Four of the first ten races are in the books for the $1.1 million 2018 Spring/Summer Stakes Series presented by the FHBPA and Gulfstream Park. This is the second year for this popular series of races featuring Florida-Breds. All of the races carry a $100,000 purse with six being restricted to Florida-Breds and four being open races with a purse enhancement of $25,000 for Florida-Breds finishing 1st through 3rd.
The Series started out this Spring with The Big Drama Stakes on May 12 followed by The Musical Romance Stakes on May 19.
The Big Drama Stakes – Mr. Jordan
In the $100,000 Big Drama Stakes, a seven furlong Florida-Bred race for 3-year-olds and up on the dirt, the Eddie Plesa-trained Mr. Jordan stalked the front-running Kroy for most of the race before taking command at the 1/16th pole and pulling away for a 1¾ length win. The six-year-old graded stakes winning gelding Mr. Jordan scored his ninth win and 21st in the money finish from 29 career starts and increased his lifetime earnings to $738,560. This son of Kantharos is owned by David Melin, Leon Ellman and Laurie Plesa and was bred by Philip and Karen Matthews.
The Musical Romance Stakes – Stormy Embrace
The $100,000 Musical Romance Stakes was contested over a sloppy-sealed track, with three-year-old and up Florida-Bred fillies going seven furlongs. Four-year-old Stormy Embrace notched her first stakes victory and 6th win overall from 18 starts which began with a runaway first start maiden claiming win at Gulfstream in 2016. Stormy Embrace raced 2nd most of the race until taking a short lead at the 5/16th pole. She maintained that half-length lead to the wire despite her jockey standing up about 70 yards too soon before getting back down for the last couple strides. Stormy Embrace was sired by Circular Quay, is owned by her breeder Matalona Thoroughbreds, LLC, and is trained by Brian Smeak.