Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s
4-year-old Munnings ranked among the best of his age sprinting last year,
punctuated by a third-place effort in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park
(G1) behind Rachel Alexandra. He launches another campaign Saturday as the
likely favorite in the $150,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship (G2) at
Jockey Javier Castellano will be aboard Munnings for
trainer Todd Pletcher as the son of 2004 Eclipse champion sprinter Speightstown
makes his first start since an even third-place finish behind Kodiak Kowboy in
the Vosburgh Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on Oct. 3. Kodiak Kowboy was later
voted Eclipse champion sprinter for the 2009 season.
Munnings placed in the Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga
and Champagne (G1) at Belmont
as a 2-year-old before fading to 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) that
fall at Santa Anita in his first try around two turns. Prior to the Haskell,
Munnings posted victories in the Woody Stephens Stakes (G2) on Belmont Day and
beat older horses in the Tom Fool Handicap (G2) at Belmont, both races at seven furlongs.
Munnings faces nine rival older horses in the Sprint
Championship, including the late Edmund Gann’s uncoupled entry of Motovato and
You and I Forever, both accomplished 5-year-old Graded stakes performers for
trainer Marty Wolfson. Elvis Trujillo is named to ride Motovato and Eddie
Castro on You and I Forever.
A son of Proud Citizen, Motovato won the seven-furlong
Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap (G3) last out at Calder on Dec. 26 after turning back
from a good runner-up effort going two turns in the Spend a Buck Handicap (G3)
behind Mambo Meister with trouble in the race.
You and I Forever is a beautifully bred son of A.P. Indy
out of Grade 1 winner You. He finished a game second last out behind Quality Road in the
one-mile Hal’s Hope Handicap (G3) here on opening day, Jan. 3. You and I
Forever won a seven-furlong allowance race at Calder by five lengths last July
in his first start for Wolfson.
Completing the field for the Sprint Championship are Currey
Delmar URAS Racing’s Inkado, Rajiv Maragh; Rose Family Stable’s Prince Joshua,
Daniel Coa; Fox Hill Farm’s Solar Flare, Ramon Dominguez; Fox Hill Farm and
Richard Brand’s Biker Boy, Jose Lezcano; Susan Moore’s Presto Change O, Jeremy
Rose; Kevin Bogart and partners’ Peace Chant, Joe Bravo; and R.L. Johnson’s
Congessional Page, Carlos Marquez, Jr.