Photo Gallery | Gleaming scores second-straight in Spring Fever stakes
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012) – Whenever Sanders and Hirsch’s Gleaming runs at Oaklawn this year, there seems to be travel complications for her regular jockey Cliff Berry. She needed a replacement rider when she won the American Beauty Stakes last month, but Berry had less trouble making it to Hot Springs Sunday, and the two travelled beautifully together in taking the $60,000 Spring Fever.
Trained by Bret Calhoun, Gleaming stalked the pace of the 5 ½-furlong contest before unleashing another powerful stretch kick to cruise past front-running entry mates Bent Missile and Awesome Symmetry and score by a length in 1:04.96 over a fast track and paying $3.60 as the 4-5 favorite.
The coupled entry mates in the place and show spots paid $5.40 and $5.20. Hearts on Fire finished fourth.
Gleaming, a 5-year-old Dehere mare, fell farther behind in the American Beauty on Jan. 22 under jockey Lindey Wade. He had picked up the mount when Berry had been fog-bound in Houston after riding there the night before and Wade guided her to a huge performance. Berry was in Texas again Saturday night, but a flight back to Arkansas returned him in time for the second race today.
“Lindey did a great job with her last time,” said Calhoun. “But she’s gotten a little older and a little crafty and she can try and take advantage of someone who might not have much experience with her, and she did that a little bit in the last race by falling so far behind. It worked out alright then, but with only going 5 ½ this time, I wanted to get Cliff back because he knows her a little bit more.”
It was the eighth career win in 15 starts for Gleaming and upped her career bankroll to $278,566. Calhoun indicated the confirmed fan of Oaklawn would be pointed to the $75,000 Carousel Stakes here in April.
Winning trainer Bret Calhoun, Gleaming – “We were confident and she had trained very well coming into it, but as a trainer you’re always a little paranoid when they give you a peak performance like that there might be some regression. I was also a little bit worried about the sticky track with all the moisture in it because she hadn’t really trained over it like that, but she never gave us any indications to have to worry. It’s just more always worrying about stuff like that. Lindey did a great job with her last time, but she’s gotten a little older and a little crafty and she can try and take advantage of someone who might not have much experience with her, and she did that a little bit in the last race by falling so far behind. It worked out alright then, but with only going 5 ½ this time, I wanted to get Cliff back because he knows her a little bit more. I think we’ll look toward the next race in the series here in April (The $75,000 Carousel Stakes April 12).”
Winning jockey Cliff Berry, Gleaming –“I came back this morning, there was no fog and it was a good run.” Berry was riding at Sam Houston Saturday and was riding there the day before Gleaming won last time in the American Beauty, but missed the mount when his flight was cancelled due to foggy conditions. “The mare looks good and feels good and she’s putting it all together. She’s changed a little. She used to speed all the time but now she’s gotten a little older and wiser. She knows what she’s here for.”
Jockey David Mello, second aboard Bent Missile – “My filly broke sharp. (Trainer) Scott (Becker) had her feeling good. I tried to save some horse for the end, but the winner was just too much for us today.”
Jockey Israel Ocampo, third aboard Awesome Symmetry – “My filly continues to get better.”