English Bee Shows He Still Has a Sting in Race 7 Feature
Life of Dave Litfin Celebrated in Gulfstream Winner’s Circle
Saturday’s Rainbow 6 Gross Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $300,000
Sunshine Filly & Mare Turf, Sunshine Sprint Featured
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Calumet Farm’s English Bee kicked off his 7-year-old campaign Friday with a game victory over favored Mouillage in the featured optional claiming allowance on turf carded as Race 7 on Gulfstream Park’s nine-race card.
Race 7 was carded as ‘A Celebration of the Life of Dave Litfin.’ Litfin, who passed away Nov. 17, was a highly respected, universally liked long-time DRF handicapper and columnist and, most recently, the Equibase chart-caller at Gulfstream Park.
English Bee, who won his first race at Gulfstream Jan. 19, 2019, was making his first start since finishing fifth in the May 21 Dinner Party (G2) at Pimlico and dropping from graded-stakes company for the first time in his last six races.
The Graham Motion-trained gelding ($13.40) was rated just behind pacesetter Proven Strategies around the first turn and along the backstretch during half-mile fractions of 24.58 and 48.63 seconds. Proven Strategy held a clear lead at the top of the stretch but began to shorten stride as jockey Luis Saez got English Bee into gear along the rail. The son of English Channel surged past the pacesetter and held off a fast-closing Mouillage to win by a neck.
“It’s absolutely great. He’s an older horse now and he’s a barn favorite. Everybody loves him,” said Motion’s longtime assistant Alice Clapham. “It’s nice to for him to come back down here and run like that. He’s always run well down here.”
English Bee, a multiple-stakes winner who finished third in both the Fort Lauderdale (G2) and the Canadian Turf (G3) at Gulfstream last season, ran a mile in 1:35.27.
“He always puts his head down and keeps on fighting to the wire,” Clapham said. “He’s always been a true little fighter like that.”
Chad Brown-trained Mouillage finished three-quarters of a length ahead of late-running Bay Street Money.
R.A. Hill, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Spedale Family Racing LLC’s Nitrous Channel registered a commanding victory in the Race 8 co-feature, a 6 ½-furlong sprint for 4-year-olds and up. The George Weaver-trained son of Nyquist, who broke his maiden and finished second in the Hutcheson at Gulfstream last season before going to the sidelines until registering a second-place finish Dec. 17, set a pressured pace before drawing off to complete the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17.59 under Saez.
Rainbow 6 Gross Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $300,000
The Rainbow 6 went unsolved at Gulfstream Park Friday for the sixth racing day in a row following a single-ticket jackpot hit for $533,783.63.
Saturday’s Rainbow 6 gross jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $300,000.
The Rainbow 6 jackpot is 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 Rainbow 6 Sequence will span Race 6-11, co-headlined by the $75,000 Sunshine Filly & Mare Turf in Race 9 and the $75,000 Sunshine Sprint in Race 10.
Todd Pletcher-trained Avow, a promising 4-year-old daughter of Arrogate, is scheduled to make her stakes debuts in the Sunshine Filly & Mare Turf. Avow won her first two career starts by open lengths before finishing second in a Dec. 12 optional claiming allowance. Bob Hess Jr.-trained Sugar Fix, a stakes winner at Gulfstream, returns following three starts in Southern California.
Carlos David-trained Gatsby is scheduled to make a title defense in the Sunshine Sprint.
Who’s Hot: Luis Saez doubled with winning rides aboard English Bee ($13.40) in Race 7 and Nitrous Channel ($3.80) in Race 8. Jose Ortiz also scored back-to-back wins on Not Phar Now ($10) in Race 5 and Diamond Cool ($6) in Race 6.