Our Sugar Bear Stable's 2-year-old colt Gourmet Dinner remains undefeated after winning the $100,000 Affirmed Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder Casino & Race Course on Saturday during the track's annual Juvenile Showcase program.
Ridden by Sebastian Madrid in all three of his races to date, Gourmet Dinner collared the pacesetting Rough'n Royal in the final sixteenth of a mile in the seven-furlong race to win by 2 ½ lengths and get the distance in 1:25.69. Rough'n Royal finished 3 ½ lengths ahead of Vee's Accolade in third.
At the mutuel windows, Gourmet Dinner paid $3.60 and $2.20. There was no show wagering.
Trained by Peter Gulyas, Gourmet Dinner is now in position to become the eighth horse in history to sweep the open division of the Florida Stallion Stakes. The Affirmed is the second of three races for 2 year olds that comprise the Florida Stallion Stakes open division. There is also a filly division. The third race of the open series is the $375,000 estimated purse In Reality division at 1 1/16 miles on Festival of the Sun day, Oct. 16.
Winning trainer's quotes:
Bill Terrill (co-breeder and owner of Gourmet Dinner) - "It looked like he had quite a lot to do when he was last down the backstretch, but he's a good horse and got there. It looked like Braddy's horse (Rough'n Royal) still had plenty left turning for home and wasn't giving up. I co-bred the horse with Mike O'Farrell (Ocala Stud) and we're both in business to breed and sell horses, but I couldn't let him go for $40,000. I thought he was worth at least $60,000, so I took him home. We seriously considered taking him to Saratoga where I've got some other horses for the Hopeful (Sept. 6), but he was doing so well here and worked good after his last race, we decided to stay, particularly with the big one still coming up ($375,000 In Reality finale on Oct. 16.) It's seven weeks until then. We'll probably nominate to the race in between and run him if we think he needs to. He needs to stay busy."
Winning jockey's quotes:
Sebastian Madrid - "This horse can really run and he's going to be even tougher to beat when he goes two turns next time out. He just takes a while to get himself going, but when he does, he fires in a big way."
(Note: The Affirmed was Madrid's second stakes victory of the day, having ridden Machisa to win the Fasig-Tipton Turf Dash earlier on the card. He also won Saturday's fourth race.)
Calder celebrates its long-standing reputation for top-notch 2-year-old racing with a day dedicated entirely to it: the Juvenile Showcase. Horses that raced at Calder as juveniles and later went on to become national champions include: Brave Raj, Cherokee Run, Hollywood Wildcat, Holy Bull, Jewel Princess, Not Surprising, Princess Rooney, Smile, Spend A Buck, and Unbridled.
Bred in Florida by Harbor View Farm, Affirmed was a three-time champion from age two to four. He was the Champion 2-Year-Old of 1977, winning seven of nine starts. A Triple Crown winner in 1978, Affirmed was that year's Champion 3-Year-Old and Horse of the Year and then Champion Older Colt and Horse of the Year in 1979, as well.