Team Valor International’s uncoupled pair of Lucky Chappy and Howe
Great, trained by Graham Motion, look like the probably one-two choices
in a field of eight 3-year-olds drawn for Saturday’s $100,000 Kitten’s
Joy Stakes going 1 1/16 miles on turf at Gulfstream Park.
Leading Gulfstream rider Javier Castellano gets the call on Irish-bred
Lucky Chappy and Edgar Prado will be aboard Howe Great. A son of High
Chaparral, Lucky Chappy makes his first start since finishing fourth
behind Wrote in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Churchill Downs
on Nov. 5 after a solid third-place effort in the Bourbon Stakes (G3) at
Keeneland. He began his career winning the last two of three starts in
Howe Great makes his fourth career start and stakes debut after a
wire-to-wire ‘non-winners of two’ allowance victory over the course and
distance here on Dec. 15. The Kentucky homebred son of Hat Trick broke
his maiden sprinting at Parx on the main track in late October after a
“His (Lucky Chappy) PPs are quite strong, even though he’s not an
overly impressive-looking colt,” said Motion Thursday morning from Fair
Hill Training Center in Maryland. “If he can just get the hang of
breaking from the gate a little better…he’s been slow to break in both
of his starts in this country. I thought Howe Great’s race was very
good, but this race will be a big step up for him.”
Also certain to get support in the first running of the Kitten’s Joy
will be Albaugh Family’s Cozzetti with Julien Leparoux in the saddle for
trainer Dale Romans. The roan/gray son of top turf runner and sire
Cozzene will bid to bounce back from a forgettable trip to California
when he finished eighth in the CashCall Futurity (G1) run on the
synthetic main track at Hollywood Park on Dec. 17.
Cozzetti was impressive breaking his maiden by five lengths in an ‘off
the turf’ maiden special test going 1 1/16 miles on a ‘sloppy’ track at
Churchill Downs in mid-November after finishing fifth and fourth in
maiden turf tests at Belmont Park to begin his career.
Jockey Rajiv Maragh rides Jacks or Better Farm’s Argentine Tango, who
already has made three starts over the course at the meet, including a
last-to-first move in an allowance race on Dec. 26, although
disqualified from that victory. Trained by Stanley Gold, the Florida
homebred by Black Mambo came back to finish a close-up sixth in an
allowance on Jan. 8 when Gold thought he was too anxious and too close
to the pace.
Completing the field for the Kitten’s Joy are Ice Wine Stable and
Wesley Ward’s Italo, Jeffrey Sanchez; A and V Investments’ El Romano,
Juan Leyva; Luis Duco Stable’s Empire Builder, A.A. Gallardo; and Rontos
Racing Stable’s Scorcher, Joe Rocco, Jr.