BY GULFSTREAM PARK PRESS OFFICE
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL—Soldi Stable LLC and Ohana Racing LLC’s Amstrong made a victorious return to Gulfstream Park’s synthetic course Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where the 7-5 favorite remained undefeated and virtually unchallenged on the all-weather surface in the $75,000 Bear’s Den.
Amstrong, who had produced back-to-back scores in his first two starts on synthetic while breaking his maiden and winning the $75,000 Not Surprising at Gulfstream on June 10, entered the Bear’s Den, a mile-and-70-yard stakes for 3-year-olds, off an off-the-board finish in the Grade 3 Manila won by More than Looks on turf at Belmont Park and a third-place finish behind winner Galerio in a second-condition allowance on dirt at Laurel Park on Aug. 4.
The Jose D’Angelo-trained son of Tapwrit regained his footing on the all-weather surface Saturday while registering a two-and-a-quarter-length triumph and reuniting with Miguel Vasquez, who was aboard for his back-to-back scores on the all-weather surface.
“He loves the Tapeta. He was ready and he was much the best in the race,” D’Angelo said after watching the Bear’s Den from Keeneland where he is attending the Keeneland September sale.
Love Me Not, who was making his first start at Gulfstream and first appearance on synthetic after being claimed out of a four-and-a-half-length victory on turf at Monmouth Park, shot to the lead under Jose Morelos to show the way around the first turn and along the backstretch. Amstrong stalked the pace in third under a strong hold nearing the far turn before making his bid and moving alongside Love Me Not on the turn into the homestretch. The pacesetter continued on gamely through the stretch but had no serious answer to Amstrong’s strong stretch drive.
Amstrong finished in 1:40.89.
“The only two times he ran on the Tapeta he won. His last two races were against tougher company at Belmont and Laurel Park,” D’Angelo said.
Love Me Not, who set fractions of :24.83 and :48.99 in the first half-mile, held second, a length ahead of Florida-bred Smart Striker. They were followed in order by Florida-breds Rockin Roller, Free Smoke and Lightning Tones. McMoney and Unified Weekend completed the order of finish. Florida-bred Loco Abarrio was scratched.
Sunday’s Rainbow 6 Gross Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $100,000
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 gross jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $100,000 Sunday at Gulfstream Park.
Sunday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span the fourth through ninth races, headlined by a mile-and-70-yard optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and older in the eighth race. Several stakes veterans are entered in the field of eight, including Mark Casse-trained Volcanic, a graded stakes-placed son of Violence who has won three of his last four starts since being switched to synthetic.