'Emperor' Shows Class in Orange Blossom

Multiple stakes winner moves to Hialeah.

Q-Racing Journal

Salvador Pimienta’s Emperor Valerian, a two-time stakes winner this year, brings his class into the $25,000 Orange Blossom Stakes over 550 yards at Hialeah Park on Sunday afternoon.

The Orange Blossom is the first of four stakes in the Hialeah Distance Series. The other races are the $25,000-added Moonstone Stakes (January 18) at 660 yards, the $30,000-added Key West Stakes (February 8) at 1,000 yards and the $40,000-added Sailfish Stakes (March 1) at 1,000 yards. There is a $20,000 bonus for the Hialeah Distance Series.

Emperor Valerian (Heza Fast Dash-Sheeza Lil Val by Dashing Val) was an 18-1 upset winner of the $56,390 Remington Park Distance Handicap (G3) over 870 yards back in June. The gelding then went to Ruidoso Downs and was placed first through a disqualification in the $20,000 Brigand Stakes at 550 yards.

The 7-year-old gelding trained by Anna Marie Crowson makes his Hialeah debut after a third-place run in the $55,170 Herman Jefferson Stakes at 870 yards over the Zia Park track.

The Charlton Hunt-owned and -trained Eyeowa Cyclone (Mr Eye Opener-Countess Rare Bar by Rare Bar) is still competitive at the stakes level as a 10-year-old. In his most recent start, he was second as the 8-5 favorite in the $68,400 Terrace Hills Stakes at Prairie Meadows. That race was at 400 yards, however he has a pair of seconds in his two starts at 550 yards.

Arthur Devereaux’s Arbeka Raincloud (Voghts Gold-Arbeka Be Quick by Royal Quick Dash) makes her first start since a troubled trip in the Brigand Stakes back in August. The Hunt-trained mare was third in the $32,000 Miami-Dade County Stakes last winter at Hialeah and then third in the SLM Big Daddy Stakes at Remington Park this spring.

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