Turf Sprint Star Headlines New Year’s Day Program
Lenzi’s Lucky Lady Takes to the Turf for Abundantia
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Breeze Easy LLC’s Imprimis will seek to put the bad luck of 2020 behind him and start off the New Year with a return to the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle following Friday’s $75,000 Janus Stakes.
The Janus, a five-furlong turf dash for 4-year-olds and up, will be featured on Friday’s New Year’s Day program that will also include the $75,000 Abundantia, a five-furlong sprint on turf for older fillies and mares, and the $75,000 Cash Run, a mile stakes for 3-year-old fillies. (First-race post time is set for 12:35 p.m.)
Imprimis concluded his 2020 campaign with a nightmare journey in the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Keeneland, where he was ‘stymied’ and ‘steadied’ in the 5 ½-furlong dash, according to the Equibase chart caller. The veteran star turf sprinter was shut off while making a move between horses, forcing jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. to sharply steady his mount during the stretch run.
“He got shut off for no reason. He was up in there and going. The horse was just starting to run,” trainer Joe Orseno said. “It was tough. It takes a lot to get him to where he is and peak like that and keep him like that. It wasn’t like I had three or four in that day. I had one in and that was my best shot. He was the best horse but unfortunately the best horse didn’t win. It was just a shame for all the connections. It was like a kick in the gut.”
Imprimis’ 2020 season started off with some bad luck as well. The 6-year-old gelding came off a long layoff to prevail by 2 ¼ lengths in the Sept. 6 Troy (G3) at Saratoga, only to be disqualified through a controversial ruling by the stewards.
The son of Broken Vow came right back to tune up for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint with a late-running victory in the $700,000 Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint (G3)
Imprimis has had nothing but good luck at Gulfstream, where he has been victorious in all four starts, including three victories in a row to launch his career. He came back the following year to capture the Silks Run.
“We were talking about waiting until the Gulfstream Turf Sprint Feb. 12, but he’s doing so well,” Orseno said.
Ortiz has the return call on the Florida-bred gelding.
DARRS Inc.’s Extravagant Kid, who finished fourth while avoiding trouble in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, is scheduled to defend his title in the Janus. The Brendan Walsh-trained 8-year-old gelding, who fell just a length short at Keeneland last start, defeated two next-out winners in last year’s Janus and followed that score up with a victory in the Sunshine Millions Turf Sprint at Gulfstream.
Tyler Gaffalione, who was aboard for both victories, has the mount aboard the Florida-bred son of Kiss the Kid.
Blind Ambition, Fully Loaded, Harry’s Ontheloose, Sayyaaf and The Critical Way round out the main body of the field. Edgemont Road and Frosted Grace are main-track-only entrants.
Lenzi’s Lucky Lady Takes to the Turf for Abundantia
David Bernsen LLC and Jeffrey Lambert’s Lenzi’s Lucky Lady will take to the turf at Gulfstream Park for Friday’s $75,000 Abundantia after really taking to the turf in her most recent start.
A stakes winner on dirt, the 4-year-old daughter of With Distinction debuted on turf in a Dec. 13 optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream Park with a front-running victory at the five-furlong distance of the Abundantia.
“It looks like she found a new home on turf,” trainer Bob Hess said.
Formerly trained by Kathleen O’Connell, Lenzi’s Lucky Lady won two stakes during her juvenile season, including the $100,000 Florida Sire Stakes Desert Vixen. She returned from an 11-month layoff to finish second in a six-furlong optional claiming allowance on dirt Aug. 22, when she was claimed by her current connections for $75,000. The Florida-bred filly was forwardly placed before fading to ninth in the Charles Town Oaks (G3) Aug. 28 in her first start for Hess.
“Dave Bernsen is the principle owner and he picked her out. Kathleen is a friend and a top-notch horsewoman, so I really had no illusions of moving the horse up at all,” Hess said. “She ran great the day we claimed her. We had a fiasco up at Charles Town and I brought her to Del Mar trying for the ‘Ship & Win.’ I worked her on the turf and she worked great, but the race didn’t fill and we brought her back to Gulfstream.”
Emisael Jaramillo has the call aboard Lenzi’s Lucky Lady.
Three Diamond Farm’s Jakarta will seek her third victory over the Gulfstream Park turf in as many starts Friday. The Michael Maker-trained 6-year-old mare is coming off a 2 ¼-length victory in the Claiming Crown Distaff Dash at five furlong
The daughter of Bustin Stones has also shown versatility, having won the off-the-turf Powder Break at a mile over a sloppy Gulfstream track last May.
Luis Saez has the return mount aboard Jakarta.
David Melin, Leon Ellman and Laurie Plesa’s Miss Auramet, who has also enjoyed success on dirt and turf, is scheduled to seek her fourth straight victory Friday. The Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained 5-year-old mare won back-to-back off-the-turf races at Delaware Park and Laurel Park before returning to South Florida to win an optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream Park West Oct. 18th.
Paco Lopez has the call aboard the daughter of Uncaptured.
Team Valor International’s Victory Kingdom, who finished a close second in Ontario Fashion Stakes (G3) over Woodbine’s synthetic surface two starts back, returns to turf for the Abundantia. Group stakes-placed in Europe, the 6-year-old daughter of Animal Kingdom has made three starts in the U.S. for trainer Rodolphe Brisset, including a fourth-place finish in the Smart N Fancy stakes on turf at Saratoga last August.
Julien Leparoux is scheduled to ride Victory Kingdom for the first time Friday.
Cara Oliver’s Hear My Prayer will seek her third victory in five starts over the Gulfstream Park turf course, where she captured the five-furlong Melody of Colors in March.
Irad Ortiz Jr. is scheduled to ride the daughter of The Big Beast for the first time
Kenwood Racing LLC’s Tracy Ann’s Legacy will seek her fourth victory on the Gulfstream turf course, over which the 5-year-old daughter of Shackleford has finished in the money in all seven starts.
Edgard Zayas has the call aboard the Kelly Breen trainee.
Compensate, Disieincandyland, Miss Deplorable and Spun Glass round out the field.
Gulfstream Park Press Release
Gulfstream Park Photo, Lauren King, Coglianese Photos