BY BROCK SHERIDAN
The Gulfstream Park Sunshine Meet gets under way Friday with a $75,000 guaranteed Rainbow 6 jackpot pool that includes a solid race for 2-year-olds sprinting five-and-a-half furlongs on the track’s synthetic course. The Sunshine Meet will run through Nov. 26 and leads up to the track’s prestigious Championship Meet that starts Dec. 1.
The Rainbow 6 sequence will span races three through eight.
Highlighting the stakes schedule for the Sunshine meet are the first two legs of the lucrative Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association Florida Sire Stakes that begins Sept. 9 with the $100,000 Dr. Fager and $100,000 Desert Vixen, both at six furlongs for eligible 2-year-olds by FTBOA registered stallions.
The second legs of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes occurs Oct. 21 with the $200,000 Affirmed and the $200,000 Susan’s Girl for fillies, both at seven furlongs. Also on Oct. 21 is the $100,000 Gil Campbell for Florida-bred 3-year-olds and older going a mile. The Gil Campbell also features a $50,000 Florida Sire Stakes bonus to be split 70%-20%-10% among the eligible top three finishers.
The third leg of FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes series will conclude during the Championship meet on Dec. 2 with the $300,000 In Reality and the $300,000 My Dear Girl for fillies, both at a mile-and-a-sixteenth.
The sixth race Friday is for 2-year-old non-winners of two races with a $75,000 optional claiming price and has attracted a field of six headed by Florida-bred Big Effect for owners Leon Ellman, Glassman Racing LLC and Laurie Plesa.
The dark bay or brown son of Ocala Stud stallion The Big Beast will try to rebound off of an eighth-place finish in the $90,000 Proud Man won by the highly regarded Bentornato going six furlongs on the main track at Gulfstream on Aug. 12.
Big Effect makes his first start on synthetic after breaking his maiden by nearly seven lengths in his second career start against Florida-bred, special weight company going six furlongs at Gulfstream on July 22. In his first start, he was second to Bentornato under the same conditions going five furlongs on a sloppy track at Gulfstream on July 1.
Out of Holiday Flare, by Harlan’s Holiday, Big Effect was bred by Ocala Stud, who consigned him to this year’s Ocala Breeders’ Sales Spring Sale where his current owners took him for $160,000.
Big Effect has earned $50,450 in his three races.
Eddie Plesa – Lauren King Photo
Trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., Big Effect will be ridden by Edgard Zayas from post two.
Grand Mo the First is another top contender as he comes into Friday having won his only start.
Trained by Victor Barboza Jr. for Granpollo Stable, Grand Mo First defeated special weight maidens by two-and-a-quarter lengths going five furlongs on the synthetic course at Gulfstream on August 6.
A $135,000 yearling at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale where David Geofroy purchased him out of the Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency consignment, Grand Mo First was a $335,000 RNA at this year’s OBS March Sale where he was consigned by Golden Rock Thoroughbreds.
Grand Mo First is by Uncle Mo out of Lilies So Fair, by Giant’s Causeway and he earned $24,000 in his lone start.
Barboza has once again named Emisael Jaramillo to ride Grand Mo First and they will break from post three.
The remainder of the field includes Florida-bred Pesky, who will be ridden by Jon Rivera, Florida-bred Down in the Valley with recently concluded Royal Palm meet leading rider Leonel Reyes aboard, Okiro and jockey Angel Morales and Florida-bred Prevent with Luca Panici in the irons.