“Firenze Fire wins from here to Florida.” That’s how Monmouth Park track announcer Frank Mirahmadi called the final 50 yards of the June 18 career debut of the first winner for freshman sire Poseidon’s Warrior. The 2-year-old colt was the 5-1 fourth choice in the $36,000 maiden special with Antonio Gallardo in the irons, and it was apparent from the break the bettors had made a huge mistake.
Firenze Fire broke right off the flank of 2-1 Phonemyposseagain and Gallardo never gave the favorite any breathing room, coming to the turn on equal terms and powering by down the stretch. Firenze Fire took the lead at the eighth pole en route to winning “from here to Florida,” the final margin being 3 1/2 lengths, in a time of :58.37 for the five furlongs. He collected $21,600 for owner/breeder Mr. Amore Stables and paid $13.20 to his followers.
After finishing second in her May 19 debut at Evangeline Downs, Feisty Embrace came back on June 16 and was sent off as the heavy 1/2 favorite in a $26,000 maiden special at five furlongs. The 2-year-old daughter of Brethren broke sharply and jockey Colby Hernandez easily put her in a perfect stalking position, lapped on pacesetter Sarah’s Holy Belle. Feisty Embrace ran down the leader in the stretch and won by a length in 1:00.02, becoming the first winner for her freshman sire.
The victory was worth $15,600 to owner/breeder Matalona Thoroughbreds and raised the filly’s earnings for two races to $20,800. With Feisty Embrace showing the way, Brethren has taken the early lead in the Florida freshman sire race with progeny earnings of $41,060.
Freshman sire Treasure Beach gained his first winner on May 23 when Tigerbeach overpowered the field in a $31,000 maiden special at five furlongs over the Indiana Grand turf course. Despite having just 11 days between races after a second-place finish at Churchill Downs, the colt bred by John C. Pereira shot out of the gate under Deshawn Parker and kept two rivals at bay while completing the first quarter in a sizzling :21.70 seconds. The only two colts who came near him dropped off one by one as Tigerbeach widened his lead with every stride, hitting the wire nearly four lengths in front while clocked in an excellent :57.76.
The victory was worth $18,600 to owner Charles W. Brown, who is in the unique position of being able to send his trainer – John Hancock – to pick up the check and sign on the dotted line.