HALLANDALE BEACH, FL—D. J. Stable LLC’s Mensa registered a professional three-length debut victory Friday at Gulfstream Park, becoming the first winning offspring of first-year sire Complexity in the Royal Palm Meet’s first race for 2-year-olds.

The Florida-bred colt broke alertly from his inside stall to quickly open up a clear lead on his six rivals and rolled to an impressive triumph under Patrick Husbands. Mensa ran four-and-a-half furlongs in :51.86 in the second race.

“He’s been extremely professional from day one,” Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse assistant Nick Tomlinson said. “He’s a beautiful horse. A lot of the credit goes to the guys in the barn. They did a lot of gate schooling with him. They’re the reason a lot of these babies are ready to roll. He’s far more advanced than anyone else. Hopefully, he continues to progress from here.”

Mensa is out of Lady Halite, by Medaglia d’Oro and is a half-brother to 2023 Parx Juvenile and 2022 James F. Lewis-winning Florida-bred Recruiter, by Army Mule; and stakes-placed Miss Sayley, by Maximus Mischief. Lady Halite was bred to Nashville in 2023.

Mensa was bred in Florida by Beth Bayer, who consigned the dark bay colt to the 2023 Ocala Breeders’ Sales October Yearling Sale where D.J. Stable purchased him for $135,000.

Trainer Patrick Biancone’s Unchained Elaine, a homebred daughter of American Pharoah, finished second, 11 lengths clear of third-place finishing Florida-bred Tank. Wesley Ward-trained Delightful Flame, the 7-10 favorite, broke slowly and was never a factor.


Catalytic Breezes at Gulfstream in Preparation for Kentucky Derby 

Owned by Ocala’s Tami Bobo, Julie Davies and George Isaac’s, Catalytic breezed four furlongs in :49.25 Friday morning at Gulfstream Park in preparation for a start in the May 4 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1).

The workout was the son of Catalina Cruiser’s first since his runner-up finish behind Fierceness in the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) March 30 at Gulfstream.

“He went well. It was his first breeze back. It was an easy half in 49 and one,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said. “He’ll work back here once more, most likely next Friday, and then he’ll ship and have his last work at Churchill.”

Catalytic made only his third career start while making his stakes debut in the Florida Derby, in which he chased Fierceness throughout, holding on to finish second, 13 ½ lengths back and 2 ½ lengths ahead of Grand Mo the First.

“He bounced out of the race well for a horse that was only making his third start, second start in three weeks,” Joseph said. “He was a distance second behind a deserving favorite. But I feel like he’s a horse that can improve again, which he should.”


Florida-bred Trumpets a Heaven-Sent Filly for Owner/Trainer Joe Catanese III

Owner/trainer Joe Catanese III’s Trumpets overcame a slow start to follow up an impressive maiden score with an even more eye-catching victory Friday at Gulfstream Park.

Trumpets is a heaven-sent filly for Catanese, who inherited the 3-year-old filly upon the passing of lifelong friend and beloved South Florida horseman Larry Bates last year.

She is by Neolithic, Florida’s 2021 leading freshman who stands at Pleasant Acres Stallions, out of Summer Embrace, by Winslow Homer and was bred by Matalona Thoroughbreds LLC. Bates purchased Mensa out of the Abbie Road consignment at the 2022 OBS October Yearling Sale.

“I just thank Larry. This is all for Larry,” Catanese said in the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle following Trumpet’s four-length score in the sixth race, a five-furlong optional claiming allowance for 3-year-old Florida-bred fillies on Tapeta.

Trumpets broke last from her inside stall in the starting gate but took over the lead midway through the backstretch during a first-quarter of a mile in :21.73. The Florida-bred filly was never threatened thereafter, completing the five-furlong distance in :57.58.

“I was a little surprised because the filly is usually fast from the gate,” jockey Edgar Perez said. “My filly is a very classy filly. After she broke slow, I push and push and push to put her on the lead and from the three-eighths pole, it was an easy way home.”

Trumpets was coming off a dazzling five-and-three-quarters-length victory in a Feb. 14 maiden special weight event on the all-weather surface, over which she ran five-furlongs in :56.36. Trumpets previously finished second in her Dec. 23 debut, in which she was beaten three-quarters of a length by 3-5 favorite Karaya, who came back to win two optional claiming events before finishing second to Twirling Queen in the $106,000 Melody of Colors on March 6.

In Race 7, a first condition, $75,000 optional claiming for 3-year-olds on turf, BC Racing LLC’s Prevent, a multiple stakes-placed son of Neolithic, held on to score by a nose over Ninja Star to complete the Florida-bred exacta. The Juan Alvarado-trained 2-1 favorite provided Edgard Zayas with his second winning ride on Friday’s program.


Saturday’s Rainbow 6 Pool Estimated at $175,000

The 20¢ Rainbow 6 pool is expected to grow to an estimated $175,000 Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where the popular multi-race wager went unsolved Friday for the sixth consecutive day of the Royal Palm Meet.

Saturday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span race five through 10, featuring a five-furlong optional claiming allowance for 3-year-old fillies on turf in the fifth race. A full field of 12 (and four also-eligibles) includes a pair of Christophe Clement-trained fillies, Beanpot, a daughter of Into Mischief who graduated in front-running style last time out, and Iced Coffee, a debut winner who failed to overcome traffic problems in her return. Todd Pletcher-trained Artemis Sound, who finished second behind Beanpot, enters Saturday’s event off a front-running maiden score.

Brock Sheridan contributed to this story

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