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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017

Half Dozen Set for Jimmy Winkfield

A field of six speedy sophomores will assemble Monday afternoon for the 27th running of the $65,000 Jimmy Winkfield Stakes, the holiday feature at Aqueduct Racetrack on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.


Mat Stables’ Royal Currier goes for his third straight stakes win in the Winkfield as he enters the six-furlong sprint off back-to-back victories in the Grey Planet at Belmont Park and the Southampton at Parx Racing. The gelded son of Red Bullet, claimed for $20,000 by trainer Patricia Farro after finishing second in his debut at Monmouth Park on July 2, went on to win four of his next five starts, with his only loss a second-place finish in an allowance at Monmouth in October.


Carrying high weight of 122 pounds, Royal Currier was listed at 4-1 on the morning line, and drew post position 3 with Stewart Elliott coming in to ride.


Finishing a head behind Royal Currier as the odds-on favorite in the Southampton was Darley Stable’s homebred Fort Hughes, a 5 ½-length maiden winner at Belmont in his first start on October 10.


“It took a little bit of time to get him to the races, only because he came to us a little later, but he ran very well in his first start,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who also trained Fort Hughes’ sire, Henny Hughes. “In the stakes, he drew post 7, which on the day turned out not to be advantageous as he was hung up a little wide. He ran a good race, and we have high hopes for him.”


Eddie Castro gets the mount on Fort Hughes, the 9-5 second choice who will leave from post position 2.


The 8-5 favorite, Rift is one of three Jimmy Winkfield starters coming into the race off a victory over the Big A’s inner track, having broken his maiden at third asking on December 11. A $120,000 purchase by Jay Em Ess Stable at the Timonium yearling sales, the Rick Dutrow-trained colt was second as the even-money favorite to Fort Hughes in his debut at Belmont in October, and second again on November 7 just prior to his front-running maiden win.


Cornelio Velasquez is aboard the Not For Love colt, who drew the rail.


A New York-bred son of Midas Eyes, Bambi Bound will be venturing into open company for the first time in the Jimmy Winkfield. A three-length winner of an allowance on December 9, Bambi Bound drew post position 5 and was listed at 6-1 on the morning line. He will be ridden by David Cohen, who was aboard for both the colt’s victories.


Bravo Romeo completes the trio of Winkfield starters who closed out their 2010 campaigns with an inner track win, having scored by 1 ¼ lengths in his first start for trainer Rudy Rodriguez on December 9. Winner of his first two starts at Monmouth Park, the Bwana Charlie colt finished sixth in his stakes debut, the Garden State, prior to joining Rodriguez’s stable.


Junior Alvarado rides Bravo Romeo, 15-1 on the morning line, from post position 5.


Rounding out the Winkfield starters is Jim and Susan Hill’s Running Tap, who is 1-2-1 from five starts, with his lone win a maiden score at Saratoga Race Course in August. Fernando Jara rides the Tapit colt, 15-1 on the morning line, from the outside.


The field for the $65,000 Jimmy Winkfield:








Rift (MD)

C H Velasquez


R E Dutrow, Jr.



Fort Hughes (KY)

E Castro


K P McLaughlin



Royal Currier (FL)

S Elliott


P Farro



Bambi Bound (NY)

D Cohen


B N Levine



Bravo Romeo (FL)

J Alvarado


R R Rodriguez



Running Tap (PA)

F Jara


G Weaver






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