Gulfstream Park News & Notes - Wed 2/5

December 10, 2019

Tonalist Working For Return Ribo Bobo to Bypass Gulfstream Park Sprint

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Angelica Zapata Targeting Sabin Stakes on Feb. 16

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - An impressive come-from-behind maiden winner at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 18, promising 3-year-old colt Tonalist is gearing up for his return to the races.

The bay son of Tapit returned to the work tab for the first time since his victory with a five-furlong breeze in 1:04 at Payson Park for trainer Christophe Clement.

“It was a nice, easy maintenance work,” Clement said. “There are two or three options over the next few weeks. It’s too early right now to decide. I’ll work him back next weekend and then I will make my mind up after that. There is an allowance, there are some stakes. We’ve got many, many choices. My gut feeling is to go back in an allowance.”

Owned by Robert Evans, Tonalist rallied five wide for a four-length victory in a nine-furlong maiden special weight event around two turns at Gulfstream, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 90.

The effort came two months after his debut where he ran fourth, beaten four lengths in a one-mile maiden race at Aqueduct under jockey Joel Rosario. He was replaced by Joe Bravo at Gulfstream.

“He’s a lovely horse. He’s always been a lovely horse,” Clement said. “He ran a very good race as a 2-year-old at Aqueduct. I was very disappointed that the jockey didn’t stick on him at Gulfstream, but that happens. He had certainly trained very well before his last race. We don’t have many 3-year-olds by Tapit in the barn; he’s the only one. You have to be very excited.”

Best known for his suceess with grass horses, Clement went down the Triple Crown trail in 2003 with Dynever, who won the Lone Star Derby (G3) and finished fourth in the Belmont Stakes (G1). That year, he was also third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita.

“The dam [Settling Mist] is by Pleasant Colony, so he’s got all the makings of a horse who should stay long on the dirt,” Clement said. “His maiden was very impressive. If you believe in numbers, his numbers were very good. The last good colt I had was Dynever, and he was good to us. Let’s hope [Tonalist] can have a career.”

Ribo Bobo To Bypass Gulfstream Park Sprint

Ribo Bobo, who has won 11 of his last 12 races, was not entered in Saturday’s $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3).

“It’s just too close,” trainer Jason Servis said Wednesday morning.

The 6-year-old gelding has been spectacular while winning both of his starts at the current Gulfstream meeting. He scored a dominating victory in the $110,000 Claiming Crown Express in hand on Dec. 7 before capturing the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint in 1:09 in hand on Jan. 18. Ribo Bobo would likely have been favored had Servis opted to run in the Gulfstream Sprint on the strength of his near flawless performance since being claimed for $6,250 at Gulfstream on March 8.

“He’s doing great,” Servis said. “There’s a race at Gulfstream on March 29 ($100,000 Sir Shackleton). That’s the race I’m looking at."

Angelica Zapata Targeting Sabin Stakes on Feb. 16

Angelica Zapata was among the most accomplished nominees for Saturday’s $150,000 Suwannee River Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park, but trainer Ron Pellegrini has opted out of running his multiple-stakes winner in the 1 1/8-mile turf stakes for fillies and mares.

Instead, the 6-year-old mare is being pointed to the $100,000 Sabin Handicap (G3), to be run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track on Feb. 16.

“I used to think she was better on the turf, but now I think she’s better on the dirt,” Pellegrini said. “Her numbers are better on the dirt.”

Angelica Zapata has finished in the money in seven of eight starts on turf and has won two stakes, including the $100,000 Wasted Tears at Gulfstream in August. The daughter of Sharp Humor is coming off a third-place finish in the Marshua’s River (G3), a Gulfstream turf stakes in which she was beaten by just a length. In her previous start, she was beaten by just a half-length in the My Charmer (G3) at Calder.

Angelica Zapata also is a five-time stakes winner on dirt, including four in a row at Calder in 2012. “She’s just an honest horse. She doesn’t care where it is, who it is or what it’s on. She’ll run,” said Pellegrini, whose mare also has a stakes score on a synthetic surface.

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