Reaper breaks his maiden. (Ryan Thompson)
• Royal Palm Juvenile, Ascot Qualifier, May be Next
• Saturday’s Rainbow 6 Gross Jackpot Pool $225,000
David Joseph/Gulfstream Park
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Although Wesley Ward-trained Quiver of Fear failed to live up to her even-money favoritism, Reaper‘s impressive winning debut in Friday’s opening race at Gulfstream Park was hardly an upset.
The well-bred Arindel homebred, who is out of extremely productive broodmare Horah for Bailey, made his brothers and sisters proud in the 4 ½-furlong maiden special weight race for 2-year-olds with a dominating 5 ¾-length victory as the 3-1 second choice.
The Arindel homebred, a son of very productive Florida stallion Brethren, is a half-brother to Bernie the Maestro, a multiple stakes winner with earnings just shy of $700,000; Richard the Great, a graded stakes-placed stakes winner; and Unicorn Girl, the winner of 19 races and $483,000 in purses; as well as being a full brother to Turbo, a 3-year-old who won at first asking last year and most recently finished second in the Limehouse Stakes during the Championship Meet.
“He’s shown us all winter long through his prepping and getting here that he’s very classy and he’s going to be fast and early,” Arindel’s stable manager Brian Cohen said. “The whole family has been about the same. They’re all fast.”
Quiver of Fear, one of two fillies in the seven-horse field, broke sharply to the outside leaving her outside post position in the starting gate, as Reaper handled the often-tricky No. 1 post position well to quickly assume the lead under Paco Lopez. Reaper shook off early pressure and was in control throughout the race, pulling away to victory without pressure.
“I didn’t like drawing the inside, but he’s shown that he is pretty fast out of the gate and professional in the gate. He’s done everything right,” Cohen said. “Paco did a great job getting him out of there. He got out of there and Paco didn’t need to ask him for his best.”
Reaper ran the 4 ½-furlong distance in 52.32 seconds after cutting fractions of 22.08 and 45.94. Saint No More finished second, 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Northshore Drive. Quiver of Fear faded to last.
Cohen said the $100,000 Royal Palm Juvenile (May 13 at Gulfstream), a five-furlong turf sprint that offers a fees-paid berth into one of six races at the Royal Ascot meet in June, as a possible next start for Reaper.
“They have the turf stake here. That’s not ideal because he’s from a dirt family to put him on turf after winning like that. But we’ll see how it goes, maybe I’ll try that, for the sake of us being here and that it is a stake,” Cohen said. “We’ll see how he comes out of this race. Maybe we could try somewhere else. He’s a stakes horse.”
Saturday’s Rainbow 6 Gross Jackpot Pool $225,000
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 gross jackpot pool $225,000 Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where the popular multi-race wager has gone unsolved for eight racing days following a jackpot hit for $42.893.
Saturday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 6-11, headlined by the $60,000 Golden Beach, a five-furlong overnight handicap on turf, in Race 8. Owner/trainer Steve Dwoskin’s Choose Joy returns to her preferred turf following a disappointment on dirt last time out. The stakes-winning daughter of Munnings has never been worse that second in 10 starts on turf.
The Rainbow 6 jackpot is 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.