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Dec 07, 2012

AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD

By: JOE GIRARDI


               Gulfstream got its 2012-2013 meeting underway on December 1st and they hosted the Claiming Crown, seven races run over different distances and surfaces throughout the day. We started the claiming crown in race 4 with the claiming Crown express.

               In the Express, a race run over six furlongs on the dirt there was a sharp battle early on between COUNTY GUN and GIBSON, who went at it from the start and were still there into the lane before getting overtaken in the drive to finish third and fourth respectively. POT OF GOLD, a 13-1 longshot closed well down the middle of the track and had the race won but the jockey stood up at the wrong finish line allowing TIBAN and Calvin Borel to get up to score as the 2-1 favorite. The final time of the race was a sharp 1:09:4, those who bet POT OF GOLD are probably still grumbling about that loss.

               The next race the Claiming Crown Iron Horse, run at 1 and 1/16th miles over the dirt, which had a field of 12 horses. The slight favorite in the race was FOLLOW THE LEADER who went off as the slight 7-2 favorite coming off two wins in a row. However the race went to BROTHER BIRD, five year gelding who is a half- brother to Kentucky Derby winner MINE THAT BIRD. He was in for $5k claimers back in April which made him eligible for this race. He was claimed back in July by the Mike Maker barn, was give two races and then prepped for this race. Breaking from a tough post 12 he stalked the early pace from third, moved to second into the lane and ground down the frontrunner, JAZZIT to get up for the win under Joel Rosario. The final time of the race was a decent 1:43:2.

               The Rapid Transit was next, run over the dirt at seven furlongs. The field of 11 broke the gate with OFF THE JAK gunning to the lead setting fast fractions of 22:2, 45:1, 1:09 flat. He still held the lead into the lane but couldn’t hold off the combination of jockey Joel Rosario and trainer Mike Maker as their runner, BERNIE THE MAESTRO ran him down for the win by almost three lengths in a very sharp 1:21:3. He paid $7.40 as the close second choice.

               The Glass Slipper was next, a seven furlong race run over seven furlongs for fillies and mares, three year olds and upward. A field of 10 went postward with TAMARIND HALL, a Grade III winner with other graded placings went off as the slight 5-2 favorite. She had been off form this year and it continued as she checked in 10th and last. Three year old filly, STARSHIP TRUFFLES, a winner of 2 of 3 since moving to the Martin Wolfson barn, she pressed the leaders early on through solid fractions, took over after a ¼ mile, continued to open up into the lane and scored by four lengths in a solid final time of 1:22:1. That’s a 3 for 4 record and a second in four tries, expect to hear from this filly throughout the winter.

               The Tiara was next, a race for three year old fillies and mares run over 1 and 1/16th miles run over the turf course. A field of 12 went postward with SILVER SCREAMER, a grade III winner over the turf going off as a 6-5 favorite. JUANITA, the second choice in the race was sent to the lead early on and took pressure throughout through moderate early splits. As they moved around the far turn, SILVER SCREAMER began to move but couldn’t sustain that run and tired to finish 10th. As they moved through the lane, five year old mare and Mike Maker trainee STARSILHOUETTE exploded through the lane to score by over a length in a final time of 1:42:4. This was the third win of the day for trainer Mike Maker and owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

               The Emerald was next, a race run over the turf at a distance of 1 and 1/16th miles. A field of 12 went postward with Grade I winner KING DAVID highlighting the cast for trainer Mike Maker. The moderate pace was sent by longshot DIAMONDSDIPLOMAT, but he tired in the lane to finish fifth. NIKKI’S SANDCASTLE, the slight second choice behind KING DAVID stalked from third early, moved on the far turn and ground down another Mike Maker, Ken and Sarah Ramsey trainee to just miss by a head. MAJOR MARVEL finished second and EXCLUSIVE STRIKE checked in third, KING DAVID could only manage a close-up fourth.

               The Claiming Crown Jewel, was run over 1 and 1/8th miles on the dirt and had a field of 11. PRIVATE TALE went off as the slight 9-5 favorite coming off a fourth place finish in the grade III Bold Ruler. WILLY ELLIOT came out of the gate running and set a very fast pace through fractions of 23, 45:4, 1:10:2 but just couldn’t last tiring to finish seventh. Because of the fast early fractions we saw horses from well back to finish 1-2-3. PARENT’S HONOR, another Mike Maker and Ken and Sarah Ramsey trainee finished well between horses to score by ¾’s of a length for jockey Alan Garcia’s second win of the day. DOMINANT JEANNES finished second and FLATTER THIS, the third choice in the race finished third.

               It was a big day for trainer Mike Maker and owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey who had four winners each. Alan Garcia rode two of those winners. Joel Rosario rode the other two winners for those connections and an additional winner early in the card before the Claiming Crown started. The pick seven went un-hit but the whole pool had to be paid out as it was just a one day thing. The guarantee of $100,000 was easily passed with a total pool of $129,649.



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