Triple Crown Winners Square Off in Caribbean Classic

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

December 7th, 2017

Want to see a Triple Crown winner in action this Saturday?

No, American Pharoah hasn’t made a surprise comeback, but you can see a Triple Crown winner of a different sort when Gulfstream Park hosts the Clásico Internacional del Caribe on December 9th.

The Clásico Internacional del Caribe is a series of five important stakes races held every December for horses bred and/or based in Latin America and the Caribbean. Similar to the Breeders’ Cup, the races are held at a variety of distances and rotate between racetracks throughout the region; 2017 marks the first year that the event will be held at Gulfstream Park.

The $300,000 Clasico del Caribe (Caribbean Classic), a nine-furlong race for three-year-olds, is the annual highlight of the series. This year’s edition has drawn an impressive field of twelve horses, with Justiciero one of the main contenders. Bred in Puerto Rico, the talented colt has won seven of his eight starts this year, including a decisive sweep of the three races that comprise Puerto Rico’s Triple Crown.

But Justiciero isn’t the only Triple Crown winner in the field. Also lining up to run is Immenso, who is a perfect 8-for-8 this year with four Grade 1 wins to his name, including a sweep of the Dominican Republic Triple Crown. Joel Rosario, the Kentucky Derby-winning rider who won the 2008 Caribbean Classic aboard Sicotico, has the mount.

Another highlight on the card is the $100,000 Copa Confraternidad del Caribe (Confraternity Caribbean Cup), a 1 ¼-mile event for three-year-olds and older horses that will feature a rematch between its last two winners, Arquitecto (2016) and Don Carlos R (2015). Also joining the deep and competitive field is the 2015 Mexico Triple Crown winner Huitlacoche, a winner of three Grade 1 races this year, as well as the last two winners of the Caribbean Classic, El Tigre Mono (2016) and Calinico (2015).

In addition to Saturday’s special events, Gulfstream Park has also scheduled six regular stakes races for juveniles. Two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Todd Pletcher has entered at least one horse in each race, including Coltandmississippi, Bon Raison, and Bal Harbour in the $75,000 Smooth Air Stakes. Of particular note is Coltandmississippi, who has won two of his three starts and is owned by the partnership of Teresa Viola Racing Stables and St. Elias Stable, best known as the part-owners of Pletcher’s 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming.

Post time for the first race of the day is 11:50 a.m. Eastern.