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Bourbon War Set to Battle in Friday 3YO Feature

Jan 18, 2019
Country House Puts on a Show in Maiden Score 
Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot Grows to $201,965 
Luis Saez on Pace to Break His Win Record

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Bourbon War, a promising son of Tapit trained by Mark Hennig, drops from Grade 2 stakes company to face eight other 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park in Friday’s featured ninth race, a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance.
Bourbon War, a $410,000 purchase at the 2016 Keeneland November sale, debuted with a 2 ¼-length triumph in a maiden special weight race Nov. 14 at Aqueduct. The strong debut earned his a start in the Dec. 1 Remsen (G2), in which he made a mild rally to finish third after enduring a wide trip in the 1 1/8-mile stakes.

“He’s done very well since he got here. We ran him back in the Remsen. It wasn’t ideal probably, but he handled it well and he came out of it well. He’s shipped well to South Florida,” Hennig said. “I think the [Remsen] was a learning experience for him for a less-than-ideal trip.”

Owned by Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable, Bourbon War stumbled at the start of his debut in an off-the-turf race before drawing off to victory. 

“There was a good chance for it to come off the turf, but he had a lot of turf pedigree. It was that time of year when you enter those kind of races because you’re running out of chances to get started on the grass if you want to. We weren’t alarmed that it came off,” Hennig said.

“I didn’t necessarily expect him to be a first-out winner. He had spotty works – kind of a typical Tapit,” he added. “The interesting thing about him is that since he ran his first start, he’s been all business as a work horse, which he wasn’t before.”

Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount aboard Bourbon War.

Starlight Racing’s Cutting Humor, rated as the 3-1 morning line favorite over 7-2 Bourbon War, is coming off a two-length maiden victory at Gulfstream Park West Nov. 17.

The Todd Pletcher-trained son of First Samurai debuted at Belmont Park on Sept. 9, when he chased front-running favorite Looking At Bikinis and finished second in the 6 ½-furlong maiden test. He came back to finish third after a rocky start in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race at Keeneland Oct. 7 before breaking through with an off-the-pace triumph in a two-turn mile race at Gulfstream Park West while racing with blinkers the first time.

John Velazquez has the mount aboard the $400,000 yearling purchase at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale
Archidust, Award Winner, Whitecap Bay and Art G Is Back, recent maiden winners at Gulfstream are also entered. Borracho and Everfast, a pair of Kentucky maiden winners with graded-stakes experience, and He’s a Macho Man, a debut winner at Woodbine, round out the field.
Country House Puts on a Show in Thursday Maiden Score 
Bill Mott-trained Country House put open a show Thursday at Gulfstream Park while registering a dominating 3 ½-length win in the third race, a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight race for 3-year-olds.
The son of Lookin At Lucky spotted his five rivals many lengths when he broke very slowly from his No. 1 post position and veered toward the rail. Jockey Luis Saez didn’t panic after the disastrous start, letting the long-striding colt settle into a rhythm. Country House joined the field midway along the backstretch before launching a sweeping move on the turn leaving the backstretch. The 3-5 favorite gained the lead at the top of the stretch and continued on to score comfortably.
“I don’t know what happened. Luis thought he slipped a little behind. It looked like he was standing in the gate fine. He was impressive once he got going,” Mott’s longtime assistant Ken McCarthy said. “You’re never sure, when they do that and they get distance between them and the field, how they’ll react. Luis said [Country House] wanted to go right away, but he just wanted to steadily bridge the gap, let him grab a breath, and go again.”
Country House, who ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.99, graduated in his third lifetime start. He debuted with an off-the-board finish on turf at Aqueduct Oct. 6 before returning two months later to finish a close second in a mile maiden race at Aqueduct.
In Thursday’s fifth race, Tapit’s Princess, owned and trained by Happy Alter, broke her maiden in style with an impressive front-running nine-length upset at odds of 9-1.

With Saez aboard, Tapit’s Princess ($20.60) ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.78 over a fast main track in the $50,000 maiden special weight for 3-year-old fillies.

It was the second career start and first of her sophomore season for Tapit’s Princess, a gray or roan daughter of Tapit out of the After Market mare Lady of Fifty – all Grade 1 winners – who brought $500,000 as a 2-year-old in training last March.

“It’s not often that I would pay that much money for a 2-year-old in training,” Alter said. “Her first race was short, 5 ½ furlongs, which is not for Tapits. But, I wanted to race her once before she turned 3 and hope that she could win then. Today, I was confident. She worked by herself in [1:13.62 Jan. 4], and not too many 2-year-olds that just turned 3 are going to do that.”

Gulfstream’s series of dirt stakes for 3-year-old fillies includes the seven-furlong Forward Gal (G3) Feb. 2, one-mile Davona Dale (G2) March 2 and 1 1/16-mile Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) March 30, though Alter is in no rush with his budding star.

“Her future is great,” he said. “The plan is to go step-by-step with her. I love winning here, because this is my home. Today was really hard work paying off from the whole team.”
Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot Grows to $201,965
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for a fourth straight racing day at Gulfstream Park Thursday, producing a carryover jackpot of $201,965.30 for Friday’s program 
Multiple tickets will all six winner were each worth $6,886.50.
The popular multi-race wager was hit for a $188,900.81 jackpot payoff Dec. 9. After going unsolved for the first 12 programs of the 2018-2019 Championship Meet, there have been five jackpots paid out. The popular multi-race wager was solved Dec. 19 for a $580,349.19 jackpot, Dec. 27 for $288,350.74, Dec. 30 for $177,317.98 and Jan. 4 for $166,317 prior to Wednesday’s jackpot hit. 

The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool. 

Who’s Hot: Jockey Luis Saez, who rode four winners Wednesday, added another four victories to his Championship Meet-leading total Thursday at Gulfstream Park. The two-time defending champion scored with Country House ($3.20) in Race 3, Tapit’s Princess ($20.60) in Race 5, Go Go Jak ($3.40) in Race 6, and Quick Point ($11) in Race 10.

Saez has a total of 56 trips to the winner’s circle and is on pace to break his 2017-2018 Championship Meet record of 137. The 26-year-old jockey has ridden two more winners than he had ridden at this point during last year’s meet.  

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