HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – WinStar Stablemates Racing’s Gulf Coast, stakes-placed in one of two juvenile starts, will step up and stretch out for her sophomore debut in Friday’s $75,000 Cash Run at Gulfstream Park.
The one-mile Cash Run for 3-year-old fillies is among three $75,000 stakes on the New Year’s Day program along with a pair of five-furlong turf sprints, the Abundantia for fillies and mares 4 and older and the Janus for 4-year-olds and up featuring the 7-year-old debut of multiple graded-stakes winner Imprimis.
First race post time is 12:05 p.m.
Gulf Coast, a bay daughter of 2012 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Union Rags, will be racing beyond six furlongs for the first time in the Cash Run, her second straight stakes after running second in the Sandpiper Dec. 5 at Tampa Bay Downs, overcoming some early trouble to get within two lengths of the winner.
The Sandpiper came barely three weeks after Gulf Coast debuted with a come-from-behind half-length maiden special weight triumph at Indiana Downs.
“She ran huge there. She wasn’t settled perfectly in the gate and broke maybe a step slow and got bumped pretty hard,” trainer Rodolphe Brisset said. “We don’t think the six furlongs is what she wants to do but, at that point, the black type is very attractive.
“She’s very well-bred and she was showing all the signs she was ready to run again,” he added. “We decided to go in there and had a rough trip. Were we the best? Maybe, but I think she showed us that she can take the kickback [and] she can come from out of it, so we’re really looking forward to running her longer.”
Purchased for $240,000 as a yearling in September 2019 and sold again for $300,000 as a 2-year-old in training in March, Gulf Coast began her career on the West Coast with Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. Out of the Candy Ride mare Sweet Success, she trained at Los Alamitos and Santa Anita before being sent to Brisset in Kentucky.
“She seemed like she was working OK when she was at Los Alamitos and when [Baffert] moved back to Santa Anita maybe she didn’t like the track, but it didn’t look like she was working good enough to run there. So, the ownership and Mr. Baffert decided to send her to us,” Brisset said.
“She actually arrived at our Turfway Park division first, thinking maybe we would run her there,” he added. “I worked her on the synthetic and I don’t think she really cared for it, so we just decided to run her at Indiana and she won first time out pretty impressive.”
Brisset said despite her belated start, he wasn’t surprised that Gulf Coast won first time out.
“Her works at Santa Anita were good enough where she was fit enough off the plane. I just worked her once and she went an easy three-eighths and just went in,” he said. “She just was showing every sign she was ready to run. Where she belonged we did not know and Indiana was a really good spot. We gave her a chance to show what she can do and she did it. She won pretty nice.”
Brisset was aboard when Gulf Coast breezed four furlongs in 48.55 seconds Dec. 23 at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, the fastest of 11 horses. Two-time defending Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount in the Cash Run from Post 2 in a field of nine.
“We were keeping all our options open in the coming stakes for 3-year-olds. Actually the Cash Run was not really in the plans at first, but when the nominations came out, we thought we were pretty competitive in there,” Brisset said. “Then we worked her and she worked extremely good, and she came out of the work in good shape. We’ve got Irad, so all the signs are going where we should run. When you have a good jock and you have a horse show you she’s doing good I just think it’s time to go.”
Brisset said the Cash Run, named for the multiple graded-stakes winning mare whose victories included the 1999 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Gulfstream, is an ideal spot to launch Gulf Coast’s season.
“We even feel like she got bigger and stronger and the extra time has been really good for her. I think we’re going to bring her there with some confidence and see where she belongs,” he said. “If we think the added distance is going to be good for her, we kind of want to find out in the next two months where to point after that. So, Friday is going to be a good test distance-wise and probably quality-wise, too. She’s going to have to face some better fillies, I’m sure, but we will bring her there and see what happens.”
Gulf Coast will face a pair of stakes winners in Quinoa Tifah and the undefeated Shea D Summer. Arindel’s Quinoa Tifah won twice in two starts over Gulfstream’s main track in 2020 including the seven-furlong Our Dear Peggy in front-running fashion Sept. 26 over Con Lima, who is being pointed to the $75,000 Ginger Brew on turf Jan. 2 at Gulfstream.
Luis Saez rides Quinoa Tifah for trainer Juan Alvarado from Post 6 at co-topweight of 122 pounds.
Shea D Boy’s Stable’s Shea D Summer, by Summer Front, will try open company for the first time after winning her only two starts of 2020, both against fellow Florida-breds at Gulfstream Park West. She debuted Oct. 7 with a one-length triumph going six furlongs and returned to capture the 6 ½-furlong Juvenile Fillies Sprint Nov. 14 over a sloppy track.
Jose Ortiz gets the riding assignment on Shea D Summer from Post 1.
Rounding out the field are last out maiden special weight winners Adios Trippi, Gladys, Honorifique and Orbs Baby Girl; Lucifers Lair, unraced since running last of five in the Adirondack (G2) Aug. 12 at Saratoga; and Sky Proposal, most recently third to Shea D Summer in the Juvenile Fillies Sprint.