This weekend we'll start at Gulfstream Park West, located in Miami Gardens. Gulfstream Park West (formerly known as Calder Race Course), continues the tradition of the "Florida Million" with stakes races all day Saturday.
$75,000 Millions Preview Classic
With a slow break, MR. JORDAN went to the inside and stalked the pacesetter JAY'S WAY around the first turn and the backstretch. The 6 year old gelding got squeezed at the turn by DELAND took the lead. MR. JORDAN wasn't done fighting though and dug in to catch DELAND at the wire. A fan of the Gulfstream Park West surface, the gelding ridden by Paco Lopez fought hard for his win by a nose and kept his perfect record at the track in tact. NOBLE DRAMA finished third 1 1/4 lengths behind DELAND.
Jockey Paco Lopez had a great weekend at Churchill over the Breeders' Cup weekend when he won the Breeders' Cup Sprint on ROY H. He also added several more wins to his resume over the weekend at Gulfstream Park West.
$75,000 Millions Turf Preview
Paco Lopez guided another horse to the winner's circle in the Turf Preview, by riding the 8-5 favorite GALLEON MAST to victory. Positioned right behind the pacesetter CLASH AND CLASH and SWAGGER JAGGER, he rode similar race to the Preview Classic. Stalking the two pacesetters around the turn and the backstretch, he found the room he needed mid-stretch to squeeze out a victory by another nose over CLASH AND CLASH. ARCHER ROAD finished 2 3/4 lengths behind for the third. Looks like we called this one in our Saturday Stakes Preview!
$75,000 Millions Sprint Preview
In a small field of 6, KROY went straight to the front after the break with Splash Rules following. Around the turn SPLASH RULES challenges KROY. Shoulder to shoulder they came to the wire together with KROY pulling out the win by a length. SPLASH RULES was followed by FIELD TRIP for third. KROY and SPLASH RULES were both our picks for the win and the place in our Saturday Stakes Preview.
$75,000 Filly & Mare Turf Preview
Todd Pletcher's 3-year-old filly trainee PICARA romped under jockey edgard Zayas to victory in the Filly & Mare Turf. She commanded the 7 1/2 furlong race with fast fractions and a final time of 1:30.28. The filly had a single optional claiming allowance race on October 14th and has won all three of her starts at Gulfstream Park West. She was followed by SOUTHERN SIS and WARRANTY.
$75,000 Juvenile Fillies Sprint Preview
A bit of a trend was starting to show with Lopez aboard. Either he was hot or the horses he rode had wings, but he rode to victory again in the Juvenile Sprint. The two year old filly LOVESICK burned through the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1.18. In just her second start, LOVESICK had a bit of a slow start out of the gate, but quickly found her footing. She pressed MICAH'S GIRL in the opening quarter with fractions of :22.25 and :45.99. When she hit the stretch, she broke away to win with a three length advantage over STARSHIP NALA and BUSY SIGNAL.
Aqueduct's Staten Island Division of the $125,000 New York Stallion Series Stakes
From the sunshine and palm trees of South Florida, we head to Aqueduct where everyone was bundled up and horses covered in blankets fighting off the chill of the weekend's nor'easter.
As predicted in our Sunday Stakes Preview for Aqueduct, the drop in class proved helpful for HIGHWAY STAR after a quick turnaround from the Breeders' Cup Fillies and Mares Sprint, where she placed eighth in some tough competition.
The race started out with FROSTIE ANNE refusing to load. FROSTY MARGARITA showed early speed from the outside, but BLUEGRASS FLAG set the pace with fast fractions of :22.72 and :46.32. HIGHWAY STAR hung out at the back of the pack and was seventh at the half mile mark. However, Irad Ortiz found the hole and moved her into fourth and then pushed her to a four length victory in the stretch. STARLITE MISSION placed second with FROSTIE ANNE in third.
Aqueduct's Stewart Manor Stakes
From the Breeders' Cup to Aqueduct, Chad Brown keeps saddling winners. GUACAMOLE set the pace with INTRODUCED following. Brown's REGAL GLORY sat just off the rail behind the pacesetters. At the turn from home, REGAL GLORY comes from the outside to push INTRODUCED and digs in for a photo finish. GUACAMOLE came in third. The final time was 1:10.94 with fractions of :22.23 and :46.07.