The 3rd and 4th races of the 10-race FHBPA/GP Spring/Summer Stakes Series featuring Florida-Breds were recently run. The next races in the Series will be The Not Surprising and The Martha Washington Stakes, both on July 7. These are $100,000 open one mile turf stakes races for 3-year-olds with an additional $25,000 enhanced purse for Florida-Breds finishing 1st through 3rd.
The Soldier’s Dancer Stakes – Salute the Colonel
Saturday June 9, 2018 was a good day for the Generazios. Their homebred and owned Salute the Colonel won the $100,000 Soldier’s Dancer Stakes at Gulfstream just 1½ hours after two of their owned and bred horses came in 1st and 3rd in the $400,000 Jaipur Invitational Stakes at Belmont. Trained by Joe Orseno, Salute the Colonel is a 4-year-old daughter of Colonel John who went off at odds of 40-1 in the 1 1/16 mile grass race for 3 year-old and up Florida-Breds.
“I had no thought that he would be 40-1; he was 12-1 in the program and was overlooked,” said Orseno. “Off his last race, I thought he had been running good and I asked Mr. Generazio if we could freshen him up and, being a Florida-Bred, give him a chance and run him in the stake.”
The 60-day freshening paid off for the connections of the 4-year-old gelding as Salute the Colonel scored his 4th victory in 16 starts and upped his lifetime earnings to $130,232.
The Ginger Punch Stakes – Bitacora
On June 16, the $100,000 Ginger Punch Stakes featured 7 Florida-Bred 3-year-old and up fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Trainer Peter Walder had two horses entered in the race and he won with Bitacora, a four-year-old daughter of Dominus bred by Brenda K. Jones.
“We claimed her 6 months ago with the idea of this race in mind,” said Walder of his $50,000 claim of Bitacora at Gulfstream last December. “I am a big supporter of the Florida-Bred program and saw that she ran 2nd in this race last year so we thought we might be able to take it down this year.”
Bitacora went off at odds of 4-1 under Tyler Gaffalione for owners Paradise Farms, Corp., Walder Racing and Marshall Mack, registering her first stakes win and upping her record to 5-7-0 from 22 starts with earnings of $242,275.
All of the owners were visibly excited in the winners’ circle after the race. “It’s not often a plan made 6 months in advance works out,” Walder said.