Island Reward Goes for Gold in Treasure Coast
Jul 12, 2018
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL
– Bruno Schickedanz’s Island Reward finished second while cutting back from a mile to five-furlongs on turf in the June 10 Nicole’s Dream at Gulfstream Park. Handicappers will take a closer look at the 5-year-old mare while studying the past performances for Saturday’s $75,000 Treasure Coast at Gulfstream when they take note of the Nicole’s Dream winner, whose name is italicized to signify a next-out winner.
Island Reward will surely earn extra consideration after closing from far back to finish 1 ½ lengths behind Miz Mayhem, the Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained 3-year-old filly who captured her fifth-straight victory while winning the $100,000 Stormy Blues at Laurel Park last Saturday.
“The race will be a good set-up for her next race,” trainer Yvon Belsoeur said. “It was like a good workout.”
Island Reward is scheduled to stretch back out from five furlongs to a mile while facing eight other fillies and mares. Amaluna will join the Treasure Coast field if the race is taken off the turf.
“It’s something she can do. She won at a mile and a sixteenth a Belmont, so I don’t think it will be a problem,” Belsoeur said. “She’s very versatile.”
Island Reward broke her maiden at a mile over the Churchill Downs turf course for trainer Dale Romans in March 2016 before being sold privately and capturing a 1 1/16-mile allowance at Belmont Park for trainer Chad Brown in November 2016. Schickedanz and Belsoeur claimed the daughter of Street Boss for $25,000 out of an optional claiming allowance for trainer Jason Servis at Gulfstream Park West a year later. Island Reward won for her new connections three starts later at Gulfstream Jan. 31 before making four consecutive stakes starts, including a fourth-place finish in the Honey Fox (G3) and her second-place finish behind Miz Mayhem in the Nicole’s Dream.
Jose Batista has the return mount aboard Island Reward.
David Fawkes-trained Lipstick City, who enters the Treasure Coast off an impressive victory in the May 31 Christmas Past Stakes at Gulfstream, does her best running – like Island Reward – from off the pace. The 4-year-old daughter of City Zip, who is owned by Steve Laymon, Will Robbins, Richard Broadbent IV and Bill Robbins, rallied from seventh in the mile Christmas Past before surging to a 2 ¼-length victory.
“I thinks she fits really well,” Fawkes said. “We just have to hope speed backs up and she steps up and comes running.”
Lipstick City captured her September 2016 career debut for trainer Chad Brown at Belmont Park closing from last of 12 to win by a neck. She was winless in four subsequent races over three racetracks before breaking through with a triumph in the Boiling Springs Stakes at Monmouth in July 2017 and finishing off the board in the Pucker Up (G3) at Arlington. Lipstick City was out of action for eight months before returning at Gulfstream with an off-the-board finish in her first start for Fawkes in an April 6 optional claiming allowance with no pace. She rallied from 10th in the stretch to finish third in the Powder Break four weeks later before picking up her second stakes triumph in her most recent start.
“We always thought she had ability. It was a matter of getting her settled in and keeping her happy,” Fawkes said. “She seems to do a little better when she stays at home. When she ships she doesn’t seem to do as well as when she runs out of her stall.”
Miguel Vasquez has the return mount aboard Lipstick City.
Starlight Racing’s No Sweat looms as a threat to set an uncontested pace in the Treasure Coast, which has attracted several quality closers but few early speedsters. The Todd Pletcher-trained 4-year-old filly, a two-time winner on dirt who will seek her first stakes and turf victories Saturday, set the pace in a June 8 optional claiming allowance before narrowly losing to King’s Ghost, a multiple-stakes winner who will sit out the Treasure Coast.
Tyler Gaffalione has the mount aboard No Sweat.
Unbridled Courage, who finished second in the June 16 Ginger Punch against state-breds after being claimed for $25,000; Josdesanimaux, a steady-running stakes competitor who finished a neck behind Lipstick City in the Powder Break; Vendita, an optional claiming allowance winner; and Sweet Story, a three-time winner over the Gulfstream turf; are also entered in the Treasure Coast. Tegla and Princess Ariel round out the field.