Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
Brenda Mercer and Peter Berglar’s 4-year-old filly Emma’s Encore ran
a big race to finish second in the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly
& Mare Sprint at Gulfstream Park going six furlongs on Jan. 19 for
Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens in her first start since October at
Emma’s Encore breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:04 2/4 at
Gulfstream Thursday morning as she is kept on edge for a start next in
the $150,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G3) at 6 ½ furlongs on Sun., Feb.
“That’s the plan,” said Jerkens Wednesday afternoon. “I thought she
ran a good race (Sunshine Millions). She got in a little trouble when
she was making her move. That’s just the way she runs (off the pace).”
A Florida-bred daughter of Congrats, Emma’s Encore ran four times at
Gulfstream early last year, finishing third before breaking her maiden
and scoring in an allowance race sprinting. She then finished eighth
behind Grace Hall trying to stretch out to two turns in the Gulfstream
Park Oaks (G2).
Turned back to sprints in New York last spring, Emma’s Encore got
good winning the Victory Ride Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park in early July
before her biggest victory in the Prioress Stakes (G1) at Saratoga in
early August. In two starts after that she finished sixth with trouble
in the Gallant Bloom Handicap (G2) and eighth in the TCA Stakes (G2) run
on Polytrack at Keeneland on Oct. 6.
Jerkens has previously sent out the winner of the Hurricane Bertie
three times in the eight editions of the race, beginning with the first
in 2005 with 8-year-old Lilac. The other two wins came with Joseph P.
Shields, Jr.’s outstanding sprint stakes filly Any Limit, who won the
race in 2007 and again in 2009.