Gulfstream News & Notes: Fri 7/1/2016

December 10, 2019

Cali Star Racing for Two in Saturday’s Princess Rooney Lady Serena Brings Serious Bloodlines into Sunday’s Barely Even

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – WinStar Farm and Larry Taylor’s Cali Star will be racing for two in Saturday’s $250,000 Princess Rooney (G3) on the $1.125 million Summit of Speed card at Gulfstream Park.

The graded stakes-winning 5-year-old mare is in foal to WinStar’s Pioneerof the Nile, sire of 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah.

Cali Star joined trainer Marty Wolfson’s stable last November and won an allowance at Gulfstream Park West at first asking prior to scoring a three-length romp in the Rampart (G3) at Gulfstream Dec. 12. The daughter of Street Cry began 2016 with a second-place finish in the Houston Ladies Classic (G3) at Sam Houston Jan. 30 before producing a subpar showing at Aqueduct in the March 5 Heavenly Prize Invitational, after which she stumbled and fell without injuring herself or jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. The Kentucky-bred mare was subsequently purchased by WinStar Farm with Larry Taylor maintaining an interest.

“We purchased her to breed her and felt like Pioneerof the Nile would be good,” said Elliott Walden, president and CEO & racing manager of WinStar Farm. “We brought her here after her last race. She’d been in Kentucky about a month and got her in foal and then sent her back to Marty.”

The Princess Rooney is a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win & You’re In’ stakes, in which Cali Star and her seven rivals will vie for the $30,000 paid entry fee for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita Nov. 5, as well as the winner’s share of the purse. Cali Star will be well along in her pregnancy come Breeders’ Cup time.

“It’s getting a little late, but we’ll see how that goes,” Walden said. “I think horses have run in November. She was bred fairly late. I don’t know if that would preclude her (from running) or not. It wouldn’t be a decision we’d make for a while.”

Cali Star has had a series of seven workouts, including a sharp half-mile breeze in 46.88 seconds Monday, since returning to Gulfstream, and Wolfson has noted her ability to fire fresh off a layoff.

Lady Serena Brings Serious Bloodlines into Sunday’s Barely Even Stakes

Dell Ridge Farm’s Lady Serena has returned to Gulfstream Park in a quest to earn her first stakes success in Sunday’s $75,000 Barely Even, a mile event for fillies and mares that have never won a stakes.

The 4-year-old daughter of Bernardini is out of Serena’s Cat, making her a three-quarter sister to 2015 champion older horse Honor Code, a multiple Grade 1 stakes winner who captured the 2015 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2).

The Joe Sharp-trained filly accompanied stablemate Twirl Girl, who will run in Saturday’s Azalea on the Summit of Speed card, for the ship from Kentucky to South Florida.

“I just took over the training of her about a month ago. Chad Brown had her,” said Sharp said. They sent her to us to try to get some black type with her.”

Lady Serena has raced at Gulfstream twice previously for Brown, finishing fifth in a maiden race in March 2015 and a sixth-place finish on turf in the Powder Break Stakes on April 30. The Kentucky-bred filly followed up her maiden race at Gulfstream with back-to-back victories at Belmont Park before concluding her 2015 campaign with an eighth-place finish in the Monmouth Oaks (G3). Lady Serena has raced twice this year, both on turf, in the Powder Break and the Miss Liberty at Monmouth without success. She returns to main-track action Sunday.

“She’s really doing great. She’s really working well,” said Sharp, who named Tyler Gaffalione to ride Lady Serena. “We’re trying to pick a spot to earn some black type and hopefully increase her value.”

Run Hard Stables’ Miss Hollywood is among Lady Serena’s more formidable opponents in the Barely Even, as well as also being impeccably bred. The 4-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon is out of Hollywood Story, a multiple Grade 1 stakes winner.

The Giuseppe Iadisernia-trained filly is 2-for-2 this year, breaking her maiden by 10 ¼ lengths April 10 and scoring a front-running 9 ¾-length allowance triumph in easy fashion. The $1.35 million purchase at the 2013 Keeneland September sale is scheduled to be ridden by Emisael Jaramillo.

Trainer Eric Reed and owner Jerry Jamgotchian entered two horses in the Barely Even – Skyluck, who will seek her fourth victory without defeat after scoring twice at Sam Houston and capturing an allowance at Mountaineer Park last time out, and veteran stakes performer Welcome Aboard, who finished second in an allowance at Belterra Park.

Amaluna, Killer Bird, Sookie and Untrue round out the field.

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