01/09/2013 4:44PM

Gulfstream Park notes: Nikki's Sandcastle among 11 entered for Ft. Lauderdale

Courtney Heeney
Nikki's Sandcastle, ridden by Corey Lanerie, wins the El Prado.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - A field of 11 turf specialists led by Nikki’s Sandcastle, already a two-time winner at the meet, was entered for Saturday’s Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale.

Nikki’s Sandcastle won the Claiming Crown Emerald on opening day and returned to capture the El Prado overnight stakes to close out his 2012 campaign. He’ll break from post 2 under Corey Lanerie in the 1 1/16-mile Ft. Lauderdale.

Other top contenders in the Ft. Lauderdale include Dominus, Quick Wit, Big Blue Kitten, Hollinger, Sky Blazer and Vertiformer. Pants On Fire, also nominated to the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope on Sunday, was entered for main track only.

Jimmy Combest dies at 86

Former jockey Jimmy Combest, who finished second aboard Roman Line behind Decidedly in the 1962 Kentucky Derby, died Tuesday following a long illness. He was 86.

Combest rode for more than 30 years and was one of the top jockeys on the New York-Florida circuit during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Combest, who participated in six Kentucky Derbies during his career, is the brother of longtime Calder-based trainer Reed Combest and the uncle of trainer Phil Combest.
Combest is survived by his wife, Dottie, three daughters and a son.