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Gulfstream Park: Live Lively, Dreaming of Julia get rematch in Oaks
By Mike Welsch
The fields are starting to take shape for several of the other graded stakes on Florida Derby Day, March 30, at Gulfstream Park.
The best of the undercard races will be the Grade 2 Gulfstream Oaks, which is expected to feature a rematch between Live Lively and Dreaming of Julia, the first- and second-place finishers in the Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile Davona Dale on Feb. 23.
The field for the nine-furlong Oaks is also likely to include trainer Bill Mott’s highly regarded Emollient, an allowance winner going two turns here earlier in the meet, along with Cue the Moon, Kimberly Jean, Original Script, and possibly Toasting.
The Grade 3 Skip Away will mark the return to graded stakes company for the up-and-coming Cigar Street, who already has posted two impressive allowance wins this meet. He will face last year’s Travers winner, Golden Ticket, and perhaps reigning Florida Derby champion Take Charge Indy in the 1 3/16-mile Skip Away.
The Skip Away field is also expected to include the South American import Al Qasr, who has been training forwardly for his U.S. debut at Calder with trainer Jose Garoffalo.
Outrider Haffner and pony injured
Outrider Paul Haffner suffered a separated collarbone and broke four ribs when going over the outer railing while attempting to catch True Faith, who had run off on the turf course prior to the start of Thursday’s fourth race. According to Racing Secretary Dan Bork, Haffner’s pony incurred some severe cuts, but the injuries were not considered life-threatening.
The race, a maiden claimer for 3-year-old fillies, was delayed more than 30 minutes while the injured horse and outrider were attended to and the broken railing was repaired.
Jockey Gomez making a comeback
Jocy Gomez, who hasn’t ridden in a race in almost nine years, was scheduled to return to the saddle aboard trainer Steve Dwoskin’s first-time starter Indy Breeze in Saturday’s seventh race.
Gomez was a regular on the southern Florida circuit from the time she began her career at Hialeah during the spring of 1997 until her retirement in 2004. She has won 160 races, including 15 at Gulfstream Park during the winter and spring of 2000.
“Riding is just in my blood,” Gomez said when asked why she decided to come back. “I’ve gotten a lot of help from several trainers who’ve let me get on horses in the morning to get fit again over the last several months, especially Steve Dwoskin.”
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