Gold Seeking 19th Florida Sire Stakes Win With Awesome Mass

Arindel’s fast filly Awesome Mass, upset as the favorite in the first two legs of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes, will attempt to stretch her speed around two turns and avoid being shut out in Saturday’s $400,000 My Dear Girl at Gulfstream Park.

The My Dear Girl for fillies and the $400,000 In Reality for colts and geldings, both at 1 1/16 miles, comprise the third and final legs of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association’s annual series for 2-year-olds sired by nominated stallions standing in Florida.

Supporting the FSS features on the 14-race program are four $75,000 turf stakes – the Armed Forces for 2-year olds, Our Dear Peggy for 2-year-old fillies and Mr. Steele for 3-year-olds and up, all at one mile; and the 1 1/16-mile Monroe for fillies and mares 3 and up.

First race post time is noon.

Trainer Stanley Gold has won a record 18 races in the FSS series but has yet to have luck this year with Awesome Mass, a homebred daughter of Brethren that registered one of the fastest speed figures turned in by a juvenile this year in her 11 ¾-length maiden triumph July 20 at Gulfstream.

She was second in the FSS’s six-furlong Desert Vixen Aug. 5 after stumbling at the start and grabbing her quarter, 4 ¾ lengths behind Go Astray, then found herself dead last through the first quarter-mile of the seven-furlong Susan’s Girl Sept. 2 before coming with a late run on the outside for fourth, beaten nine lengths by Starship Bonita.

“She came out of the race good. I just think we used her up. She just had too much ground to make up and she made a really big run and got completely used up,” Gold said. “She’s been training good so we’re going for it. We’ll see how she does on the two turns; I think she’ll be all right.”

Jockey Edgard Zayas is set to ride Awesome Mass for the first time in her sixth career start, from Post 3 in the field of 10. Gold said he’ll leave the tactical decisions up to his rider.

“I don’t think the distance will be any problem at all because she’ll be where you want,” Gold said. “I’ll let him ride his race. I don’t send her, I don’t take her back, she breaks and I’ll let Edgard make the decisions on what he’s going to do. She’s ready to go, she’s training good and I think she’ll run well. And she’ll probably be an overlay.”

Awesome Mass has had one work since the Susan’s Girl, a four-furlong breeze in 48.68 seconds Sept.22 at Gulfstream. Gold said she enters the My Dear Girl having missed a work and some training while at Arindel’s Ocala-based farm waiting out Hurricane Irma and the aftermath.

“I was behind the eight ball with her because she was up on the farm and missed 10 days of training. You just hope that they’re back where they were,” he said. “You were put in a situation where you do the best you can in the time frame you have, but it’s not what I would have done by choice. Everybody missed a breeze plus they missed 10 days of training so we’ll see.”

Each of the first two FSS series winners returns in the My Dear Girl. Ramiro Medina’s homebred Go Astray was a 4 ¾-length maiden winner in her fourth start June 17, then tested open company in the $100,000 Brave Raj July 1 at Gulfstream where she set the pace into the stretch before tiring to fourth.

Go Astray went all the way on the lead to take the Desert Vixen, then found herself in front once again in the Susan’s Girl but was unable to sustain her run and finished third by two lengths, seven ahead of Awesome Mass. Trainer Angel Rodriguez felt she used up some of her energy when acting up while being saddled before the race.

“We were in the back ready to take her to the paddock and she went a little crazy and she flipped and she got in trouble and everything. She was very nervous,” Rodriguez said. “I really think she’s going to run better this time. She still ran OK but she was not the same that day. I don’t know why for some reason she got a little crazy.

“She’s doing good and she came out of the last race good,” he added. “The distance is going to be a little difficult for her but she’s a very honest horse. She always tries so we have to take a chance. The money is good so even if we don’t win and we can run second or third, we’re going to do OK.”

To address the distance question, Rodriguez has been using smaller blinkers in the morning on Go Astray rather than the fuller ones than she has previously worn, and she will also race with the new equipment. Regular rider Jose Batista will be aboard from Post 4.

“The only thing we’re going to change are the blinkers. We’re going to put cheater blinkers instead of the full blinkers,” he said. “I think for the distance she has to relax better and this way she can see more and that will help. She’s been training with the new blinkers since the last race and it has gone well.”

Starship Stables’ Starship Bonita broke her maiden with a 14-1 upset in the Susan’s Girl, gaining a contending position along the rail before angling out to challenge the leaders and putting in a drive down the stretch to get up by a head over Dessert Honeys. Second in her July 23 debut, she was fourth in the Desert Vixen in her stakes debut.

Jacks or Better Farm homebred Pantyhose goes after her maiden victory in the My Dear Girl, having run second or third in four of her first five starts. She came with a steady late run to miss second by a nose behind Awesome Mass in the Desert Vixen, then finished an even fifth in the Susan’s Girl.

“I don’t know, it was a dull effort. She’s usually very consistent,” trainer Ralph Nicks said. “She hasn’t won a race but she tries every time. Last time, she kind of gave up in the middle. Still, I didn’t see any reason for the performance and she’s done fine since then so we’ll try again.”

Dessert Honeys, second in the Susan’s Girl in just her second career start, joins FSS series newcomers Galileo’s Affair, Little Bridge, Regal Romance, Taylor’s Princess and Unstablenthemornin to round out the My Dear Girl field.

Taylor’s Princess, fourth in the Sept. 9 Happy Ticket at Louisiana Downs, and Unstablenthemorning, eighth in the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf Sept. 4, both come in with stakes experience. Little Bridge was a gutsy neck winner of her lone start Aug. 25 at Gulfstream, while Galileo’s Affair and Regal Romance are both seeking their first career wins.

The post Gold Seeking 19th Florida Sire Stakes Win With Awesome Mass appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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