half-length victory in a clocking of 1:35.91. The $300,000 winner’s check for the Mr. Amore Stables’ homebred raised his earnings to $429,100, most for any 2-year-old in the country.
With the Champagne designated as a ‘Win and You’re In’ race, Firenze Fire is automatically eligible for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile coming up at Del Mar. He also picked up 10 points on the ‘Race for the Kentucky Derby’ list and moved Poseidon’s Warrior into fifth place on the national freshman sire list.
As the fillies entered the gate for the third race at Thistledown yesterday, Treble in Paradise was sitting on the tote board at 4-1. When the starter sprung the latch, the daughter of Treasure Beach rocketed to the lead under Ricardo Feliciano and a few seconds later her odds dropped to 5/2. Treble in Paradise more than lived up to her price, leading every step of the way in the $24,500 maiden special without being threatened. She crossed the finish line three lengths in front, clocked in 1:06.66 for the 5 1/2 furlongs, and earned a check for $13,500. Scoring in her third start, Treble in Paradise became winner No. 8 for her sire, whose progeny earnings of $390,604 lead all Florida freshman sires.
Pleasant Acres stallions had four runners competing in the two $400,000 Florida Sire Stakes races at Gulfstream Park yesterday and came away with one second, one third and two fourths, their combined paychecks totaling $172,000.
Tip Sheet, the Brethren colt who lost rider Aby Medina at the break in the Dr. Fager Stakes, was a different horse in the In Reality with Emisael Jaramillo in the irons. Facing 1/9 favorite Soutache, Tip Sheet sat fourth early in the mile and one-sixteenth race, and was the only one able to test Soutache in the stretch, falling short by 1 1/2 lengths. It was 9 1/2 lengths back to the third horse. Tip Sheet earned $80,000 for second and Yeehaw, the son of Anthony’s Cross who came into the race as a maiden and was the longest price on the board, picked up $24,000 for fourth.
In the My Dear Girl Stakes, Awesome Mass was bumped at the start, made a good middle move to take the lead briefly, and wound up third, the daughter of Brethren collecting a check for $44,000. Galileo’s Affair, a Treasure Beach maiden who had finished third in her lone previous start, went off at 18-1 and rallied strongly from 10th place to finish fourth, also earning $24,000.
Alan and Karen Cohen’s Arindel struck again at Gulfstream Park yesterday as Frau Riley, a daughter of Brethren, overpowered the field in a $42,000 maiden special and became the fifth winner for the freshman sire. Making her career debut, the filly was sent off at 3-1 under Emisael Jaramillo, who settled her comfortably in fourth place by herself as the leaders posted a :22.52 first quarter. Frau Riley followed the pacesetters to the turn, where Jaramillo ranged her up three wide and at the top of the stretch she was vying for the lead. In the lane it was no contest as Frau Riley drew off easily and prevailed by nearly four lengths in 1:05.36. The winner’s share came to $25,200 and raised Brethren’s progeny earnings to $227,473, second best only to Treasure Beach on the Florida freshman sire list. Brethren’s last four winners have been owned and bred by Arindel and trained by Stanley Gold.
After Tigerbeach broke his maiden in his third start, and Seattle Treasure in his second start, Saratoga Treasure yesterday became the fifth consecutive son or daughter of Treasure Beach to win in their career debuts, and the second in a row to accomplish the feat at her namesake, Saratoga, the No. 1 race meeting in the country.
Saratoga Treasure was bred in New York by her owner, longtime Pleasant Acres client Patricia Generazio, who, in partnership with Joe and Helen Barbazon, is also the breeder of Treasure Beach’s fifth winner, Sunshine Treasure. Despite the recent success of the stallion, Saratoga Treasure was allowed to go off at odds of 20-1 under Jose Lezcano in the $73,000 maiden special at 5 1/2 furlongs over the turf course. Leaving from the No. 8 post, the filly was bumped solidly by the horse inside her and quickly dropped back to last in the field of 10 as they raced to the first quarter in :21.46. Lezcano moved Saratoga Treasure up on the rail down the backstretch and into the turn, swung her out and between horses entering the stretch, and the filly made up eight lengths with an eye-catching run through the lane to nail favorite English Soul by a neck at the wire.
The victory was worth $43,800 plus the New York breeder’s award to Ms. Generazio and $42.20, $15.80 and $9.50 to the filly’s faithful ticket-holders. It also served to move Treasure Beach up to fifth place on the national freshman sire list with earnings of $308,417.
Treasure Beach gained his sixth winner of 2017 at Saratoga yesterday when Paradise Island was awarded first place via disqualification after a thrilling stretch battle with fellow Florida-bred Empirically. Leaving from the rail, jockey Manny Franco settled the gelding into third place, tracking the leaders along the inside down the backstretch in the $83,000 maiden special at 1 1/16 miles on the grass. Turning for home, he swung Paradise Island to the outside of the pacesetter at the same time that Empirically was slipping through on the rail. The two longshots raced head-and-head in a furious run to the wire, however, Empirically began to bear out, impeding Paradise Island twice. The gelding wound up second in a photo, but the stewards immediately flashed the inquiry sign and wasted little time reversing the numbers. The final clocking was an excellent 1:41.42.
Paradise Island’s successful debut was worth $49,800 for owner/breeder Debora C. Morgan, and raised Treasure Beach’s progeny earnings to $264,272, good for seventh place on the national freshman sire list.
Powerful Venezuela more than lived up to his name at Gulfstream Park yesterday, using a heads-up ride by talented Emisael Jaramillo to break his maiden in his first start for owner/breeder Orlyana Farm. The 2-year-old colt gave freshman sire Poseidon’s Warrior his third winner and the $19,600 check raised the stallion’s progeny earnings to $172,874.
Sent off at 4-1 for his debut, Powerful Valenzuela broke on top from the No. 7 post, but Jaramillo took him back early and dropped back to third. Jaramillo swung the colt three wide on the turn and Powerful Valenzuela rolled past the two leaders in the lane, drawing off to score by nearly two lengths in 1:05.56 for the 5 1/2 furlongs. Poseidon’s Warrior is third on the Florida freshman sire list behind stablemates Treasure Beach and Brethren.
Brethren didn’t get his first stakes-winner yesterday, but the son of Distorted Humor did get three stakes-placed runners, one of just three first-year stallions in North America who can make that boast today.
- In the $100,000 Dr. Fager Stakes at Gulfstream Park, first leg of the Florida Sire Stakes, nobody was going to beat Phantom Ro, who raced the six furlongs in 1:10.60. But Dunk finished a game second, less than three lengths behind, and earned a check for $20,000 for Arindel. The colt broke sharply with Emisael Jaramillo, who eased him back to third during a :22.30 quarter. They went after the leaders three wide on the turn, and although not able to make up ground on the winner, Dunk held off the rest of the field to claim the runner-up spot. Tip Sheet, the other Brethren colt in the race, dumped rider Aby Median when she lost her irons soon after the start.
- Awesome Mass also caught a tough foe in the $100,000 Desert Vixen Stakes, and a poor start didn’t help her chances. After breaking last, Jaramillo guided her up to third along the rail in a :22.22 quarter, then into second on the turn for home. But winner Go Astray was in full flight and Awesome Mass, like Dunk, held on gamely for second and the $20,000 check that goes with it.
- At Louisiana Downs, Feisty Embrace went off at 7-1 in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies and was caught in an unenviable position along the rail for a half-mile. When Colby Hernandez was able to swing her out for racing room in the stretch, Feisty Embrace rallied to get up for third, collecting $5,500 for Matalona Thoroughbreds.
- Brethren moved up to second place behind Treasure Beach on the Florida freshman sire list, and into 10th nationally.
Saturday has the potential to be a red-letter day for Brethren, with all four of his winners entered in three stakes races at Gulfstream Park and Louisiana Downs.
- Arindel’s pair of Dunk and Tip Sheet will both go in race No. 12 at Gulfstream – the $100,000 Dr. Fager for colts and geldings at six furlongs. Dunk broke his maiden by 8 3/4 lengths on July 15 with 5 1/2 furlongs in a quick 1:04.82; he drew the No. 7 post in the 8-horse field and has the services of one of the track’s most talented riders, Emisael Jaramillo. Tip Sheet, who broke his maiden by three-quarters racing five furlongs on July 6, will leave from No. 2 with Aby Medina.
- Awesome Mass, also from the Arindel barn, drew No. 3 in a field of eight in the $100,000 Desert Vixen for fillies at six furlongs, and will have Jaramillo aboard. She scored a sensational victory on July 20, running off by 11 3/4 lengths while clocked in :57.18 for five furlongs, just four-fifths of a second off the track record.
- Feisty Embrace, who became Brethren’s first winner at Evangeline Downs on June 16, will contest the $50,000, six-furlong Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies at Louisiana Downs. Owned and bred by Matalona Thoroughbreds, she goes from the No. 3 post in the fifth race with Colby Hernandez riding.