BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Florida-bred Secret Chat, a seven-length winner of his first race against state-bred special weight maidens, will try to build on that performance in his second start Sunday at Gulfstream Park in the $65,000 Aventura. The Roderick Rodriguez-trained colt is one of six 2-year-olds set for the one-mile Aventura, which also features a $25,000 win bonus for Florida-bred presented by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association.
Although he broke several lengths last from post one in his Aug. 19 debut at Gulfstream, Secret Chat rallied on the rail to settle mid-pack down the backstretch of the six-and-a-half-furlong test. His trouble endured around the turn when boxed in behind front-running favorite Arrogancy and Jigsaw, but jockey Emisael Jaramillo swung Secret Chat three-wide at the top of stretch where he darted away from the pack for his assertive victory.
A hombred for Gelfenstein Farm LLC, Secret Chat is by Union Rags out of La Vie Ross, by Medaglia d’Oro and earned $34,000 for the victory
Secret Chat is the 8-5 morning line favorite and has post three for the Aventura and will again be ridden by Jaramillo.
The second choice in the program at 3-1 is Divieto for Magic Stables LLC Cairoli Racing Stable and Midnight Racing LLC.
The Antonio Sano-trained son of Dialed In won his first race by four-and-a-half lengths going six furlongs at Gulfstream in late July but disappointed as the 7-5 favorite in his second start when fifth in the $90,000 Proud Man won by Florida-bred Bentornato.
Divieto sports earnings of $25,891 and will have jockey Edgard Zayas for the first time when he breaks from post four.
Another Aventura contender running for the Florida-bred bonus is BC Racing’s Jive, who exits a third-place finish behind Bentornato in the $100,000 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Dr. Fager at six furlongs on Sept. 9.
A first-time winner going five furlongs in May at Gulfstream Park, Jive was sent to Saratoga for his second start in the Grade 3 Sanford on July 15. He finished seventh in the Sanford but bounced back with a strong effort in the Dr. Fager.
Jive was the first winner for Journeyman Stud’s freshman sire St Patrick’s Day and is out of Sky Mesa mare Skylarbdancing. Bred in Florida by Jennifer A. Johnson and Gillian K. Johnson, Jive was purchased by Brian Cohen for $23,000 out of Richard Kent’s Kaizen Sales consignment at last year’s Ocala Breeders’ Sales Winter Mixed Sale.
Trainer Juan Alvarado will leg up jockey Jose Morelos and Jive, who is 6-1 on the morning line, has drawn post five.
Among the remaining contenders for the Aventura are Florida-bred Brawn, a three-quarter-length winner of a maiden special weight on synthetic in his lone start for trainer Ruben Sierra. Brawn will break from post one with Jesus Rios aboard.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has entered Self Sufficient, a two-and-a-half-length winner of a maiden special weight on debut on Aug. 26. Leonel Reyes will ride Self Sufficent from post two.
Florida-bred Dontbesoogrouchy rounds out the field. The Jose Pinchin-trained son of Greenpointcrusader won a $35,000 maiden claiming by more than nine lengths on synthetic on Aug. 25 in his fourth career start. Miguel Vasquez will ride from the outside post six.
Return to the Sept. 30 issue of Wire to Wire