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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The $75,000 Hollywood Beach Stakes joins a trio of Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association (FTBOA) Florida Sire Stakes Series events on Saturday’s card at Gulfstream Park.
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Trainer Michael Yates can’t think of a more fitting way to honor the memory of Gil Campbell than to saddle Cajun’s Magic for a victory in Saturday’s $400,000 In Reality at Gulfstream Park.
“We’d love to win it in his honor, that’s for sure,” Yates said.
Campbell, the prominent Florida breeder/owner who passed away September 16 at the age of 91, and his widow, Marilyn, have had a long, long history of success in the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes, having been represented by 16 race winners in the lucrative series for juveniles sired by accredited Florida stallions.
Cajun’s Magic, a homebred son of Cajun Breeze who campaigns for the Campbells’ Stonehedge LLC racing stable, kicked off the 2021 FSS series with a victory over Dean Delivers, his Stonehedge LLC stablemate, in the $100,000 Dr. Fager at Gulfstream July 31 to give his highly respected and influential owners/breeders #16.
“He’s gutsy; he’s a trier; he’s a game horse,” Yates said. “He’s a very nice, solid horse.”
Cajun’s Magic showed grit in his May 29 debut, in which he vied for pacesetting honors while racing between horses and fought back after losing the lead to finish just a 1/2-length behind heavily-favored Of a Revolution at 5 furlongs. He came right back to graduate by 4 3/4 lengths at 5 1/2 furlongs before capturing the 6-furlong Dr. Fager, in which he rated early before challenging Dean Delivers and prevailing from a stretch-long battle to win by a neck.
In the $200,000 Affirmed, the 7-furlong second leg of the FSS series, Cajun’s Magic made a three-wide drive into contention but had to settle for a second-place finish, 3 1/4 lengths behind pacesetter Octane.
Cajun’s Magic will face the two-turn test Saturday in the 1 1/16-mile In Reality.
“It’s a question for all of them. None of them have run that far yet,” Yates said. “He’s been training well. He’s had some nice, long, swift gallops, and I think he’ll be ready.”
Cajun’s Magic Wins FTBOA Dr. Fager
Jesus Rios has the call aboard Cajun’s Magic, who will try to turn the tables on Arindel’s homebred Octane.
The Affirmed victor will seek his third straight victory following a second-place finish in his June 14 debut at 5 furlongs. The son of Brethren overcame adversity to graduate in his second start at Gulfstream July 17, when he became fractious and unseated his rider before loading into the starting gate but went on to win by 1 3/4 lengths despite being checked leaving the backstretch. The Carlos David-trained Florida-bred did everything right in the Affirmed, in which he broke alertly from his rail post position to lead the way throughout the 7-furlong sprint.
“He came out of that race in really good shape,” David said. “He had to run his eyeballs out in that race. I gave him four days of walking. He’s been able to have two breezes with no problems. So far, so good.”
Octane is expected to once again be a forward factor as he attempts to carry his speed around two turns in the In Reality.
“It will definitely be a challenge. It’s his first time around two turns. So far, he has done everything right. I know he has tactical speed. We’re not going to take that away from him,” David said.
Emisael Jaramillo has the return mount aboard Octane.
Octane, Outfoxed Win Twin Florida Sire Stakes
Arindel has also entered homebreds The Skipper Too, Clapton and Globes, all Juan Alvarado-trained sons of Brethren, in the In Reality. The Skipper Too graduated in his fifth career start August 22, drawing clear by 1 1/2 lengths after a stumbling start. Clapton followed up his second-start maiden victory with an eighth-place finish in the Affirmed, in which he stumbled at the start. Globes is a maiden who finished third in both of his starts.
Cristian Torres has been named on The Skipper Too; Chantal Sutherland has the call on Clapton; and Marcos Meneses is scheduled to ride Globes.
Alex and JoAnn Liebling’s Big and Classy, who improved on a fifth-place Dr. Fager showing to finish third in the Affirmed, will seek further improvement in the In Reality. The David Fawkes-trained son of The Big Beast, who raced evenly while finishing 3 lengths behind runner-up Cajun’s Magic in the Affirmed, graduated by 5 3/4 lengths in his second career start.
“He worked in company with Noble Drama the other day and did excellent,” said Fawkes, who will also saddle multiple stakes winner Noble Drama for Saturday’s $125,000 FSS Wildcat Heir. “I was happy with his last race. Samy Camacho is riding him back this time, and I think he’s got a huge chance.”
Big and Classy will make Camacho earn his mount fee.
“He doesn’t want to sprint, #1, and #2, he’s one of those kinds of horses you have to stay busy on. He’ll relax under you too much. He’s not the kind of horse that’s going to take you unless you ask him, but he’ll give you all he’s got if you ask him.”
William Heiligbrodt, Corrine Heiligbrodt, and Spendthrift Farm LLC’s Cattin, a son of Neolithic trained by Ralph Nicks, and Amalio Ruiz-Lozano’s Gold Special, a son of Jess’s Dream trained by Angel Rodriguez, return in the In Reality after finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Affirmed.
Edgard Zayas has the call on Cattin, while Jonathan Gonzales will be aboard Gold Special.
Our Sugar Bear Stable Inc.’s One More Score and Champion Equine LLC’s Fivefive Six Champ round out the field.
Anticipation for Outfoxed’s next start began building the very instant the Bill Mott-trained filly crossed the finish line 13 1/2 lengths clear of her competition in her FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Series debut August 28 at Gulfstream Park
The visually stunning and utterly dominating manner in which she graduated in the $200,000 Susan’s Girl immediately raised the question: What could LNJ Foxwoods’ 2-year-old filly possibly do for an encore?
The question is about to be answered in Saturday’s $400,000 My Dear Girl, the 1 1/16-mile FSS finale for juvenile fillies.
The Florida-bred filly, who was purchased for $360,000 at the OBS April 2-year-olds-in-training sale, looked like a bargain buy while making her second career start in the seven-furlong second leg of the lucrative series for juveniles sired by accredited Florida stallions.
After taking some coaxing to load into the gate, Outfoxed settled off the pace under Edgard Zayas before making an eye-catching five-wide sweep on the turn into the stretch and drawing off with complete authority. She ran seven furlongs in 1:23.81, more than a second faster than it took Octane to complete the distance of the FSS Affirmed against colts and geldings two races later.
Did the manner in which she overwhelmed her 10 rivals in the Susan’s Girl prompt her connections to consider bypassing the My Dear Girl in favor of running her in a graded stakes elsewhere?
“We never really discussed it,” Mott said. “Everyone agreed we’d take advantage of the races available to her. She’s eligible for these spots, and that’s what was decided.”
It would have been understandable if Outfoxed’s connections had decided to run her in a graded stakes, considering that she entered the Susan’s Girl off a late-closing third-place finish behind Echo Zulu in a Saratoga maiden special weight race. Echo Zulu went on to win the Spinaway (G1) in her next start.
“We liked her first race at Saratoga,” Mott said. “Even though she didn’t win, she closed well.”
Could her dazzling graduation in the Susan’s Girl have come a bit too easy for Outfoxed with reference to her preparedness for the My Dear Girl?
“Obviously, you don’t know how she’s going to do but, if it’s the same group, I figure she did enough (last time),” Mott said. “A lot of times, you can be confused. It looks like they’re doing it easy, but they still have to run.”
Gulfstream-based trainer Ralph Nicks, a former Mott assistant, has been overseeing Outfoxed’s preparation for her return.
“She’s had a couple works. She had a decent work the other day (with Ralph),” Mott said. “The first one was pretty easy, but she had a pretty good one the other day.”
Even at her very best, Outfoxed will need to prove she can reproduce the brilliance she showed in the Susan’s Girl in a two-turn race such as the My Dear Girl.
“I’m not worried too much. It looks like it shouldn’t be too much of a problem the way she ran the other day, but they always have to do it,” Mott said. “But she went 7/8 (of a mile) the other day and she went pretty well.”
Outfoxed is the first winner for her first-crop sire Valiant Minister, a $680,000 son of Candy Ride who retired from racing after winning his 6-furlong debut at Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert in January 2017.
Zayas has the return call on Outfoxed, who drew the #1 post position.
Champion Equine LLC’s My Sassenach, who was victorious in the first leg of the Florida Sire Stakes Series, will seek to improve on a distant third-place finish in the Susan’s Girl Saturday. The David Braddy-trained daughter of Uncaptured raced in traffic before closing to finish third in the Susan’s Girl.
My Sassenach graduated in the 6-furlong FSS Desert Vixen, shaking off a bumping incident at the start before romping to an 8 1/4-length triumph.
Miguel Vasquez has the return call on the filly who finished second in her debut prior to entering the FSS series.
Chacalosa will be the new FSS face Saturday while making her Gulfstream debut off an open-stakes victory in the Arlington Lassie. The daughter of Jess’s Dream graduated with a late-closing 36/1 upset victory in the 7-furlong sprint over Arlington Park’s synthetic surface for owner/trainer Earl Hughes. The Florida-bred filly, who was winless in her 2 previous career starts, is scheduled to make her debut for Arlington Park’s leading trainer Larry Rivelli in the My Dear Girl.
Emisael Jaramillo is slated to ride the Arlington invader for the first time Saturday.
Trainer Daniel Pita’s Devilette, who set the pace before being overwhelmed by Outfoxed, will seek to improve on her second-place finish while trying two turns for the first time.
Pita, who saddled Princess Secret for a victory in last year’s My Dear Girl, has awarded the return mount aboard Khozan-sired Devilette to Cristian Torres.
Trainer Michael Yate’s Cajun Cousin is scheduled to make her stakes debut in the My Dear Girl following a second-place finish in an optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream.
“She’s training fabulous. She has had 3 sprint races. She broke her maiden for a tag and came back in an A-other-than and finished second,” Yates said. “We thought the (Susan’s Girl) was too quick back. We just wanted to train up to the mile and 1/16 and see what happens.”
Jesus Rios has the call aboard the daughter of Cajun Breeze.
Trainer Roger Laurin’s Veiled Prophet, who finished fifth in the Susan’s Girl, enters the My Dear Girl off a second-place maiden special weight finish. The daughter of Uncaptured had previously finished second in her first 2 career starts prior to her off-the-board finish in the second FSS leg.
Luca Panici has the mount.
Wendell Yates and Ronald Brown’s Sequin Lady, who is winless in 2 starts, and Arindel’s Baby Blue, a 3-race maiden, round out the field.
Trainer Ralph Nicks is well-stocked with half of the six entries – including multiple stakes winner Shivaree – in the $125,000 Wildcat Heir, a one-turn dirt mile for 3-year-olds and up for horses eligible for the FSS. All three runners are Jacks or Better Farm homebreds.
Tough-luck runner-up in the Benny the Bull, Shivaree is a 3-time stakes winner who ran second to subsequent Belmont (G1) and Travers (G1) winner Tiz the Law in the 2020 Curlin Florida Derby (G1).
Fourth in back-to-back optional claiming allowances at Gulfstream, Garter and Tie ran second in last year’s Wildcat Heir as part of an 11-race winless streak that dates back to his third career stakes victory in the June 2019 Ocala. Old Time Revival won the 2018 Challedon at Laurel Park and has placed in 3 other stakes, including a second in the 2018 Gotham (G3) at Aqueduct.
Nicks’ toughest test will likely come from Noble Drama, a 6-year-old fan favorite and a 2-time race champion. He captured the inaugural running in 2018 as a 3-year-old while facing elders and last year’s edition by 1 length as the favorite.
“I think he’s better than ever right now,” trainer David Fawkes said. “If he wins it, it would be 3 years in a row for him. That would be fun.”
Noble Drama missed the Wildcat Heir in 2019 during an 8-month break between races that began in mid-April after 3 straight off-the-board finishes and lasted into mid-December.
“He just needed some time. He gets like that, like any racehorse. Every once in a while, they need a break,” Fawkes said. “You don’t see horses race year-round consistently that do well. This way, you get more longevity out of them. You get a chance to have an older horse if you give them the time when they need it. With him, it’s always just been time for vacation. You can see it in his racing.”
Out of a half-sister to 2010 Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Big Drama and full sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Sheer Drama, Noble Drama had raced exclusively in Florida with 9 wins, 7 in stakes, and more than $700,000 in purse earnings before being driven by Fawkes and his daughter and assistant, Natalie, to West Virginia for the August 27 Charles Town Classic (G2), a race Fawkes won in 2011 with Duke of Mischief.
Noble Drama entered the race off back-to-back 1-mile overnight handicap victories at Gulfstream, the May 22 My Name’s Jimmy and July 11 City of Dania in his familiar last-to-first style. He wound up fifth at Charles Town, beaten 7 1/2 lengths in the three-turn, 1 1/8-mile Classic.
“It was [a] very speed-biased [track] that night and the poor little guy had no opportunity to make up any ground,” Fawkes said. “The jock rode him good. I wasn’t unhappy with anything. Charles Town took great care of us.
“He really is a cool horse. He’s so easy to deal with,” he added. “Natalie got on him while we were up there and he went great for her. She got on him when we got back down here since the race. He came out of the race in great order.”
Noble Drama tuned up for the Wildcat Heir with a 1/2-mile work in 48.82 seconds September 18 at Gulfstream. Emisael Jaramillo, aboard for 5 of his career wins, rides back from the far outside in a field of six.
“I was a little perplexed with the early part of the work, but once he got into it, he wound up working really, really good,” Fawkes said. “The first part of the work was a little easy but, man, he finished up good and galloped out super strong. I was really happy with it.”
Owned and trained by Kathleen O’Connell, Well Defined is in great form with 5 wins from 8 starts this year, all at Gulfstream, including a pair of 7-furlong Florida-bred stakes – the May 1 Big Drama and the August 14 Benny the Bull by a neck as the favorite in his most recent effort. The 5-year-old gelding won the FSS In Reality in 2018 and the Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs in 2019.
Miguel Vasquez replaces Jaramillo on Well Defined from Post 5 at topweight of 126 pounds.
Completing the field is veterinarian Dr. Rodney Lundock homebred Pro Quality. The 4-year-old Exclusive Quality gelding made his stakes debut in the Benny the Bull, finishing third.
Cammarota Racing’s Barone Cesco, plus 1 Main Track Only entry, make up the field of juveniles entered for the Hollywood Beach, a 5-furlong turf sprint carded as race 4.
Barone Cesco was a debut winner at Saratoga on August 6 at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf course. He returned to finish ninth in the Skidmore Stakes over the same course and distance after being stuck inside on a dead rail.
Nerve, a chestnut son of Rainbow Heir, ran last in his August 6 debut against Florida-breds going 6 furlongs on the dirt. Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. brought Nerve back on the grass in a 5-furlong maiden special weight August 29, where he led from start to finish for a neck triumph over late-running No Nay Franklin.
Edgard Zayas, aboard for the maiden victory, is named to ride back from post 7.
“He showed speed and stopped [in debut]. He came out of the race fine but evidently needed the race and evidently likes the turf,” Plesa said. “I think he was more in command [last out] than it might have looked, that’s my thought. I would anticipate he’ll be laying up close. Edgard’s good out of the gate and he’s got speed, and it’s five furlongs.”
Bred by Ocala Stud, Nerve was purchased for $130,000 as a 2-year-old in training in April. He is one of five horses in the race eligible for a $25,000 Florida-bred ‘Win Only’ bonus should they finish first.
“He’s all ready. He ran a big race on the turf last time and this one’s on the turf, so it only makes sense,” Plesa said. “He came out of the race great. He’s better now than before he ran, so we’re optimistic. You can’t win unless you’re in it and belongs in it, I think.”
Monarch Stables Inc.’s Last Leaf is one of two fillies entered to face boys in the Hollywood Beach. Trained by Ron Spatz, the daughter of Not This Time is the most experienced horse in the field with 4 starts, the most recent a 10 3/4-length optional claimer September 4 at Gulfstream sprinting 6 furlongs that followed a fifth-place finish one race prior, her only time off the board.
“It wasn’t a stellar field last time but she whipped on them pretty good,” Spatz said. “The only bad race she had, she had an excuse. She didn’t break well and they kind of separated and there was a big hole and she just took off going after the lead and kind of overdid it the first quarter of a mile. Then she was pressed in between horses and just wasn’t a happy race for her. So the next time I took the blinkers off and she broke better and took herself up head-and-head but she was on the outside sitting there under a hold and she was much the best. Obviously, she liked the footing.”
Last Leaf has yet to race on turf or run against males. She fired a bullet 1/2-mile work in 48.07 seconds September 17 at Gulfstream, the fastest of 32 horses.
“She’s doing good. I’m not really that concerned about facing the boys; I‘m more concerned about whether it comes off the turf or not. I think she looks really good in there on dirt. She’s unknown on turf,” Spatz said. “I don’t know much about her pedigree for turf. She’s a little horse and she doesn’t have very big feet, if that says anything I don’t know.”
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