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Fighting Force Has Been ‘Showing Up’ on Gulfstream’s Tapeta

Nov 4, 2021
Friday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $350,000
Mademoiselle Nova Favored for Friday’s Cellars Shiraz  


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Lea Farms LLC’s Fighting Force figures to be a force to contend with in Saturday’s $65,000 Showing Up Stakes at Gulfstream Park, where the son of Air Force Blue has made a very smooth transition from the turf course to the new Tapeta track.

“I think he likes both, but he’s really taken to the Tapeta,” trainer Jeff Engler said. “He’s got a nice explosive kick coming down the lane. Obviously, he enjoys the surface.”

The Showing Up, a mile-and-70-yard stakes for 3-year-olds on Tapeta, will headline an 11-race program at Gulfstream Park, where simulcast wagering will be available for Friday’s and Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup cards from Del Mar. First-race post time is set for 12:30 p.m.

Following a private purchase in March, Fighting Force was transferred from Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher’s stable to Engler’s barn at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County. He became a stakes winner a few starts later for his new connections with a dominating 3 ½-length victory in the Not Surprising, a mile turf event for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.

Fighting Force, who was purchased by his former owners for $400,000 at the 2020 OBS sale for 2-year-olds in training, started once at Del Mar’s summer meet, finishing off the board in after encountering traffic in the Oceanside Stakes before being freshened for 2 ½ months. Back at Gulfstream, the Kentucky-bred colt made a winning debut on Tapeta after closing with a five-wide sweep in a mile-and-70-yard optional claiming allowance Oct. 2. He came back to finish a late-closing second in an optional claiming allowance three weeks later.

Fighting Force has impressed Engler with his conduct off the track, as well as on.

“He’s super laid-back, does nothing wrong. He’s easy to train. He’s one of those horses you love to have in your barn, because he’s just so easy going. He’s one of the barn favorites,” Engler said. “He sleeps a lot. I’ve never had a horse that lays down and sleeps as much as him.”

Cristian Torres is scheduled to ride Fighting Force for the first time Saturday.

Vegso Racing Stable’s Officiating, a 3 ½-length winner of the off-the-turf Bear’s Den over a sloppy main track at Gulfstream time out, is scheduled to make his debut on Tapeta in the Showing Up. The Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained son of Blame broke his maiden on turf March 21 at Gulfstream while trained by Bill Mott.

Joseph is also scheduled to saddle Sonata Stable’s Moonlite Strike, a stakes winner on dirt who finishing sixth in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) over Turfway Park’s all-weather surface; Magic Cap Stables’ Twelve Volt Man, a recent optional claiming allowance winner on dirt; and Cash is King LLC, LC Racing and Joseph Taylor and John Fanelli’s Irish Honor.

Sonata Stable’s will also be represented by Michael Trombetta-trained Arzak, a stakes winner over Presque Isle Downs’ Tapeta surface two starts back.

Victoria’s Ranch’s King of Dreams, who captured the Oakland Park Handicap on Tapeta last time out; and Gelfenstein Farm LLC’s Siglioso, who most recently finished second at Saratoga and first at Monmouth in turf allowances; also among the prominent entrants in the Showing Up.

Circle 8’s Toretto, Eid Alshamsi’s Rabdan, and Mauricio Fuentes’ also-eligible entrant Mayor Remo round out the field.

Friday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $350,000   

Friday’s 20-cent Rainbow 6 gross jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $350,000 at Gulfstream Park, where the popular multi-race wager went unsolved Thursday for the 13th racing day following a $461,035.47 jackpot payoff Oct. 9.

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.

Friday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 5-10, featuring the $60,000 Cellars Shiraz in Race 8. Mark Casse-trained Mademoiselle Nova, the 7-2 morning-line favorite in a field of 12, will seek her third-straight victory while making her Tapeta debut in the mile-and-70-yard stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

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