Saturday’s Juvenile Showcase at Calder Casino and Race Course was highlighted by the Gilbert Campbell/Kathleen O’Connell sweep of the second legs of the Florida Stallion Stakes - the $125,000 Affirmed division and $125,000 Susan’s Girl division for fillies. The day also featured four other stakes races exclusively for 2-year-old Thoroughbred stars to shine early on in their careers.
FLORIDA STALLION STAKES SERIES:
SUSAN’S GIRL AND AFFIRMED DIVISIONS
After winning the Desert Vixen and Dr. Fager divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes with Scandalous Act and My Brown Eyed Guy, it was no surprise that Calder-based trainer Kathleen O’Connell and owner Gil Campbell had the morning-line favorites.
Scandalous Act continued to show her dominance while cruising to an 8 ¾-length victory over Quinnkat with jockey Antonio Gallardo aboard in the Susan’s Girl division of the Florida Stallion Stakes Series.
Gallardo almost missed his chance at riding Scandalous Act and earning his third win of the day. After winning both the Lindsay Frolic and the Catcharisingstar Stakes, Gallardo was on his way to ride at Gulfstream Park when he got the call to ride Scandalous Act. Jockey Eduardo Nunez was slated for the mount, but fell off of Lovely Lexi in the Catcharisingstar Stakes. Though Nunez walked off the field, he was taken to the hospital for observation as a precaution.
“I had one horse at Gulfstream, but when I heard about Eddie, I called the Jockey’s Room (at Gulfstream) to make the change,” said Gallardo. “I made it all the way to the parking lot, but decided to come back for the stake. I’ve never run with this filly, but she ran like the last time. It was a longer distance with seven furlongs, but it was an easy win.”
With her win in the Susan’s Girl, Scandalous Act boosted her career earnings to $147,620.
In the Affirmed division of the Florida Stallion Stakes Series, My Brown Eyed Guy chalked up his third consecutive win after finishing two lengths ahead of Jacks or Better Farm’s Best Plan Yet – the same order of finish as the Dr. Fager division last month. Gallardo again stepped in the irons in place of Nunez.
“First time I’ve ever won four,” said Gallardo. “And four stakes – I can’t believe it.”
“It was great,” said O’Connell about winning both races. “Both horses have trained super-well into it so that’s all you can hope. It’s a little bittersweet because Eddie’s been a big part of the team for years but I’m very happy for Antonio – he rides a lot for me. It makes it nice so at least they’ve worked the horses so they have a little feel for them instead of just starting out cold.”
With his win in the Affirmed, My Brown Eyed Guy brought his career earnings $154,730.
Gelfenstein Farm’s Brothersofthetime started off the day’s stakes action by winning the $75,000 Seacliff Stakes by a nose as the post-time favorite. Jockey Fernando Jara retained the mount after his recent win in a 6-furlong allowance at Gulfstream Park on July 20 by 1 ¼-lengths.
“Everything happened the way we expected,” said Jara. “We stayed behind the leaders, and then when it was time to go he was good for it.”
“The race was excellent,” said winning trainer Antonio Sano. “I thought the horse was going to win more easily but the jockey told me that when they moved the gate, the horse got scared.”
“When he turned for home, he saw the gate and got a little scared and slowed down,” said Jara. “But then he saw the other horse (runner-up East Hall) and came back again and gave me a little extra at the end.”
LINDSAY FROLIC STAKES
Tanourin Stable’s Flat Out Charming came from behind to reach the wire by a nose in the $75,000 Lindsay Frolic Stakes with jockey Antonio Gallardo aboard.
“I went with a feeling,” said Gallardo. “We breeze a lot of times, and the last breeze, she did very well. It’s a long race, so I know she likes to stop at a shorter distance, but when I changed the whip to the left, she responded.”
“I felt good when she won her first race,” said winning trainer Rodolfo Garcia. “She showed me that she wanted to route and with what I saw last time I told the jockey ‘just stay back, make one move.’ I got a little scared at the end because it was way too far when he was turning for home, but she’s a gutsy filly.”
Gilbert Campbell’s Secret Kitten set the pace early then drew off in the stretch when asked by jockey Antonio Gallardo to secure a 4 ½-length win in the $75,000 Catcharisingstar Stakes.
“She’s got some speed,” said winning owner Gil Campbell. “If you’ve got to route with the number one hole she was going to go all the way and that’s what she did.”
CALDER TURF DASH STAKES
Gelfenstein Farm’s Bon Accord closed late in the stretch to secure the long shot win in the $75,000 Calder Turf Dash Stakes, a strong rebound after a disappointing seventh-place finish two weeks ago at Gulfstream Park.
“I’ve got a lot of faith in this horse,” said winning jockey Jesus Rios. “He showed me he had something. Today I sat tight and waited to make my move, and everything went perfect.
“It was a good race,” said winning trainer Antonio Sano. “I had liked the horse to win his last race and he had a little problem with his equipment. Thank goodness he was able to continue to run and won.”