HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Stonestreet Stables’ fillies Carimba, undefeated in two starts, and French Group 3-placed Wink will make their highly anticipated sophomore debuts as trainer Wesley Ward attempts to sweep both turf sprint stakes Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
The $75,000 Texas Glitter for 3-year-olds and $75,000 Melody of Colors for 3-year-old fillies serve to support a 12-race program highlighted by the $100,000 Hurricane Bertie (G3) for fillies and mares 4 and up sprinting 6 ½ furlongs.
First race post time is 12:10 p.m.
To keep the fillies separate, Ward opted to send Carimba up against the boys for the second time in her third career start. The Indiana-bred daughter of Kantharos debuted last August with an 8 ½-length maiden special weight triumph over males and returned to take a second-level allowance against fillies by 3 ¾ lengths, both in front-running fashion at the Texas Glitter distance.
“We don’t want to run against ourselves,” Ward said. “It’s not really an issue for me, running a filly against colts. I’ve been doing it forever. I actually think the fillies are faster.”
Carimba, purchased for $155,000 at Keeneland’s November 2018 breeding stock sale, has displayed dazzling speed in her races thus far. She ran splits of 21.92 and 45.04 seconds in her allowance victory, finishing up in 56.57. Both wins came at Indiana Grand, the latter Sept. 29, making the Texas Glitter her first race in 173 days.
“She ran really well last year but she just had some shin issues where I decided to keep her close,” Ward said. “She’s an Indiana-bred, just right up the road from Keeneland, so we shipped up and we won those two races. Her numbers were very good.
“She’s fast and she’s a big, stout filly. She just had some minor issues that were kind of keeping her from going into the tougher races,” he added. “We had her ready for both her races and she won them convincingly. Then we gave her the time to get over the little minor baby stuff and she’s back. She’s grown and really filled into herself. We’re looking for a big effort.”
Carimba had been preparing at owner Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Training Center in Summerfield, Fla. before joining Ward earlier this month at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County. She’s had two turf breezes, both in company with Wink, including a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.95 March 9, fastest of 15 horses.
“We got her in and she’s trained well,” Ward said. “They both breezed [Tuesday], just a real easy breeze on the grass together. They breezed the week prior together. She’s extremely talented.”
Paco Lopez is named to ride from the rail in a field of eight at 115 pounds, getting from three to seven pounds from her male rivals.
Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. will counter with Frank Carl Calabrese’s Nitro Time, a chestnut son of Munnings who had his three-race win streak snapped when third by a length Feb. 24 over a turf course rated good.
“Initially I was going to go straight to the stake and then that race came up. I didn’t breeze him and I had him fresh for the race. I think it’s my fault he got beat more than anything else. This time he came back and breezed and he’s in good order. Hopefully he runs a big race for us,” Joseph said. “He’s been a good claim and he seems to have a bright future going forward.”
Joseph got Nitro Time for $25,000 out of a four-length maiden claiming triumph Dec. 20 at Gulfstream, and he came back to win a starter optional claimer by 6 ½ lengths Jan. 8 and a entry-level optional claiming allowance Feb. 3 – all sprinting five-eighths on the grass.
“He had run one race before on the turf and it wasn’t too bad, and he came back on the dirt and ran bad in that race. I just figured for [$25,000] that he was sneaky good,” Joseph said. “Obviously we didn’t expect him to run like that when we claimed him but we just happened to get fortunate on the day and thankfully we got him.”
Tyler Gaffalione, aboard for each of the last four starts, rides back from Post 6.
Omaha City, trained and co-owned by Mohamed Jehaludi, has finished off the board in a pair of races at Gulfstream this winter, including a sixth in the one-mile Dania Beach Jan. 2. The Temple City colt rallied to win the five-furlong Hollywood Beach by 1 ¼ lengths Sept. 26.
Also entered are Dr. Duke, a half-length maiden special weight winner in his turf debut Jan. 20 at Gulfstream; Kasim, a two-time winner during the Championship Meet in his first try against stakes company; Gulfstream maiden winner No Que No; Warrior’s Pride, making his grass debut off back-to-back fifths in the Jan. 2 Limehouse and March 6 Hutcheson sprinting six furlongs on Gulfstream’s main track; and Field Day.
Wink Returns from Layoff in $75,000 Melody of Colors
Stonestreet Stables’ Wink will be racing for the first time in 199 days when she returns in the $75,000 Melody of Colors seeking her second career stakes win.
Purchased as a yearling for $110,000 at Keeneland in September 2019, Wink has sprinted five furlongs on the turf in each of her three starts. She debuted last June with a 1 ¼-length maiden special weight triumph at Belmont Park and was immediately stepped up to stakes company, winning the Colleen at Monmouth Park. Both victories came in gate to wire fashion.
From there, Wink and stablemate Campanelle traveled to France, where she ran second by a length in the Prix d’Arenberg (G3) at Longchamp Sept. 3. Two weeks earlier, Campanelle gave Ward his third career win in the Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville.
“She went over there to accompany Campanelle and she ran really, really good,” Ward said. “It wasn’t really a plan to race there but to bring her there for the other filly. There was a race there and now she’s got graded-stakes placing. She led every jump but the last little bit, so she ran a real credible race there.
“She’s well-traveled, so right after the race we brought her home and gave her some time at Barbara’s farm,” Ward said. “She’s trained forwardly ever since.”
Wink got started at owner Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Training Center in Summerfield, Fla. and shows four breezes at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, for her return including two in company with undefeated Carimba.
“She came down from Stonestreet and had been training great up there. It was kind of the plan all along to run in this race. She’s had a few breezes at Palm Meadows and she’s doing well. I’m sure it’s going to be tough but she certainly has the qualifications to be in there,” Ward said. “She had a big year last year and we hope it continues.”
Hall of Famer Javier Castellano has the riding assignment from Post 4 of eight.
Peter Vesgo’s stakes-placed homebred Fouzia was an impressive winner at the course and distance last time out for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. The Sky Mesa filly raced with blinkers for the first time in the entry-level optional claiming allowance, leading all the way in a 1 ½-length score Jan. 29.
“We put an extended blinker on her because she was getting out a little bit, and it really woke her up. She was very impressive last time,” Joseph said. “We feel like if she can duplicate something like that this time, she’ll be tough.”
After two tries on dirt, Joseph switched Fouzia to the grass and she has responded with two wins in four starts, as well as a third in the 6 ½-furlong Untapable last September at Kentucky Downs in her stakes debut. Her other race came when fourth by 2 ¼ lengths behind Lionessofbrittany in a similar allowance spot Jan. 1.
“She was getting out and that cost her. She finished fourth, but it wasn’t a bad fourth,” Joseph said. “We thought if she could just keep a straight course she would have a great chance, and she did keep a straight course. If she can run back anywhere close to last time, she’s going to be tough this time.
“She’s a filly that’s always shown promise from Day 1. She trained well enough on the dirt and that’s why we started her on the dirt. She ran disappointing and then we put her on the turf and she’s proved the turf is where she wants to stay,” he added.
Edgard Zayas will ride from Post 2.
Completing the field are Lionessofbrittany, eighth in the one-mile Sweetest Chant (G3) after back-to-back five-furlong wins; Can’t Buy Love, racing first time off the claim for trainer Mike Trombetta; Rocket Reload, third in the Woodbine Cares Stakes last fall for 2020 Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox; Running Memories, a maiden claiming winner Feb. 26 at Gulfstream in her lone start; and Sleek Lynx, unraced since a maiden special weight triumph last fall at Woodbine. Freak is entered for main track only.
Gulfstream Park Press Release
Photo: Wesley Ward, (Coglianese Photos)