Gulfstream Park News & Notes - Wed 4/8

December 10, 2019

Grande Shores Bounces Back from Bout with Colic Princess Rooney Long-Range Goal for Little Alexis

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trainer Stanley Gold had targeted the $100,000 Sir Shackleton on Florida Derby Day for Grande Shores, expecting a strong effort from the better-than-ever 7-year-old who had finished first or second in his last 13 starts. The son of Black Mambo, unfortunately, had a scary physical issue that kept him on the sidelines.

“The Sunday before the race, I had to rush him to the clinic with colic,” Gold said. “They didn’t have to do surgery, and he was back the next day. He’s back on track. How it happened, I’m not sure. But he’s over it, and they didn’t have to do surgery. When you look at him, you’d never know he had a problem.”

Grande Shores has a well-documented digestive condition that once threatened his life and still requires constant monitoring. Although his condition had compromised his career, Gold has managed to fine tune the Jacks or Better Farm’s homebred into an amazingly consistent and tough-as-nails stakes competitor.

Grande Shores most recently finished second behind Valid, beaten by a neck, in the $100,000 Fred Hooper (G3) at Gulfstream on Feb. 7.

Gold is targeting the $60,000 Blue Heron, a seven-furlong overnight handicap at Gulfstream on April 23. for the veteran campaigner’s next start.

Meanwhile, Gold sent six newly arrived 2-year-olds to the track Wednesday morning to breeze in company, in two groups of three. Among the workers were Good Genes, a full brother to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Eclipse Award winner Awesome Feather; Brighton Lane, a full brother to Jackson Bend and a half-brother to Grande Shores; and Habersham Village, a full brother to Fort Loudon.

Gold and Jacks or Better Farm have teamed for a record 16 victories in Florida Sire Stakes competition.

“It’s pressure-time, but it’s an exciting time – that’s why we do it,” Gold said. “It seems as we go along, there’s more pressure because more is expected of you. You have a target on your back. I think things are going to be a whole lot tougher this year. You have much bigger purses. I think you’ll see people that you haven’t seen before. You just hope for the best.”

Princess Rooney Long-Range Goal for Little Alexis

Little Dreams Racing’s Little Alexis finished a most-promising second behind R Free Roll in last Saturday’s Orange Blossom Handicap at Gulfstream Park, making her first start since finishing a troubled ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.

“I may go to the Humana Distaff at seven-eighths on Derby Day and then come back here for the Princess Rooney,” said trainer Carlo Vaccarezza, targeting $200,000 Humana Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs on May 2 and the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2) at Gulfstream on July 5.

Little Alexis won at first asking at Gulfstream in February 2014, drawing away from My Miss Sophia, who went on to win the Gazelle (G2) and finish second in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). She came back five months later to win the Cash Run Stakes at Gulfstream, before finishing third in the Test (G1) at Saratoga and fourth in the Cotillion (G1) at Parx before shipping to Santa Anita.

Vaccarezza, meanwhile, is gearing up for a busy spring and summer once the 2-year-old racing season starts. He has 28 juveniles, including 10 currently at Gulfstream.

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