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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.)
Race 9 at Gulfstream Park on Friday, January 1 - Post 4:11 PM
|1||Fully Loaded||12-1||Edgard Zayas
|2||Harry's Ontheloose||15-1||Leonel Reyes
|4||Imprimis||9-5||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|5||Frosted Grace||9-2||Luca Panici
|6||Blind Ambition||5-1||John Velazquez
|7||Extravagant Kid||2-1||Tyler Gaffalione
|8||The Critical Way||8-1||Paco Lopez
|9||Edgemont Road||5-2||Jose Ortiz
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.
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