November 6, 2016 — Gulfstream Park West’s Claiming Crown Preview Day Sunday was to showcase horses who could run Dec 3 on Opening Day of Gulfstream’s Championship Meet in the $1.11 million Claiming Crown.
One horse who could be tough to beat come Opening Day is Edward Short’s Class and Cash, who won the $50,000 Al’s Dearly Bred gate-to-wire by three-quarters of a length while covering a firm 1 1/16 mile course in 1:44.48.
It was Class and Cash’s seventh consecutive top two finish and fourth win in his last six starts. Claimed by trainer Jane Cibelli in March at Gulfstream, Clash and Cash has won at Gulfstream West, Gulfstream Park, Pimlico and Parx. The son of Exchange Rate has also finished second at Laurel and Monmouth.
“They told me to let him break away and get comfortable,” jockey Nik Juarez said. “If you look at the Form, it looked like we’d find ourselves on the lead. That’s where he put himself and that was it. We had the best horse in the race.”
The stakes winner Aire Bueno, who checked in second, is another consistent runner who could be headed to the Claiming Crown. Trained by Chuck Simon, Aire Bueno has nine consecutive top three finishes.
Cibelli and Juarez would team up again later in the afternoon to win the $50,000 Stage Player with Super Spender, who drove past Zeus Odin inside the final sixteenth to win the five furlong turf event by three lengths while covering the distance in :57.12. Favored Doctor J Dub, winner last time out of the Turf Monster (G3), was third.
In the $50,000 Funny Woman over a five-furlong turf course, Vicine Racing’s Belladini wore down the pacesetter Summer Rae in deep strength to win by a neck while covering the distance in :57.54. Trained by Milt Wolfson, Belladini has won two of her last three races at the distance.
Jose Pinchin’s Defying Gravity was shooting for her seventh consecutive victory in the $30,000 Tens Holy Spirit, but it was William Cubbedge’s Lobelia who won the 7 1/2-furlong event, covering the course in 1:32.59 under jockey Luca Panici while winning by three-quarters of a length over Stormin Charlotte. Defying Gravity was third.
Drawing Away Stable’s Esken Lady put away the 3-5 favorite Concealedwithakiss at the head of the stretch and held off Arella Princess and Tormento de Oro down the stretch to win the $30,000 You’re a Lady. Ridden by Edgard Zayas and trained by Saffie Joseph, Esken Lady covered the mile in 1:39.71. Esken Lady, a 3-year-old filly who has won three of her last four, was a length better than Tormento de Oro.
Bailey Livestock LLC’s Metaphorically drove past Forall the Marbles down the stretch under jockey Jose Garcia to win the P.D. Lucky by a neck. A 4-year-old son of A.P. Warrior trained by Steve Towne, Metaphorically covered the 7 1/2-furlong course in 1:31.19.
GLAB Racing Stable’s Chepstow, a 6-year-old son of Harlington, went to the front and never looked back under Zayas to win the $30,000 Gingerboy. Chepstow won by a half length while covering a fast track at 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.63.
Bersalu Farm’s Express Jet drove past Blings Express at the eighth pole and went on to win the $30,000 Talknow, Trained by Bernardo Campos and ridden by Miguel Vasquez, Express Jet beat Blings Express by 2 1/4 lengths while covering six furlongs in 1:09.56.