Ramon Brito: Handicapping Saturday’s Clásico Del Caribe At Gulfstream Park

by | 12.06.2017 | 6:14pm
Justiciero, the Puerto Rico Triple Crown winner, training at Gulfstream Park for Saturday's Clasico del Caribe

Ramon Brito is managing editor of Paulick Report en Español

The 50th edition of the Clásico Internacional del Caribe to be run this Saturday at Gulfstream Park will be particularly different from all of the previous renewals. This will be the first time the emblematic $300,000 event – also known as the Caribbean Derby – will be staged outside the countries belonging to the Caribbean Turf Confederation. Having 12 3-year-olds competing for the first time in the Hallandale, Fla., track makes the Clásico a very tough race to handicap.

Some might argue that horses from Mexico and Venezuela could have an advantage racing at sea level in Florida. Hipodromo de Las Americas in Mexico City is some 7,350 feet above sea level, while the elevation of La Rinconada in Caracas is approximately 2,700 feet. Others see Puerto Rican horses enjoying the edge of having shipped to the U.S. with plenty of time, due to the devastation caused by hurricane Maria. However, the real advantage for any horse will always be his or her ability to adapt to a new racing environment.

After the post position draw, here is the field for the 50th Clasico Internacional del Caribe:

1 PLATINO (PR) (20-1 morning line)
Owner: Sonata Stable
Trainer: Raymond Morales
Jockey: Roberto Albarado Jr.

Comment: A speedy horse with an ideal post to go for the lead from the very beginning. He might face some competition in the early stages, and that might be beneficial for his stablemate Justiciero, known for his come-from-behind style.

 

2 JALA JALA (Mex) (15-1)
Owner: Cuadra San Jorge
Trainer: Fausto Gutierrez
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Comment: One of three fillies in the race, the daughter of Point Determined (Point Given) recently defeated colts by 4 1/4 lengths in the 1 1/8-mile Clásico Kremlin, a prep race for the Caribbean Derby. Her recent form is impressive, and a fast pace could be helpful.

 

3 JOYME (Mex) (20-1)
Owner: Cuadra San Jorge
Trainer: Fausto Gutierrez
Jockey: Manuel Franco

Comment: Another filly by Point Determined, she was the lone speed in the aforementioned Clásico Kremlin and made Jala Jala work hard for her win. Winner of four of her 14 races — including a Grade 1 — she probably will stalk the pace this time, although she is capable of going to the front.

 

4 INSPIRATO (Mex) (10-1)
Owner: Pegasus Stable
Trainer: Israel Gutierrez
Jockey: Javier Castellano

Comment: Failed as the 1-2 favorite in the Clásico Kremlin, finishing third behind the two fillies. Previously he won the Grade 1 Clásico Criadores Mexicanos by 6 ¼ lengths going 1 1/8 miles. His best efforts have been coming from well off the pace, so he has a shot if there is much speed.

 

5 TUKI MONTON (Ven) (15-1)
Owner: BLC Stable Inc.
Trainer: Bernardo Lopez
Jockey: Edgard Zayas

Comment: Champion 3-year-old from Valencia racetrack, where he won the regional Triple Crown. A son of Treasure Cay (Storm Cat), he has won four of his eight races in front running style. He is facing much tougher competition this time.

 

6 SEÑALERO (Pan) (30-1)
Owner: Stud Full House
Trainer: Rafael Fernandez
Jockey: Jose Batista

Comment: A son of 1998 Clásico del Caribe winner Evaristo, Señalero has won only once as a 2-year old, and is winless in six starts this year. However, he has been consistently on the board, thus making his way to the big event.

 

7 JUSTICIERO (PR) (7-2)
Owner: Marc Tacher
Trainer: Raymond Morales
Jockey: Juan C. Diaz

Comment: The Puerto Rican Triple Crown winner brings a five race winning streak, and is undoubtedly the best hope of the island. The son of Coach Billy G. (Storm Cat) will come from well off the pace, and according to his recent form he is one of the main contenders here.

 

8 GATILLO (Pan) (12-1)
Owner: Arturo Wong
Trainer: Roderick Rodriguez
Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

Comment: This grey colt by Evaristo has shown early speed, but his two most recent starts have been disappointing. Probably another pacesetter in a race that might be too contested in the early stages.

 

9 EL CUBITA (Ven) (3-1)
Owner: Grupo 7C Racing Stable
Trainer: Juan Carlos Avila
Jockey: Emisael Jaramillo

Comment: A lightly raced son of Mr. Maccool (Giant's Causeway), the morning-line favorite has only started four times. He won his debut at La Rinconada on May 20, and then finished second in three consecutive Grade 1 races, including the Clásico Simon Bolivar. Emisael Jaramillo, winningest Clásico del Caribe jockey (five) will try to add another one to his record.

 

10 INMENSO (Dom. Rep) (12-1)
Owner: Jesus Garcia and Edward Mejia
Trainer: Franklin DeJesus
Jockey: Joel Rosario

Comment: The Dominican Triple Crown winner is the lone representative of his country, trying to extend a nine-race winning streak. The son of Equinox (Unbridled's Song) would be only the second Clásico winner from the Dominican Republic (Sicotico, 2008). He is doing well and could be a factor.

 

11 LA DE HORACIO (Ven) (8-1)
Owner: GWTW Horses LLC
Trainer: Carlos A. Arteaga
Jockey: John Velazquez

Comment: A small but tough filly (about 900 lbs), the daughter of Big Prairie (Danzig) has won six of 11 starts, including a convincing win over the colts in the Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile Clásico Millard Ziadie. She is regarded by many as the best 3-year-old in Venezuela, and according to her trainer she has thrived at Gulfstream Park.

 

12 FRAY ANGELICO (Pan) (9-2)
Owner: Luis Shirley
Trainer: Alberto Paz Rodriguez
Jockey: Luis Saez

Comment: A son of Concerto (Chief's Crown) out of the 1996 Clásico del Caribe winner Angelical. Looked much better in his third try at the 1 1/8-mile distance, winning the Grade 2 Clásico Carlos y Fernando Eleta. The post position is not a good one, as posts 9-12 have been historically a problem at Gulfstream in two-turn races over a mile.

ANALYSIS: Justiciero (PR) and El Cubita (Ven) justify their favoritism. The former will have to deal with traffic, the latter will have to deal with his lack of experience. We will toss out Inspirato's (Mex) most recent effort and expect a much better performance here. La De Horacio (Ven) can stalk the pace and benefit from the early speed. We wish all participants and their connections all the best, hoping this edition of the Clásico Internacional del Caribe will go as a brilliant chapter in its more than 50 years of history.

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