Pounce, Emmanuel, Chili Flag Take Stakes at Gulfstream


Photo: Coglianese Photos
Pounce wins the Herecomesthebride Stakes at Gulfstream Park

Pounce  lived up to her name as she stole the $200,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3T) in the final strides March 2 at Gulfstream Park.

Breaking the widest of eight, Javier Castellano was content with letting the field go forward while he angled the 3-year-old daughter of Lookin At Lucky  toward the rail, entering the clubhouse turn just two paths from the inside.

Castellano never panicked as he raced last through fractions of :23.83, :46.58, and 1:09.38. Moving in tandem with Crown Imperial  around the far turn, Pounce threaded between horses and found clear sailing on the outside down the stretch for her rally. Tracking on the flank of grade 3 winner Life's an Audible , Pounce displayed her strong turn of foot as the two surged past favored Ozara  with a sixteenth left. Pounce continued forward as she edged Life's an Audible in the final jump to win by a neck, stopping the clock in 1:33.17 for the mile.

Pounce was backed at the window; bet down from a 20-1 morning line to go off at 9-1, paying $20.

DENK: Pounce Back in Action After Topping F-T Digital Sale

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It was instant gratification for new owners Resolute Racing, who just purchased the sale-topping filly last month for $370,000 at the Fasig-Tipton February Digital Sale. Pounce is now 3-for-4 lifetime with career earnings of $216,324, all for trainer Mark Casse.

Video: Herecomesthebride S. (G3T)

Emmanuel Repeats in Canadian Turf

In March 2023, Emmanuel  won the Canadian Turf Stakes (G3T) with the benefit of a prior start, having won the Tampa Bay Stakes (G3T) at Tampa Bay Downs on grass a month earlier.

Emmanuel wins the 2024 Canadian Turf Stakes at Gulfstream Park
Photo: Coglianese Photos/Ryan Thompson
Emmanuel takes the Canadian Turf Stakes at Gulfstream Park

This year he was without a tightener—though the $150,000 Canadian Turf result was the same. Again, he was triumphant, turning back stretch bids from runner-up Siege of Boston  and third-place Ice Chocolat  to score by a half-length during Saturday's card at Gulfstream. He stalked, pounced, and lasted for a narrow victory, blitzing 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:39.04 with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the saddle.

His second Canadian Turf gave him a fifth career graded win. He is 7-for-13 overall. Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher trains Emmanuel for owners Siena Farm and WinStar Farm.

A $350,000 purchase from the 2020 September Yearling Sale at Keeneland, he is a 5-year-old son of the late standout sire More Than Ready out of the Hard Spun   mare Hard Cloth 

Video: Canadian Turf S. (G3T)

Chili Flag Storms Late for Honey Fox Score

French-born Chili Flag  is the latest impressive European import for trainer Chad Brown with her powerful late-running victory in the Honey Fox Stakes (G3T).

Chili Flag wins the 2024 Honey Fox Stakes at Gulfstream Park
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Chili Flag rallies to win the Honey Fox Stakes at Gulfstream Park

Joining Brown's stable last year, Chili Flag captured the Forever Together Stakes in the fall before finishing an unlucky sixth, beaten only 2 1/2 lengths, in her 5-year-old debut in the Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf Invitational Stakes (G2T) Jan. 27.

Shortening up to a mile and facing softer competition seemed to do the trick in the $150,000 Honey Fox. Racing second-last early under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., Chili Flag floated by her rivals effortlessly turning for home, and stormed widest of all down the lane to catch Walkathon  by a neck at the wire. Ancient Peace  was 1 3/4 lengths back in third behind the top two, who had distanced themselves from the rest of the field late.

The Cityscape  mare clocked the mile in a sharp 1:32.78 on the firm turf, passing eight rivals and rallying from two lengths back in the final furlong. She returned $6.20 from a $2 win ticket as the 2-1 post-time favorite.

Campaigned by Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, and Michael Kisber, Chili Flag netted her fifth win from 17 trips to the post. The Honey Fox boosted her earnings to $345,527.