HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Jose D’Angelo was understandably disappointed with Jesus’ Team’s sixth-place finish in Saturday’s $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1), but the 30-year-old trainer has returned to South Florida with a wealth of knowledge and experience.
“We didn’t lose, we learned,” said the Venezuela-born trainer, who has been training in the U.S. for less than two years. “We learned a lot of little things. In this sport, a lot of little things make big things happen.”
Grupo 7C Racing Stable’s Jesus’ Team, who earned a trip to Dubai with a second-place finish in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 23 at Gulfstream Park, raced evenly in traffic to finish sixth of 12 starters in the Dubai World Cup.
“In the mornings he showed life, in the race he showed different,” D’Angelo said. “I don’t know what happened. One thing is a horse in the morning and the other thing is a horse running between 12 horses in the afternoon. The most important thing is Jesus came back perfect. He came back from the race like he does for a gallop, not tired.”
Jesus’ Team is scheduled to fly to Chicago Thursday and will be in quarantine for three days before to returning to D’Angelo’s stable at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream Park’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County.
“When he comes back, he’ll get all the time he needs,” said D’Angelo, who was the leading trainer in Venezuela before he ventured to the U.S. “When he does come back, he will have an impact.”
Jesus’s Team captured a $25,000 claiming race at Gulfstream Park while making his first start for D’Angelo last May. The 4-year-old son of Tapiture went on to finish third in the Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga and Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico and second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland before returning to Gulfstream to win the Claiming Crown Jewel and finish second in the Pegasus.
D’Angelo drove the truck towing Jesus’ Team’s van for each of his major stakes engagements before the trainer and his overachieving horse traveled separately to Dubai.
“For me, it was the first time traveling with a horse outside the USA,” D’Angelo said. “It was an amazing experience. I would like to go back next year.”
Gulfstream’s Spring/Summer Meet Kicks Off Thursday
The Spring/Summer Meet at Gulfstream will kick off Thursday with an eight-race program. First-race post time is set for 1 p.m. during the meet that will run through Sept. 30.
In the Race 2 feature, a $47,000 optional claiming allowance for Florida-bred 3-year-olds at a mile, Stonehedge LLC’s Seazan, who finished third in both the Affirmed and In Reality last year, is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the Race 2 feature. The Ralph Nicks trainee, who most recently finished off the board while trying turf for the first time, was beaten by just a half length while finishing second in an open optional claiming allowance at a mile in his previous start.
Jockey Edgard Zayas, the defending Spring/Summer Meet titlist, has seven mounts Thursday while coming off a career-best Championship Meet.
The Spring/Summer Meet stakes schedule will be worth $3.5 million with $500,000 in incentives offer by the Florida Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association for Florida-bred and Florida-sired horses.
The $350,000 Princess Rooney Invitational (G2) and the $200,000 Smile Sprint Invitational (G3) will be contested on the July 3 Summit of Speed card, highlighting a program of 34 stakes.
The seven-furlong Princess Rooney is a designated Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ race with the winner earning a spot in the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) at Del Mar.
The tradition-rich FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes series will offer a total of $1.3 million in purses for 2-year-olds sired by accredited Florida stallions. The popular series will kick off with the $100,000 Dr. Fager and the $100,000 Desert Vixen July 31, followed by the $200,000 Affirmed and $200,000 Susan’s Girl Aug. 28 and the $350,000 In Reality and $350,000 My Dear Girl Sept. 25.
Thursday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Guaranteed at $250,000
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $250,000 for Thursday’s Spring/Summer Meet opening-day card at Gulfstream Park.
The jackpot pool is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.
Gulfstream Park Press Release
Photo: Jesus’ Team, (Coglianese)