Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
Trainer Carlos David will be represented by Bell Racing LLC’s Fulmini and Palm Beach Racing Partnership’s Hot Blooded in Saturday’s $75,000 English Channel at Gulfstream Park, a key sequence in Saturday’s mandatory payout of the 20-cent Rainbow 6.
But don’t bother asking David which horse he may prefer in the 1 1/16-mile turf stakes that drew a full field of 12 3-year-olds.
“I really like both horses coming into this race, for sure,” David said.
Fulmini, who was stakes-placed twice in off-the-turf stakes last year, was claimed for $50,000 out of his Jan. 21 debut, in which he finished sixth for trainer Michael Maker. After Bell Racing LLC transferred a pair of horses to his stable, David was asked to look for a young, relatively high-priced horse to claim.
“They left it up to me to find a horse. They were looking themselves but left it up to me. I found two horses in one race in a starter [claiming allowance] for $50,000 and one of them was Fulmini, who I knew very well because he had run against Hot Blooded a couple times,” David said. “He was a horse I knew. He was certainly young and the way he runs, I didn’t think anything was wrong with him.”
In his first two starts for David, the son of Overdriven captured a five-furlong starter allowance on turf and finished second behind then-undefeated Annex in the mile Cutler Bay, beaten by just a neck, over Gulfstream’s turf course.
“I was really happy with that race. Annex ended up going to a graded stake in Kentucky. He was the horse to beat in the race and we just got beat,” David said. “I think he likes the training program that I have. His training partner is Hot Blooded. They always go head-and-head and everything they do, they do together.”
While Fulmini was added to David’s stable through a claim, Hot Blooded has been developed by his trainer from Day 1 of his career. The son of Declaration of War finished fourth in his June 2020 debut on dirt at Gulfstream following a slow and troubled start but graduated by two lengths a month later in a seven-furlong sprint that was taken off the turf. The Florida-bred colt came right back to score a 2 ½-length victory in the Proud Man, a mile turf stakes at Gulfstream in which Fulmini finished fourth.
“That was my first stake [victory] ever. I was really happy,” David said.
Hot Blooded concluded his juvenile campaign with an off-the-board finish in the off-the-turf Gulfstream Park West Juvenile Turf Stakes, in which Fulmini finished second.
“He had a couple hiccups, nothing major. He got loose one time and hurt himself on the pavement. He kept having setbacks. He also had pneumonia,” David said. “Turning 3 was kind of hard for him.”
In his 3-year-old debut in the Feb. 27 Palm Beach over Gulfstream’s turf course, Hot Blooded chased an early pace and took the lead in the stretch, only to tire to seventh in the 1 1/16-mile open stakes won by Bill Mott-trained Annex. In his most recent start, he closed to finish fourth, beaten 1 ½ lengths, in the Tampa Bay Downs Sophomore Turf.
“They last couple races he’s been unlucky. The stake was a tough race. It was a little challenging. I think it affected him, chasing the fast pace, going that fast,” David said. “At Tampa, he just seemed to get in trouble on both turns and never found a hole to come out and show up.”
Miguel Vasquez has the call on Fulmini, while Samy Camacho has the return mount aboard Hot Blooded.
Edge Racing’s Yes This Time is scheduled to seek his fourth straight victory while making his stakes debut in the English Channel. The Kelly Breen-trained son of Not This Time won back-to-back starter allowance races before drawing off to a 2 ½-length victory in an optional claiming allowance over Gulfstream’s turf April 11.
Edwin Gonzalez has the return call on Yes This Time.
Edgard Zayas will ride Repole Stable’s Hyperfocus for the first time in the English Channel, seeking to get a clearer run that he got in the Cutler Bay, in which he lacked room in the stretch before finishing fifth, just a length behind runner-up Fulmini. The Todd Pletcher-trained son of Constitution had previously captured an optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream.
Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Raison d’Air, a three-length optional claiming allowance winner last time out; Victoria’s Ranch’s King of Dreams, who set the pace before finishing sixth in the Cutler Bay; and Lea Farms LLC’s Fighting Force, the Dania Beach runner-up who was eliminated by bumping at the start of the Cutler Bay; are among the more prominent English Channel entrants.
Wimborne Farm’s Double Demon and Major Frontier, and Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti’s Kartano round out the main body of the field.
Arindel’s Hercules and Jay and Joan Janssen’s Caxambas Candy are main-track-only entrants.
The mandatory Rainbow 6 sequence will run from Races 7-12 with averages field sizes of 10 horses.
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