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Bourbon War Dominant in Friday’s 3YO Feature

Jan 18, 2019
Country House Headed for Graded Stakes
Trainer Antonio Sano Becomes U.S. Citizen
Saturday’s First-Race Post Set for 11:45 a.m. 
Four Sunshine Millions Stakes Grace 12-Race Card   
Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot Grows to $246,530  

             
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable’s Bourbon War registered a dominant 2 ¼-length victory in Friday’s featured ninth race at Gulfstream Park, establishing himself as a horse to watch on the road to the Triple Crown.
            
Trained by Mark Hennig, the son of Tapit ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.54 to notch his second win in three career starts in the optional claiming allowance race for 3-year-olds.
            
The $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream March 2 is the most likely target for Bourbon War.
            
“I think you’d have to. We’re going to see how it stacks up, but we’ll nominate him up to all these 3-year-old races,” Hennig said. “I think he’s ready to take the step back into graded-stakes company.”
            
The 3-2 favorite settled off the pace in a tightly packed field of nine before advancing between horses on the turn, finding a seam between pacesetter Bourbon War and second-choice Cutting Humor at the top of the stretch and drawing off to post a comfortable victory under Irad Ortiz Jr.
            
“I was glad he kind of got through that little hole. I was like, ‘Is there a hole here turning for home, or not? Don’t get stopped.’ It worked out good,” Hennig said.
Bourbon War debuted with a 2 ¼-length triumph in a mile optional claiming allowance at Aqueduct Nov. 14 before stepping up to finish a wide fourth in the Remsen (G2) Dec. 1. 
“He got some schooling in the Remsen and I think Irad made a point of schooling him a little bit (today),” Hennig said. “I asked him if he did anything wrong today and he said, ‘Not a thing,’ so that’s good.”

Todd Pletcher-trained Cutting Humor finished second under John Velazquez. 
                 
Country House Headed for Graded Stakes
            
Country House, who stamped himself as an intriguing prospect for the 2019 Triple Crown Thursday while graduating in spectacular fashion at Gulfstream Park Thursday, will likely start next in a graded Triple Crown prep race.
             
“He’s had three races. I think at this juncture, with a horse like him, we might want to do that,” trainer Bill Mott said Friday. “You have the mile and a sixteenth races. The mile and an eighth races are probably the ones you want to be pointing for. We could go back in allowance company, but I’m not sure we want to do that.”
            
The Fountain of Youth is a possible target for the son of Lookin At Lucky.
            
Country House broke very slowly from the starting gate and immediately veered toward the inside rail from his No. 1 post position for Thursday’s 1 1/16-mile maiden race. Allowed to settle into a rhythm by Luis Saez, Country House made up several lengths to join the field while still trailing midway along the backstretch. On the far turn, the long-striding colt launched a wide sweep on his way to gaining the lead entering the stretch. The Kentucky-bred colt drew off to a comfortable 3 ½-length victory.
            
“It was very exciting. It was his third race. He was a little bit of a slow learner but it looked like he started to get it yesterday after what I would say was a difficult start. It was of his own doing. He came out of the gate slow and took a left-hand turn into the rail. He spotted the field eight or 10 lengths by the time they made the first turn. When he made his move, it was quite impressive. It looked like Luis Saez turned his whip down, his him once, and he drew off from the field,” Mott said. “Time will tell how good he is. He looks like a horse that’s get the distance.”
                   
Trainer Antonio Sano Becomes U.S. Citizen
            
Antonio Sano, Venezuela’s all-time winningest trainer, will saddle Gunnevera for a start in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park as an American citizen.
            
“I’m so happy, so proud,” Sano said.
            
Sano, who immigrated to the U.S. in 2009, became a U.S. citizen in Miami Friday. The 56-year-old Weston, FL resident celebrated his newly acquired citizenship with a victory, courtesy of Mary Lee and Me, who romped to a front-running 8 ¾-length triumph in Friday’s first race.
            
After being kidnapped for ransom twice, Sano fled Venezuela for Italy and subsequently the U.S.
            
The Sano-trained Gunnevera, a multiple graded-stakes winner with $4.1 million in earnings, finished third in last year’s Pegasus World Cup. The 5-year-old son of Dialed In finished second behind likely Pegasus favorite Accelerate in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs Nov. 3 in his most recent start.
                
Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot Grows to $246,530 
            
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for a fifth straight racing day at Gulfstream Park Friday, producing a carryover jackpot of $246,530.59 for Saturday’s Sunshine Millions program.
            
Multiple tickets will all six winner were each worth $4,621.58. 
             
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.
             
Saturday’s six-race sequence will span Races 7-12, which will include the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf, headlined by defending champion Starship Jubilee, in Race 10 and the $200,000 Sunshine Millions Classic, in which Mr. Jordan will attempt to improve on a pair of second-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile race for older horses in Race 11.
            
The $100,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint, featuring two-time champion X Y Jet, will kick off the stakes action in Race. The $150,000 Sunshine Millions Turf, headlined by trainer Brad Cox’s Fair Grounds shipper Big Changes, is carded as Race 6.
            
First-race post time for Saturday’s 12-race card is set for 11:45 a.m.
            
There will also be a Super Hi-5 carryover of $4,089.92 heading into Saturday’s card.

Who’s Hot: Irad Ortiz Jr. notched a riding triple with Mary Lee and Me ($11.20) in Race 1, Sum Overture ($5) in Race 4 and Bourbon War ($5) in Race 9.

Luis Saez remained on pace to break his 2017-2018 Championship Meet record for most wins (137), scoring a double aboard Underestimate ($4.60) in Race 3 and Mitchell Road ($5.80) in Race 8.
 



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