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Big Stakes Weekend at Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park has a jam-packed weekend scheduled as it plays host to the $400,000 Holy Bull S. (G3), the first major prep on the road to the Triple Crown, and the $200,000 Forward Gal S. (G2) for three-year-old fillies on Sunday. Prior to that, though, Florida- and California-breds will get their chance to shine in the ninth edition of the $1.8 million Sunshine Millions set for Saturday.

Donald Dizney's homebred colt FIRST DUDE (Stephen Got Even) became a familiar name on the national scene last season when placing in the Preakness S. (G1), Belmont S. (G1) and other major three-year-old events. Now the four-year-old gets his 2011 campaign going as one of the choices in Saturday's $500,000 Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream.


The 1 1/8-mile test is the richest of the three Sunshine Millions races to be run at Gulfstream while three others races in the Florida-bred vs. California-bred series will go that afternoon at Santa Anita. The other Gulfstream races will be the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf at 1 1/8 miles and the $200,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint at six furlongs.


First Dude drew post 1 in a field of 10 with jockey Kent Desormeaux aboard for trainer Dale Romans. Florida-breds are assured of a sweep in the Classic as there are no California-breds entered. First Dude will be making his first start since finishing eighth in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs on November 6 behind Blame and Horse of the Year Zenyatta.


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