News & Barn notes

Weather permitting, Barboza Eager To See Tiffany Gold’s First Stakes Test in Saturday’s Blue Sparkler Stakes On Turf

July 10, 2024

As eager as trainer Victor Barboza, Jr. is to give undefeated Tiffany Gold her first stakes test, there is one stipulation: Saturday’s $100,000 Blue Sparkler Stakes at Monmouth Park has to stay on the turf.

That prospect is iffy at the moment based on the forecasts for the weekend.

“She has earned a chance in a stakes race. I want to see how she does in stakes company,” Barboza said from his base at Gulfstream Park. “She’s a good filly. I think she is ready for a good race. My concern is the weather. She needs turf. If it rains and the race comes off I won’t run her.

“If it is off the turf we’ll have to look for something else.”

A daughter of Speightster-Bella Joy by Kitten’s Joy, Tiffany Gold enters Saturday’s 5½-furlong grass feature for 3-year-old fillies 2-for-2, with both victories this year at Gulfstream Park.

She made her debut winning a five-furlong race on synthetic and followed that with a five-length romp on the grass on May 12.

“She is getting better and she still has a lot of room to grow,” said Barboza.

A native of Venezuela, where he was a two-time leading trainer and won 39 Grade 1 or Grade 2 races, Barboza last won a stakes race at Monmouth Park a year ago when Petulante captured the Grade 3 Salvator Mile.

Barboza, who started training in the United States in 2015, had his first Kentucky Derby starter this year with Grand Mo the First.

He was anticipating the Blue Sparkler Stakes enough that he shipped Tiffany Gold to Monmouth Park last Sunday. She is housed in Claudio Gonzalez’s barn

“She has always shown talent,” said Barboza. “But right now she is a sprinter and everything about her breeding is turf. So I want to keep her on the turf.

Unraced as a 2-year-old, Tiffany Gold was a $45,000 purchase for Lean Entertainment LLC at the Ocala Breeders Sale Company March 2-Year-Olds in Training auction. Barboza opted not to rush her to the races to allow her time to grow and develop, he said.

The three-day racing weekend at Monmouth Park kicks off on Friday, with a Jersey Shore Pick 6 carryover of $267,363 awaiting handicappers for the eight-race card.

The Jersey Shore Pick 6 is a jackpot wager that pays out in its entirety only if there is a single winning ticket.

First race post time on Friday is 2 p.m. First race post time Saturday and Sunday is 12:50 p.m.