Emotions ran high after last year’s $200,000 (G2) insider at Gulfstream Park, when enduring mare Pacific Gale snapped a 17-game losing streak with her first graded triumph for the widow. of one of trainer John Kimmel’s longest clients, who died just a month before.
It could be an equally emotional Saturday afternoon when 7-year-old Pacific Gale returns to Gulfstream with a chance to defend his title in what will be the final start of a long and successful career.
The 43rd edition of seven-stage insider information for fillies and mares 4 years and older is among seven graduated stakes worth $5.2 million in purses on a successful 12-race Pegasus World Cup program Invitational Series including the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1). presented by 1/ST BET on clay, $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) presented by Baccarat and inaugural $500,000 TAA Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf (G3) presented by PEPSI.
Start time for the first race is 11:30 a.m. EST. NBC will provide live national coverage from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. EST.
Kimmel said Holly Hill Stables’ Pacific Gale will be elevated to champion Uncle Mo after Inside Information, a race she won by 2 ¾ lengths at 16-1 odds last winter after finishing sixth in 2019. Pacific Gale was booked for Not This Time for 2021, but was doing so well that Kimmel convinced the late Mike Morton’s widow, Tobey, to give her another try.
“The owner had passed away and she hadn’t won a race for two years at that time. I was very close to Mr. Morton and he had passed away in December. His wife was basically looking to disperse all the assets and I basically did that,” Kimmel said. “I told him it would take me about a year. It had about 30 horsepower and that’s how long it took me to do it.
Pacific Gale was sold after insider information at Holly Hill, and she paid immediate dividends by winning Gulfstream’s Hurricane Bertie (G3) on her subsequent start – the first time she had won back-to-back races.
“We sold her to these new customers and she won for them for the first time in Hurricane Bertie. She raced for them all year and she has a date with Uncle Mo this winter,” said said Kimmel. “This will be his last start. I’ve had her since she was 2.”
Pacific Gale has gone winless in five tries since Hurricane Bertie, beaten 2 ¼ lengths when third at love after a late start in the vagrancy (G3) last May at Belmont Park, and four lengths when he came second to Chub Wagon in the Roamin Rachel last fall at Parx. Most recently, she finished fifth at the October 21 floral park in Belmont.
“I think she’s fine. We gave her a little refreshment in late fall and she went to the farm. I think she was there six or eight weeks. They started blowing it and giving it a few breezes and sending it to me and I’ve given it four breezes now,” Kimmel said. “I think she’s ready to go. For an older mare, she loves this racetrack. It works very well at Gulfstream. We are looking forward to the engagement.
Overall, Pacific Gale has five wins, seven seconds and six thirds with $651,160 in purse winnings and six more progressive stakes rankings. Junior Alvarado is nominated to ride from position 6 in a peloton of 10.
“She’s just a class act. She really is a nice pipe to be around. Some owners bring their grandchildren and she will come and snuggle them up. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body,” Kimmel said. “Any horse that’s stayed healthy for that many campaigns, you hope he can pass that on to his offspring. She’s just a beautiful physical specimen. She’s stayed healthy, has run multiple campaigns, she’s a winner of multiple bets, a 2nd year winner, a 3rd year winner and several graduated bets placed, she always showed up and made a good effort.
Four Graces, out of Whitham Thoroughbreds, is also a double-graded winner, having won seven furlongs Dogwood (G3) and Beaumont (G3) in successive starts in the summer of 2020. She has run twice more than the year, finishing second in the Eight Belles (G2), before going on the sidelines.
Four Graces only raced once last year, finishing fourth in mid-June Roxelana behind Bell’s the One, who would win three more entries including the Honorable Miss (G2) and TAA (G2). Four Graces made her debut as a 5-year-old in an optional six-stay claim allowance on Jan. 6 at Gulfstream, second by a nose as favorite Starship Nala, which is also returning to insider information.
“We were very happy with her race, except that she didn’t have the whim. I actually thought so, but that’s the race,” said coach Ian Wilkes. “It was only his second race in 15 months. It was good that this race went ahead. We were able to use it to just clear cobwebs and as a way to prepare for that next race.
“She always showed talent and was very talented, just unhappy to have been sidelined a few times,” he added. “We always get there. We’ve had that one race now. Do I think she’s still at 110%? No, but she’s better. She is fine. The only way for me to get him there is to run errands for him.
Julien Leparoux is in charge of Post 5.
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Ahead of going after a second straight Pegasus World Cup win with Knicks Go in what will be the presumed 2021 Horse of the Year final start before beginning a career as a stud, trainer Brad Cox will send several winning bets at home Just One Time in the inside information.
The 4-year-old daughter of Not This Time was bought privately after her victory in the Oct. 22 New Start on clay at Penn National, her second stake win over fellow Pennsylvania. The other came on the all-weather surface at Almost Isle Downs.
” She’s very well. I love her so much. This will be our first opportunity to lead it. I think she’s going to be a good filly. It barely ran any further than three-quarters, so seven-eights is still a question mark until you try it. She showed me enough in the morning to put her in a van and drive her there,” Cox said. “He’s a very good work horse. She showed me practicing what I like to see when it comes to jumping and attacking a graduated stakes company.
Joel Rosario, the favorite to win his first Eclipse Award as champion jockey, will be in irons for Post 8.
A five-time Inside Information winner, most recently with Ivy Bell in 2018, Hall of Fame coach Todd Pletcher is chasing No. 6 with St. Elias Stable’s AG Indy. Like Just One Time, the 5-year-old Take Charge Indy mare is a recent private purchase who will only make her second gravel start after 12 consecutive tries on turf, where she had a 4-4-2 record.
Last outing, AG Indy won Sen. Ken Maddy’s five-stadia sprint Nov. 5 at Del Mar. Progressive stakes wins include Harlan’s (G3) Dec. 18 vacation at Gulfstream.
“She’s been training superbly on the dirt so we’re delighted with that. She did another great job with Fearless the other day and looked good doing it, so we’re going to try her on the dirt. “She was kind of bought off with the idea of seeing if she could switch to land, and every breeze we’ve had with her so far has been really, really strong on the land. .
“I just feel like it’s a good opportunity,” he added. “We can always go back to the grass, but she has certainly trained like a horse that likes the dirt. Working head-and-head in company on the dirt with a horse like Fearless, coming off Harlan’s vacation, kind of underlined to us that she would seem to handle it well.
Luis Saez rides AG Indy from Post 2.
Three Diamonds Farm’s Jakarta is a 7-year-old mare with three previous wins, including the December 28 Mrs. Claus at Parx in her first start for trainer Mike Trombetta. Third in the 2020 Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3) at Keeneland, Jakarta is 3 for 5 for life at Gulfstream, including wins in the 2020 Powder Break and Claiming Crown Distaff Dash.
“She worked the other day and she worked well,” Trombetta said. “I didn’t have it very long. I only had her for two weeks and the first time she ran she just died. What I learned is that it seems like she loves dirt as much as anything. I can’t wait to direct it.
Reigning three-time Eclipse Award winner Irad Ortiz Jr. gets the call from Post 7.
Crumb Bun, on a two-game winning streak; Dance d’Oro, coming off a win in the one-mile rampart on Dec. 18 at Gulfstream; Starship Nala, looking for its first victory after seven second places; Family Time, which debuted with a Jan. 7 allocation gain at Gulfstream; and Mon Petit Chou, third in Gulfstream’s Game Face 2021, complete the line-up.
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