Sibelius makes the grade in the Mr. Prospector Dec. 31, 2022 at Gulfstream Park (Nicole Thomas)
Gulfstream News & Notes
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla.— Jun Park and Delia Nash’s Sibelius, a winner of back-to-back stakes including the Dec. 31 Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream Park, has settled in at Meydan Racecourse following an uneventful 14-hour trip from South Florida to Dubai ahead of a run in the $2 million Golden Shaheen (G1) March 25.
The 5-year-old Sibelius left on a flight from Miami on Sunday and visited the main track for the first time Thursday morning, trainer Jerry O’Dwyer said. O’Dwyer’s assistant and exercise rider, Chelsea Raabe, made the trip with Sibelius.
“The ship went great. He settled in nicely out there,” O’Dwyer said. “He had a walk day and then he had a jog day and then they were allowed to go to the main track today for the first time. He just went off had a nice light gallop and took a look around.
“Chelsea said he settled right in, is eating great and drinking plenty of water. He’s just taking it all in stride, so we just couldn’t be happier,” he added. “She said the surface seemed very good there this morning. She thought it was quite tight and he enjoyed it and got around there good.”
Based at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, O’Dwyer was in Ocala Thursday to watch horses for OBS’ March sale of 2-year-olds in training and is scheduled to fly out of Miami Friday evening to finalize the preparations in Dubai. Ryan Moore is named to ride in the Golden Shaheen.
“I’m going to leave here this afternoon to go back down and breeze a few horses in the morning, check everything in the barn and then leave tomorrow evening,” O’Dwyer said. “We’re feeling good. We’ve been keeping awfully busy, so we haven’t had time to overthink. We’re doing the things that we need to do and want to do for him in Dubai and everything’s gone according to plan.
“It’s just step by step,” he added. “The atmosphere’s changed but we try to keep the horse’s routine the same. He has his own feed; he has his own person there. Not too many drastic changes apart from his surroundings but he’s used to traveling. He’s been all different places all over the country, so he’s used to different surroundings, which is nice.”
Sibelius earned the invitation to Dubai following success in the Mr. Prospector, his first graded triumph, and a stakes-record victory in the Feb. 11 Pelican at Tampa Bay Downs. He has won three of his last five starts dating back to his first stakes win in the Lite the Fuse in September at Pimlico.
Overall Sibelius has a 6-3-3 record and $488,889 in purse earnings from 18 starts, running at 11 different racetracks in Florida, Maryland, New York, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
“So far, so good,” O’Dwyer said. “I think probably the second flight is always harder. The first flight the body is probably able to handle it a little better, but the second one within two weeks will probably take a little more of a toll. But we’re happy with how he is out there right now after the flight. Obviously, we won’t know the full effect until he runs. If he runs bad, we’ll be blaming the flight and if he runs great, we’ll be saying that it had no effect on him at all.”