Breeders’ Cup 2018: 2yos in Florida

Gulfstream Park horse toteArindel’s Cookie Dough overcame adversity in her first start around two turns in the $400,000 My Dear Girl at Gulfstream Park, providing trainer Stanley Gold with his record-extending 20th victory in the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes series.

The 1 1/16-mile FSS finale for juvenile fillies sired by nominated stallions standing in Florida co-headlined eight stakes worth $1.325 million with the $400,000 In Reality, the 1 1/16-mile open division FSS finale.

After watching the daughter of Brethren draw off to a 7 ½-length victory despite a rough trip under Jeffrey Sanchez, Arindel’s Brian Cohen targeted the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Churchill Downs Nov. 3 as the homebred filly’s next start.

“We’re going to the Breeders’ Cup,” Cohen said. “Last year, we took a shot and we got a piece of it, so we’ll try again,” said Cohen, referring to Blonde Bomber’s third-placed finish behind Caledonia Road in last year’s Juvenile Fillies.

Trainer Stanley Gold saddled Awesome Feather for a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in 2010 under Sanchez after she swept the Florida Sire Stakes series with a victory in the My Dear Girl.

Breaking from the No. 12 post position, which had produced only two winners since the racetrack was reconfigured in 2005, Cookie Dough was bumped very wide heading into the first turn and subsequently becoming somewhat rank as she pulled Sanchez into contention on the backstretch as Myrrh set fractions of 23.69 and 47.99 seconds for the first half mile. Cookie Dough, who had previously captured the seven-furlong FSS Susan’s Girl, continued to advance on the far turn on the outside and assumed the lead leaving the turn into the backstretch. Starship Nala, who had finished second in the Susan’s Girl, started a rally on the turn into the homestretch but was no match for Cookie Dough. Blazing Brooke, who finished third in the Susan’s Girl, rallied from last to finish third again, another half-length back.

Cookie Dough ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:47.50.

“The first turn I tried coming in, but all the horses went together and we got bumped outside. When my horse saw the horse in front, she wanted to pass. I saw some space to get through, so we were able to get a better position,” Sanchez said. “She relaxed, we waited for our moment and finished strong.”

Gold, who admitted to saying, “Oh, No,” when he saw Cookie Dough get bumped on the first turn, was impressed with the homebred filly’s resilience in the face of adversity.

“She repeated her previous race, only she did it around two turns with a late-firing kick. She had to be used early and still had something left,” Gold said. “That’s a biggie when you see how they handle two turns.”

Source: Press Release

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Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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