Navarro-Trained Whyruawesome ‘Phenomenal’ for Express
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., who has achieved a series of career firsts in 2019, is scheduled to saddle Yodel E. A. Who for a start in Saturday’s $110,000 Claiming Crown Rapid Transit at Gulfstream Park.
Joseph, who notched his first Grade 1 win when he saddled Math Wizard for a victory in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby and won his first Florida Sire Stakes final when he sent out Chance It for a triumph in the $400,000 In Reality this year, will seek his first Claiming Crown success in Saturday’s $1.1 million nine-race event that pays tribute to the blue-collar horses that are the backbone of the day-to-day Thoroughbred industry.
Yodel E. A. Who is more than likely the up-and-coming trainer’s best chance to add another first to his growing resume.
The 3-year-old gelded son of Creative Cause will seek his fourth straight victory in the seven-furlong sprint for horses that have started for a claiming price of $16,000 or lower. The Joseph trainee, who raced for a $12,500 claiming tag in February, was claimed for $40,000 for Isla Stables LLC, Big Frank Stable and Basset Stable out of a 10 ½-length victory at Gulfstream Park Sept. 19. He came back with a powerful triumph in a Nov. 17 optional claiming allowance victory at Gulfstream Park West, where he won by 3 ¼ lengths after running 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.07.
“We claimed him in good form, so we claimed him at the right time. That was a big key,” Joseph said. “He maintained his form. It was great to see him win again. He’s a nice horse and he’s training well.”
Yodel E. A. Who was also nominated for the $300,000 Jewel, the 1 1/8-mile Claiming Crown headliner, but Joseph opted to keep him sprinting Saturday, when he is scheduled to meet nine rivals.
“We don’t want to change anything. He’s won at 6 ½ [furlongs] and a mile. The race is seven furlongs so it fits in between,” he said. “I think it’s a good spot for him.”
Yodel E. A. Who, who will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione for the first time, has won his last three starts by a combined 17 lengths.
“He’s a horse who could go on and do some nice things for us, hopefully,” Joseph said.
Trainer Jorge Navarro, who has saddled the winners of nine Claiming Crown races, will seek his third success in the Rapid Transit with Julian de Mora Jr. and JN Racing Stables LLC’s First Deal, Sandy Goldfarb’s Benefactor and Ron Hendrickson’s Who’s Out.
First Deal will also seek his fourth straight victory in the Rapid Transit. The 3-year-old son of Turbo Compressor has won six of nine starts during his career that started with a nine-length debut victory in a $16,000 maiden claiming race at Tampa Bay Downs in February.
“The horse was showing me nothing, so I sent him to Tampa. My assistant at Tampa called me and said, ‘We have a nice one.’ I said, ‘What do you mean we have a nice one? This horse never showed me anything,’” Navarro said. “We ran him for [$16,000] the first time and he won easily. Then, I was worried somebody claimed him, but thankfully, nobody did.”
First Deal is coming off back-to-back stakes victories at Monmouth Park.
“His record speaks for itself. I think he’ll be one of the favorites because he was running against some quality sprinters at Monmouth Park,” Navarro said.
Benefactor finished third in the Mr. Prospector Stakes at Monmouth last time out, while Who’s Out is coming off a starter allowance at Parx.
Hector Diaz Jr. has the return mount aboard First Deal, while Kendrick Carmouche has the call on Benefactor and Emisael Jaramillo is set to ride Who’s Out.
Imaginary Stables and Glenn Ellis’ Royal Squeeze, the winner of the Big Drama Stakes during Gulfstream’s Spring Meet; and Midnight Stable Inc.’s Rol Again Question, an allowance winner at Parx last time out; are among the top contenders for the Rapid Transit.
Long Ball Stable’s D T Goodie, Auricchio and Jacobson LLC-Radon’s Rayo My King, Secure Investment’s Empire Power, Paradise Farms Corp. and Steve McCanne’s Just Kidding,
Navarro-Trained Whyruawesome ‘Phenomenal’ for Express
Trainer Jorge Navarro will seek his third Claiming Crown Express success at Gulfstream Park Saturday when he saddles saddles Whyruawesome and Tale of Fire for the $110,000 six-furlong sprint for horses that raced for a claiming price of $8,000 or lower.
Navarro is particularly impressed with Imaginary Stables and Glenn Ellis’ Whyruawesome.
“The horse is training really good. His numbers are phenomenal,” Navarro said. “The way he’s been running, he should be running with the best sprinters in the country with those numbers.”
Whyruawesome finished second in the Mr. Prospector Stakes at Monmouth last time out after winning his three previous starts.
“We bought him at Keeneland two years ago. I was stretching him out and we figured out that he didn’t want to go that far. Since we started sprinting him, he’s really turned it around,” Navarro said. “He’s going to be 9. He’s a sound horse.”
Monster Racing Stable’s Tale of Fire has never finished off the board in 10 starts since being purchased at sale for $20,000 in the Summer of 2018. The son of Tale of Ekati won his career debut in July 2017 before racing in Dubai four times.
“He ran the first time in Fort Erie. Somehow he ended up in Dubai. I thought if somebody spent the money to go to Dubai, they probably thought they had something there,” Navarro said.
Kendrick Carmouche has the call on Whyruawesome, while Emisael Jaramillo is slated to ride Tale of Fire.
Paradise Farms Corp. and Walder Racing’s Fast Pass is scheduled to make his first start since finishing off the board in the Korea Sprint (G1) at Seoul Racecourse Sept. 6.
“Korea took a lot out of him. Flying back home took a lot out of him, but we gave him a break and he’s back now and doing excellent. I sent him to the farm for a little bit and he worked really well the other day, so I’m hoping we can get the same sort of effort (as last year) with a little better result this year,” trainer Peter Walder said.
Fast Pass, who closed from 10th to third in last year’s Express, had earned an invitation to race on the Korea Cup undercard after winning the Opening Lead Stakes and finishing third in the Smile Sprint (G3) during Gulfstream’s Spring Meet.
“To tell you the truth, I never thought that he would turn out the way he did. He ran for $4,000 never-won-two-lifetime at one point and to say that he would make the Claiming Crown two years in a row, let alone take us to Korea, is quite incredible,” Walder said. “I don’t know how much that trip took out of him and that he’s sitting on go for this race, but I’m hoping that he shows up for the rest of the year and that the break that we gave him will pay off down the line. I just don’t know that I have him tight enough for this race.”
Cristian Torres has the mount aboard the 8-year-old son of Successful Appeal.
Manuel Real’s Travy Boy is scheduled to seek his third-straight win and second-straight stakes victory Saturday. The Gilberto Zerpa-trained 4-year-old gelding scored by 2 ¾ lengths in the Millions Sprint Preview at Gulfstream Park last time out.
Paco Lopez has the return mount aboard the son of Gemologist.
David Staudacher’s Northern has been popular at the claiming box recently in his last three starts, ending up in the care of Michael Maker, the all-time leading Claiming Crown trainer with 16 victories. The 5-year-old son of Adios Charlie, who has won half of his 14 starts this year, enters the Express off a second-place finish in an Oct. 12 optional claiming starter allowance at Gulfstream Park.
Tyler Gaffalione has the mount.
Basset Stables’ Take Charge Dude will also seek his third-straight win Saturday. The Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained 4-year-old gelding, who was claimed for $6,250 in July, won a five-furlong turf sprint Oct. 25 before capturing a six-furlong starter allowance on the Gulfstream Park West main track.
Ricardo Santana Jr. is slated to ride the son of Take Charge Indy for the first time.