Saturday, August 7, 2010

Back for seconds: First-out winner takes Florida-bred stakes at Calder in second trip to the table

Gourmet Dinner rallied in the stretch Saturday and just got up at the wire to take the $75,000 Florida Stallion Dr. Fager Stakes at Calder by a half-length over determined long-shot Grande Shores.

The victory, his second in as many starts, was reminiscent of Gourmet Dinner's maiden score on July 17 at Calder, when he stalked the leaders, came on in the late-going, and prevailed by a length. On Saturday, in the showers and slop, Gourmet Dinner and Sebastian Madrid, his pilot in both victories, rated in sixth place of seven through a half, swung out in the stretch, and charged home to just nip the 15-1 runner-up at the wire.

The time under poor racing conditions was 1:12.97 for six furlongs.

Heavy favorite Little Drama -- half-brother of millionaire sprinter and track record-holder Big Drama, and winner of Calder's earlier Frank Gomez Memorial S. -- was sent off at odds of 1/2, but faltered in the stretch and finished sixth, beaten 16.

Vee's Accolade (nearly 17/1) was disqualified from third to fifth, elevating 19/1 Decisive Moment into a trifecta that paid $505 despite Gourmet Dinner being the winner and second-favored at about 5/2.

With the win, Gourmet Dinner becomes the first of my 2010 juvenile sales picks to become a black-type winner. He earned $45,570, elevating his earnings to $75,390 from two starts.

The Trippi colt brought $40,000 as Hip 277 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s April sale of 2-year-olds in training. He was the fifth of my 187 sales picks to break his maiden, and beyond being the first stakes winner, also is the first of 10 sales-tip winners to collect a second lifetime victory.

Gourmet Dinner was bred by Ocala Stud and William J. Terrill. He runs in the colors of owners Our Sugar Bear Stable and was trained for the win by Peter Gulyas.

Though I typically don't select foals out of mares who were poor racehorses themselves, I made an exception for this one. Not only had he blistered a quarter in 21.3 at the sale, his dam, the Pentelicus mare Potluck Dinner, overcame her lackluster track performance to become a proven producer. Older siblings to Gourmet Dinner include: On the Rail (Montbrook), 9-for-38, $219,166; I'mroyallymecke'd (Mecke), 7-for-55, 2nd, Oliver S.(Crc), $178,325; Crazybrook (Montbrook), 15-for-67, $163,931 (the catalog page lists 16 wins and $167K); and GASTON A. (Concorde's Tune), 1st Gene's Big Sky S. (5fT,Crc), $60,065.

The colt has certainly paid off for his buyers, having now earned nearly double what he cost.

Track the progress of all my 2010 sales picks and pans in the list at the end of this former post.

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