‘It’s High Time’ for revenge in Desert Vixen; ‘Dream of Me’ in Dr. Fager
Fast forward to Saturday and It’s High Time turned back a challenge from Ballet Diva when prevailing by 3 1/4 lengths in the $200,000 Desert Vixen division of the Florida Sire Stakes (FSS). This time around, it was Ballet Diva who wound up in third, four lengths behind It’s High Time.
The duo broke on top with Silent Prayer, who ended up leading the way around the backstretch down on the rail. It’s High Time pulled her way to the front entering the turn with 1-5 favorite Ballet Diva racing just off her flank on the outside.
Ballet Diva appeared ready to take command for a brief moment, moving up to run in tandem with It’s High Time, but then suddenly dropped back again. As the eventual winner continued her momentum, Ballet Diva was overtaken by Silent Prayer and forced to settle for third.
It’s High Time was an easy winner of her debut on May 21 at Gulfstream, scoring by 7 1/4 lengths in that 4 1/2-furlong contest, and successfully stretched out in this spot when stopping the clock in 1:12.59 for the six-furlong Desert Vixen.
The Tracy Pinchin homebred is trained by Jose Pinchin and was ridden by Harry Hernandez for the first time on Saturday.
It's High Time (Leslie Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography)
The $200,000 Dr. Fager came one race from the end of Gulfstream’s Saturday program and saw Dream of Me score by 2 1/4 lengths after dueling throughout with Mr. Kisses.
That duo plus 9-5 favorite Li’l Meatball hooked up from the start and battled it out through splits of :22/61, :46.32 and :58.68. Upon hitting the stretch, Li’l Meatball’s jockey, Miguel Vazquez, dropped the whip and the colt flattened out soon after.
Mr. Kisses had taken command by this point but Dream of Me fought back on the inside. The Anna Varsi trainee never relented, even after collaring Mr. Kisses, and pulled off under Eduardo Nunez to post a final time of 1:12.11 for six furlongs on the fast main track.
Dream of Me, campaigned by Kathy Machesky, broke his maiden in his second start on July 26 at Gulfstream, wiring that sloppy, sealed affair by 3 3/4 lengths. The gray colt’s debut also came on an off track, but he proved Saturday more than handle of handling fast surfaces as well.
Mr. Kisses was sent off the second longest shot at 35-1 in the nine-horse field, but was tenacious up front and, unless facing Grade 1 company, probably won’t get those kinds of odds in his next one.
Dream of Me (Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography)
In addition to the Desert Vixen and Dr. Fager, there were five other stakes on Saturday’s FSS program.
In the first of two FSS divisions for three-year-olds, Dogwood Trail lived up to her 1-5 favoritism when capturing the $150,000 Three Ring under Jesus Rios by 2 1/2 lengths. The Stanley Gold pupil, who took the Azalea S. (G3) last out on July 5, ran seven furlongs over the main track in 1:24.26.
Wicked Rascal tried to lead all the way home in the $150,000 Unbridled division of the FSS restricted to Florida-bred sophomore colts and geldings, but was just caught on the wire by Yourdreamsormine. That Bill Kaplan runner was sent off at 35-1 under Juan Levya and came from last to just score by a head. Yourdreamsormine completed seven furlongs on the main track in 1:23.50 and returned a nice $73.60 for the win.
Opening the stakes action was Catalina Red in the $75,000 Jackson Bend S. With Daniel Centano aboard, the Chad Stewart-trained sophomore took over in the stretch of the main-track contest and pulled off a 2 1/4-length victory. Sent off the 3-2 favorite, the chestnut colt finished up seven furlongs in 1:22.88.
One race later, Golden Rifle tracked pacesetting 5-2 favorite Joes Blazing Aaron throughout the $75,000 Eight Miles East S. before just getting the best of that foe by a length. Tyler Gaffalione guided the five-year-old through 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf in 1:42.86 for trainer Marty Wolfson.
Lori’s Store proved best by three parts of a length in the $75,000 Soaring Softly S. under Harry Hernandez, getting the jump on E B Ryder when emerging from the pack upon hitting the lane. The Marty Wolfson-conditioned five-year-old opened up and had enough of an advantage to withstand E B Ryder’s game late charge. The gray mare completed a mile on the firm turf in 1:39.78.