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Upstart romps in Holy Bull
Wooten Stables grad charting a course for Derby
JOSE ORTIZ GIVES UPSTART a hug after winning Saturdays $400,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park. The 3-year-old was developed in Camden at Frank Wooten Stables. - photo by Photo by Lauren King

In what could be the start of his road to the Kentucky Derby, Ralph M. Evans’ Upstart kicked off its 2015 campaign by cruising to a 5 ½-length victory in last Saturday’s $400,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park.

The 3-year-old Flatter-Party Silks Ridgling was developed in Camden at Frank Wooten Stables before being sent to trainer Rick Violette Jr. last spring.

The victory was worth 10 points in the 2015 Kentucky Derby Points Standings for Upstart which finished second in the Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park last October before taking third in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita last November.

Ridden by Jose Ortiz, Upstart went off as the 2-1 second choice behind Frosted, who had Ortiz’s brother, Ira, in the irons.

Upstart stayed close to pace-setting Bluegrass Singer in the early stages of the 1 1/16-mile race. Bluegrass Singer carried the field around the turn and into the final stretch before Upstart made a powerful move which put him into the lead as he breezed home for the victory.

Frosted finished second with Bluegrass Singer holding on for third in a race timed at 1:43.61.

The victory was the third with a second and one third in five starts for Upstart who started his career at Saratoga with a pair of wins including taking the $200,000-added Funny Cide Stakes on Aug. 24, 2014 at Saratoga. He has already accumulated $701,880 in earnings.

Violette said Upstart could make his next start in the $400,000 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream on Feb. 21 or the Gotham (G3) at Aqueduct on March 7, but the timing of Gulfstream’s 3-year-old stakes could keep him in South Florida.

"We’ll see how he bounces off this and follow his lead. It could be that we’ll stay here (for the Grade 1 $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby on March 28) to give us the extra two weeks going into the (Kentucky) Derby," Violette said in a Gulfstream Park release. "That might be the thing to do. It’s nice to have that option."


Shadwell scores twice:

Ayaady, a 3-year-old Tapit filly developed in Camden at Shadwell Stable, managed by Kevin Kahkola, won at first asking with a score in a $45,000 maiden race at Gulfstream Park on Sunday.

Trained by Chad Brown, the $1 million purchase went off as the 6-5 favorite in her debut and lived up to those numbers in carrying Javier Castellano to victory by a head in the 7 ½-furlong race on the turf course.

Another Shadwell graduate, Mufajaah added a stakes victory her resume by scoring a three-length victory in the $100,000 Pippin Stakes on Oaklawn Park on Jan. 17.

The 4-year-old Tapit filly is trained by Daniel Pietz, who gave Emmanuel Esquivel the leg up for the win at Oaklawn. Mufajaah made the 1 1/16-mile trip over a fast dirt track in 1:44.49.

Mufajaah earned $60,000 in the Pippin, which was her first stakes victory. She has earned $177,140 from her 11 starts with four victories.

A third Shadwell graduate, Laghubaar, won for the first time in three career starts with a 10 ½-length romp in a $35,000 maiden claimer at Aqueduct on Sunday for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The 4-year-old Tapit gelding was then claimed for a $35,000 tag by trainer David Jacobson.


CCE grads enjoy big day in south Florida:

Weekend Hideaway, developed in Camden at Donna Freyer’s Custom Care Equine, ran off with the $100,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 18.

Trained by Phillip Serpe, the 5-year-old Speightstown horse, carried Castellano to a four-length victory in the six-furlong sprint over the dirt course. The winning time was 1:08.64.

The win was the seventh in 20 starts for Weekend Hideaway, which also has three seconds and three thirds which have brought in $507,332.

That same day at Gulfstream, CCE graduate Made in Detroit, broke his maiden on his fourth try by winning a $45,000 maiden race run at 1 1/8 miles over the turf course. Trained by Violette, Paco Lopez was in the saddle for the win by a neck.

In reaching the board for the first time, the 3-year-old Arch colt has $24,900 in earnings.


(Turned from Home is a feature in the sports pages of the Chronicle-Independent spotlighting Thoroughbred flat horses, which were sent to the track from Camden, as well as local owners and trainers. Any persons having racing information which they would like to pass along and be included in this column should call the C-I sports department at 432-6157 or, via e-mail at