Now in its ninth year, the Sunshine Millions was designed as an annual competition between California-breds and Florida-breds racing at Magna-owned tracks on each Coast.
The question of which state will win the $500,000 Classic will be a moot point, however, on Jan. 29 when the centerpiece of the six Sunshine Millions races is renewed at Gulfstream Park. All 10 Classic entrants here bred in Florida.
Topping the field for the 1 1/8-mile Classic is Donald Dizney’s homebred First Dude, a 4-year-old better known for the races in which he has placed. The son of Stephen Got Even has been on the board in 10 of his 12 career starts, but nine of those were placings to go along with a single victory.
Trained by Dale Romans, First Dude finished second in last year’s Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) and his competitiveness in classic races was also displayed when third in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The colt finished third last year in three other grade I stakes—IZOD Haskell Invitational, Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, and Travers.