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First Premio Seeks First Prize in Saturday’s Feature at Gulfstream

Apr 3, 2020
Brown-trained Candy Machine Graduates after Eventful Trip
$300,000 Guaranteed Pool in Saturday’s Rainbow 6

– Team Valor International’s First Premio is set to make his seasonal debut in Saturday’s Race 10 feature at Gulfstream Park after finishing his 2019 campaign with a near-miss against Grade 1 company.

The 6-year-old son of Pure Prize, who failed to draw off the also-eligible list for the Appleton (G3) on last weekend’s Curlin Florida Derby program, is rated as the 7-2 morning-line favorite for the optional claiming allowance at a mile on turf for 4-year-olds and up.

Trained by Mark Casse, First Premio made an eight-wide sweep to close from 12th at the top of the stretch to finish fourth in the Oct., 5 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland, beaten by just three-quarters of a length by victorious Bowies Hero and a pair of noses for second money.

“He’s a horse that we got from Europe as a young horse and he’s gotten better and better,” Casse said. “With a better trip, he may have won his last start.”

First Premio was sent to Casse’s Ocala farm following the Shadwell Turf Mile.

“There wasn’t a whole lot left from him the rest of the year. We even thought maybe he deserved a shot at the Breeders’ Cup, but [Team Valor International’s} Barry Irwin and I talked about it and decided we’d be better giving him a break,” Casse said.

First Premio won his first start off a seven-month layoff in his 2019 debut, scoring a 3 ¼-length victory in the Colonel Bradley Stakes at Fair Grounds after stalking the early pace.

“I think he runs his best race when he’s half-way close, you cover him up and he comes with a rush,” Casse said.

Tyler Gaffalione has the mount aboard First Premio.

Madaket Stables LLC and Michael Kisber’s Colonist is scheduled to make his debut for trainer Todd Pletcher after being sidelined for 17 months. The 6-year-old gelded son of Pioneerof the Nile was graded stakes-placed as a 4-year-old.

Pletcher-trained Halladay is also entered in Saturday’s feature. The 4-year-old son of War Front captured the Tropical Park Derby Dec. 28 in his only start over the Gulfstream turf.

Luca Panici is slated to ride Colonist for the first time Saturday, while Luis Saez has the call on Halladay.

Northwest Thoroughbreds Inc’s Kroy, a Grade 2 stakes-placed 6-year-old gelding, is scheduled to make his first start in ninth months Saturday on a turf course over which he is a multiple-stakes winner. The son of Kantharos will make his first start for trainer Danny Gargan, who has also entered Daniel Feiss’ Dr. Shane, an optional claiming allowance winner at Gulfstream two starts back.

Emisael Jaramillo has the call on Kroy, while Joe Bravo has the mount on Dr. Shane.

Trainer Jane Cibelli is also be represented by a pair of entrants, Edward Short’s Class and Cash, a multiple-stakes winner who has finished first or second in 23 or 35 career starts, and George Vires’ Mai Ty One On, who was beaten by track-record holder Pay Any Price in his 2020 debut by a neck in a turf sprint before finishing third in the Tampa Turf Dash.

Joel Rosario has the call on Class and Cash, while Dylan Davis has been named on Mai Ty One On.

Thunder Ride, Ice Tea, Penalty, Regally Irish round out the field. Majestic Dunhill is a main-track only entrant.

Brown-trained Candy Machine Graduates after Eventful Trip

On Friday’s program at Gulfstream Park, Candy Machine withstood race-long pressure and a stewards’ review to graduate in Race 6, a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight race for 3-year-olds. The Chad Brown-trained 4-5 favorite prevailed over Or’effice by three-quarters of a length after an eventful trip under Tyler Gaffalione.

Candy Machine, who had debuted with a second-place finish at six-furlongs Feb. 29, pressed the pace inside of Mukulwitz around the first turn and into the backstretch before taking the lead heading toward the far turn, pressed on the outside by Ellis Island and tracked by a full-of-run Or’effice. Joe Bravo elected to send Or’effice inside Candy Machine on the turn into the homestretch but quickly steadied his mount. Candy Machine took a clear lead into the stretch and continued on to hold off a resurgent Or’effice in deep stretch.

The stewards posted the inquiry sign and Bravo lodged an objection but the result stood after a lengthy review.

Candy Machine ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.31.

Peter Brant and Three Chimneys’ Candy Machine was a $475,000 purchase at the 2018 Keeneland September sale, while Mark Hennig-trained Or’effice, a son of Medaglia d’Oro, was bought for $725.000 by Courtlandt Farms at the same sale.

Candy Machine provided Gaffalione with his fourth winner of the afternoon.

$300,000 Guaranteed Pool in Saturday’s Rainbow 6

There will be a $300,000 guaranteed pool in Saturday’s Rainbow 6. The popular 20-cent wager will begin with the seventh race, a mile turf event for claimers.

First race post is 12:45 p.m.

Multiple tickets with all six winners Friday were each worth $1,661.08

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.

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