(Imperial Hint / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
From the Gulfstream Park Media Team:
Imperial Hint has fashioned an enviable resume during his four full years of racing while earning nearly $2.2 million in purse earnings and establishing himself as a top-tier sprinter.
While Imperial Hint’s 23-race career has been impressive, trainer Luis Carvajal Jr. is confident that ‘Little Rocket’ can still reach new heights. The 6-year-old son of Imperialism, who will close out his 2019 campaign in Saturday’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream Park, continues to run and train as fast or faster than ever while maintaining his enthusiasm for his job.
“He loves it,” Carvajal said. “He’s definitely a racehorse who enjoys going out there working and galloping, and he definitely enjoys racing.”
Imperial Hint demonstrated talent right from the start, winning his debut and a stakes in his first two starts during his 3-year-old season that included four wins from eight starts. In his 4-year-old season, he won four stakes from five starts while notching two graded-stakes wins, including the $250,000 Smile Sprint (G3) at Gulfstream Park. The Florida-bred speedster earned Grade 1 credentials as a 5-year-old, winning the Alfred G. Vanderbilt at Saratoga and the Vosburgh at Belmont back to back. This year, Imperial Hint again registered back-to-back wins in the Vanderbilt and the Vosburgh, while covering the six-furlong distance of both races in faster times than the year before. In the Vanderbilt, he shattered the Saratoga track record for six furlongs with a 1:07.92.
“We saw War Story run [in the Harlan’s Holiday]. He’s 7-years old turning 8 and he ran like a monster,” Carvajal said. “I’m 6 going on 7. As long as this horse shows me he’s happy and doesn’t slow down in the morning, I’m happy.”
It’s no accident that Imperial Hint has been able to stay at the top of his game through his 6-year-old season.
“Since he’s been running in graded-stakes races, he has space between his races and gets good rest. It’s just keeping the horse happy and healthy and not running him every two weeks,” Carvajal said. “He only races four or five races [each year], tops, because each time he runs he puts a lot of effort into it. Also, he’s not a huge horse. Sometimes big horses will put a lot more wear and tear on them.”
Diamond Oops Seeks Good Break in Mr. Prospector
Trainer Patrick Biancone is hoping he won’s say, ‘Oops,’ at the start of Saturday’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
The Biancone-trained Diamond Oops is scheduled to make his first start Saturday since finishing off the board in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), in which he stumbled at the start and never recovered.
“He trained good,” Biancone said. “Unfortunately, he stumbled at the gate and the race was over for him.”
Diamond Oops entered the Nov. 2 Dirt Mile at Santa Anita in peak form, having captured the Smile Sprint (G3) at Gulfstream Park before finishing second in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) behind Imperial Hint at Saratoga and second again in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland.
“When they stumble at the gate, they stumble at the gate. You can do nothing. Maybe, too much public, too much pressure,” Biancone said. “It was a mile and in front of the crowd. When they spring [open the gates] it was in front of the crowd. I don’t know what happened to him. He drew outside. He got scared or something and he went to his knees and it was over.”
Diamond Oops has won four of five starts over the Gulfstream Park main track at distances of five furlongs to six furlongs.
“He’s never run seven furlongs, but I don’t think it’s a problem,” Biancone said of the seven-furlong distance of the Mr. Prospector.
Burgers, Beers & Bets Returns Saturday
What’s better than a big, juicy burger, a couple of ice-cold beers, and free action at the races and the casino?
Nothing. That’s why Gulfstream’s popular Burgers, Beers & Bets is back bigger and better than ever.
For $20, guests will receive a mouth-watering burger, two cold beers, and a $5 betting voucher, a pocket program, and casino free play. The Saturday program will feature 11 races including the $100,000 Mr. Prospector (G3) featuring Imperial Hint and X Y Jet.