RED-HOT GYPSY BLU HEADS SUNDAY’S $100,000 FRAN’S VALENTINE STAKES FOR CALIFORNIA-BRED OR SIRED FILLIES & MARES AT MILE ON TURF RACE IS PART OF LUCRATIVE GOLDEN STATE SERIES FOR CALIFORNIA-BRED OR SIRED HORSES ARCADIA, Calif. (May 8, 2019)–A winner of three in a row and four out of her last five starts, trainer Mark Glatt’s Gypsy Blu heads a field eight California-bred or sired fillies and mares three and up in Sunday’s $100,000 Fran’s Valentine Stakes at one mile over the Santa Anita turf.The Fran’s Valentine, named for the legendary Earl Schieb’s multiple graded stakes winning homebred daughter of Saros, out of Iza Valentine, by Bicker, is a part of the lucrative Golden State Series, which is sponsored by the CTBA. A California-bred foal of 1982, Fran’s Valentine won 13 out of 34 starts and banked $1,375,645.Gypsy Blu, who was claimed for $20,000 out of a state-bred optional allowance/claimer three starts back on Jan. 25, comes off a half length win in the Irish O’Brien Stakes, which was contested at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course on March 31.Gypsy Blu’s primary opposition would appear to be trainer Anna Meah’s Fiery Lady, who pressed the early pace in the Irish O’Brien before tiring to finish fourth, beaten 3 ¼ lengths.Fifth, beaten 4 ½ lengths by “Gypsy” in the Irish O’Brien, trainer Mike Pender’s Queen Bee to You, who took a first condition allowance at a mile on dirt two starts back on Feb. 1, brings an impressive resume and rates a big chance.GYPSY BLUOwner: Philip J. Wood & Jim HaileyTrainer: Mark GlattA 5-year-old mare by Papa Clem, lightly race Gypsy Blu has made the most of limited career opportunity, winning five out of her eight starts, all of which have been sprints. In winning the Irish O’Brien, she defeated classy S Y Sky, who came back to totally dominate as the favorite in the $100,000 Camillo Urso Stakes going five furlongs on turf at Golden Gate Fields April 27. With Kentucky Derby-winning Flavien Prat aboard for the first time, Gypsy Blu figures to be a short price as she stretches out for the first time.FIERY LADYOwner: Dario Bernardi, Christopher Custer, John Cavali, Ron McCauley & Timothy MickelsonTrainer: Anna MeahA 5-year-old mare by Unusual Heat out of the multiple stakes winning Lady Railrider, by Ride the Rails, she was fourth, beaten 3 ¼ lengths by Gypsy Blu in the Irish O’Brien, but should enjoy the stretch out, as she’s unbeaten in three starts at one mile on turf. A two length winner of a first condition allowance in open company going 6 ½ furlongs on a wet fast main track two starts back with Mike Smith, she’ll be reunited with “Big Money” Mike on Sunday. With proven ability stalking or attending the early pace, Fiery Lady rates a big chance as she brings an overall mark of 20-6-3-3 to the Fran’s Valentine party.QUEEN BEE TO YOUOwner: Christopher Hilaine & Adam ValiTrainer: Mike PenderWith an impressive career resume in-hand, this 5-year-old mare by Old Topper, out of the Touch Gold mare Silk Queen, never threatened while fifth, beaten 4 ½ lengths by Gypsy Blu in the Irish O’Brien will be ridden for the first time on Sunday by upstart Ruben Fuentes. A three quarter length first condition allowance winner going a mile on dirt two starts back on Feb. 1, she was a big second, beaten a half length by S Y Sky three starts back going 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint here on Jan. 26. With a win and a second from five tries at a mile on turf, she’s 25-4-10-4 overall with earnings of $330,419.THE $100,000 FRAN’S VALENTINE STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER Race 7 of 9 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PTCordiality–Joe Talamo–125Sapphire Kid–Evin Roman–121Pulpit Rider–Aaron Gryder–125Queen Bee to You–Ruben Fuentes–121Halo Darlin–Geovanni Franco–121Fiery Lady–Mike Smith–123Bella Luma–Drayden Van Dyke–125Algorhythmic–Norberto Arroyo, Jr.–121Gypsy Blu–Flavien Prat–121First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
Queenstown landscape The Rugby World Cup will not be the only reason visitors will be flocking to New Zealand after the Southern Lakes region was selected as one of the Top Ten Region to visit next year.Sitting at Number Eight on Lonely Planet top attractions list, New Zealand’s Queenstown, Lake Wanaka and Fiordland are the only NZ based regions to be selected to feature in book alongside Borneo, Sicily, Northern Kenya and Coastal Wales.Lonely Planet New Zealand spokesperson said the new is not a shock to anyone who knows the region enough to recognise its “breathtaking” beauty. “Words like breathtaking, jaw-dropping, exhilarating and stunning are grossly overused in the tourism industry but the Southern Lakes region has a right to them all,” the spokesperson said.While Destination Queenstown chief executive Tony Everitt added that the top ten spot is likely to benefit the area which experience a slight down fall in arrivals after the Christchurch quake. “To receive this kind of endorsement by Lonely Planet is priceless for Queenstown and the Southern Lakes as well as New Zealand,” he added.Renowned for its diversity and tranquility, an excerpt from the book highlighted that the region has a wide-range of activities as well as locations to relax.“There isn’t a bad time to turn up in the world’s top adventure playground,” the book read. “There’re nonstop outdoor activities year-round in the resort towns of Queenstown, Wanaka and Te Anau, as well as the surrounding mountains, lakes and parks… Where else can you ski in the morning and golf or water ski in the afternoon? “Add excellent wineries and superb restaurants and what more is there to say?”What do you think of the selection? Is the Southern Lakes on your list of things to do next year? Wanaka landscape Fiordland Mitre Peak reflection at Milford Sound Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J