Ticking, a pricey colt with a whole lot of potential, will seek to get back on track in Saturday’s $75,000 Not Surprising at Gulfstream Park following a disappointing finish in his turf debut.
The Not Surprising, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-olds on Tapeta, will coheadline Saturday’s program with the $75,000 Martha Washington, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-old fillies on Tapeta.
Florida-bred Ticking entered the May 6 English Channel, a mile stakes on turf, coming off a pair of dominating seven-furlong victories on dirt during Gulfstream’s Championship Meet. A troubled third in his career debut in July, the son of Bolt d’Oro returned to action with a thoroughly dominating 6 ¼-length maiden score Feb. 18. He came back to notch a 2 ¼-length optional claiming allowance win over graded stakes-placed Great Navigator March 16 for owners Leon Ellman, Laurie Plesa and Glassman Racing LLC.
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Ticking, a half-brother to $699,000 earner Harper’s Wild Ride, was purchased for $675,000, at the OBS April sale for 2-year-olds-in-training.
Ticking broke from the rail in the English Channel but ended up three-wide on the first turn following a less-than-alert start. Along the backstretch, he encountered bumping on a several occasions before going four-wide on the turn and fading to eighth.
“It was a horrible trip,” trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said. “His last race I just have to draw a line through it.”
The Plesa trainee will make his Tapeta debut in the Not Surprising.
“I worked him on Tapeta, and he handled it well. I don’t anticipate that being an issue,” Plesa said. “The horse is looking great, training great.”
Edgard Zayas, who was aboard for Ticking’s back-to-back wins, has the mount in the Not Surprising, in which Ticking is scheduled to meet seven rivals, including Jose D’Angelo-trained Amstrong and Ordinary.
Soldi Stable LLC and Ohana Racing LLC’s Amstrong graduated in his third career start last time out while making his debut on Tapeta.
“The horse just broke his maiden on the Tapeta. He loves the Tapeta,” D’Angelo said. “He ran very well the first time on dirt. The second time, he didn’t move good. When I trained him on grass, I said, ‘He’s a grass horse.”
New Horizon Farm’s Ordinary enters the Not Surprising off a sixth-place finish in the English Channel, in which he finished an even fifth, 6 ½ lengths ahead of Ticking.
The son of Munnings was coming off an impressive graduation after overcoming early bumping and rallying from 10th in a mile maiden optional claiming race on turf.
Miguel Vasquez has the mount on Amstrong, while Edwin Gonzalez is named to ride Ordinary.
Calumet Farm’s Calycanthus is scheduled to make his Tapeta debut for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher in the Not Surprising. The son of English Channel most recently finished fourth in an April 8 optional claiming allowance on turf. Leonel Reyes has the call.
Smart Striker, who graduated on Tapeta last fall, is scheduled to make her second start for My Purple Haze Stables and trainer Terri Pompay Saturday. The gelded son of Connect, who was claimed for $50,000 out of a sixth-place finish on turf March 22, closed steadily to finish second in a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance on Tapeta. Edgar Perez will ride Smart Striker for the first time Saturday.
Roger Laurin’s Tigre, a multiple stakes-placed son of Awesome Slew, is scheduled to make his 2023 debut Saturday with Emisael Jaramillo aboard.
EKB Stables’ Lights of Broadway, stakes-placed last year, is set to make his first start off the claim for trainer Peter Walder. Kevin Krigger has the mount.
Fly With Me’s Unified Weekend enters the Not Surprising off a starter allowance for trainer Antonio Sano. Sonny Leon has been awarded the mount.
Typey Looks to Go Back-to-Back in Saturday’s Martha Washington
Trainer Jose D’Angelo was hardly encouraged by Typey’s early training until she stepped foot on the Tapeta track at Gulfstream Park, where the daughter of Accelerate is entered in Saturday’s $75,000 Martha Washington.
“She’s by Accelerate. Accelerate ran on the dirt, not grass. All her breezes were normal, normal, normal. I said to the owner, ‘I don’t see anything good on the dirt – just a normal filly, an average filly,’” D’Angelo said. “She was working really well on the Tapeta. When horses like Tapeta they usually like the grass. One work before her first race, I knew she was a really good filly.”
Tami Bobo’s Typey, who has raced exclusively on turf and Tapeta in her six starts, is scheduled to make her stakes debut in the Martha Washington, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-old fillies on Tapeta, that will coheadline Saturday’s program with the $75,000 Not Surprising, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-olds on Tapeta.
Although the homebred filly graduated in her sixth start, she was never worse than third in her five prior starts while competing against well-connected fillies.
“This filly I always thought was a really nice filly. She was unlucky. Every time she ran, she ran against tough, tough fillies – Chad Brown fillies, Todd Pletcher fillies,” D’Angelo said.
Typey either set or pressed the early pace in her first five starts but settled off the pace in her most recent race, in which she rated kindly for jockey Sonny Leon after breaking from the No. 10 post position. She advanced on the turn into the homestretch before kicking in and kicking clear by 2 ½ lengths in the 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight race on Tapeta.
“I said to Sonny, ‘Try to get a good start but don’t try to get to the lead, because the turn is so close. Go inside, give a patient ride. and just make one move,’” D’Angelo said. “She looked very, very relaxed on the bit doing that.”
D’Angelo will also be represented in the Martha Washington field by Golden Rock Thoroughbreds LLC’s Alternate Rock, who captured a mile optional claiming allowance on turf in her most recent start.
“She won the allowance race on turf going long last time stretching her out. She responded so good, I think she is going to run good too,” D’Angelo said.
Sonny Leon has the return call aboard Typey, while Leonel Reyes has the mount on Alternate Rock.
Honor D Lady, who was graded stakes placed on Tapeta last fall, enters the Martha Washington off a victory in the May 6 Honey Ryder on turf in her 2023 debut. The Saffie Joseph Jr. trainee will be ridden Saturday at Edgard Zayas.
Glen Hill Farm’s Ocean Club enters the Martha Washington off a runner-up finish in the Honey Ryder. In the homebred filly’s prior race, she graduated by 5 ½-lengths in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight event on Tapeta. Edwin Gonzalez has the return mount.
Starship Stables’ Starship Aurora, a 3 ¼-length optional claiming allowance winner on Tapeta last time out; is also among the top contenders in the Martha Washington. Miguel Vasquez will be back aboard Saturday.
Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Artifact, Cal Run Racing LLC’s Evie Does It, and J.D. Farms’ Heavens Express round out the field.