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Pica Slew Gearing Up for Hurricane Bertie

Gulfstream Park
Photo: MEC

Trainer Brian Lynch was very pleased when Terra Di Sienna Stable’s 5-year-old Florida homebred mare Pica Slew finished a game second to Pomeroys Pistol in the $100,000 Sugar Swirl Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 10, and is now pointing her to next Sunday’s $150,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G3) at 6 ½ furlongs.

 

“Of course, I would have loved to have won it, but she ran a great race” said Lynch from Palm Meadows. Lynch had special reason to want to win the Sugar Swirl as he trained the former Stronach Stable star sprint filly to sweep the three graded sprint stakes on the Gulfstream schedule in 2008, including the First Lady (now known as Sugar Swirl), Hurricane Bertie and Inside Information Stakes (G2).

 

“We passed the Sunshine Millions (Filly & Mare Sprint on Jan. 28) to point for this race, although I know it will probably come up very tough,” Lynch said. A daughter of Pico Central, Pica Slew was making her first start in nearly 11 months in the Sugar Swirl, her first start for Lynch and seventh of her career.

 

Pica Slew finished sixth in the My Dear Girl Stakes at Woodbine in her only appearance as a 2-year-old for trainer Greg DeGannes before resurfacing at Calder as a 3-year-old in 2010 with trainer Joe Calascibetta when she won three straight, including  Azalea Stakes (G3) in July.

 

Pica Slew raced twice as a 4-year-old last season, finishing eighth in the Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga in August for trainer Mike Hushion and sixth after setting the early pace in the Santa Monica Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita on Jan. 30, 2011 for trainer John Shirreffs.

 

Three other prospects for the Hurricane Bertie posted workouts Sunday morning with Stronach Stable’s 4-year-old Her Smile earning the ‘bullet’ with five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 at Palm Meadows for trainer Chad Brown and R Larry Johnson’s 4-year-old Strike the Moon timed half-mile there in 48 1/5 for trainer Michael Trombetta.

 

Her Smile is set to make her first start since finishing a close-up third in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4 when owned by Bobby flay and trained by Todd Pletcher. She was purchased just days later for $1 million at the Fasig-Tipton November sales by Stronach Stable and placed with Brown, who also trains undefeated 4-year-old filly Awesome Feather for the stable.

 

Strike the Moon is a daughter of Malibu Moon and finished a game second by a half-length to Belle of the Hall in a 6 ½ furlong allowance race over the Gulfstream track on Jan. 20 after a good third behind Pomeroys Pistol and Pica Slew in the Sugar Swirl. Strike the Moon won the Charles Towns Oaks last September after a good try finishing second by a head going a distance in the Delaware Oaks (G2) in early July.

 

Working at Calder Sunday morning was Harold Queen’s 4-year-old Hot Summer breezing a ‘bullet’ half-mile in 48 1/5 for trainer David Fawkes. The daughter of Malibu Moon won the Comely Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct and Victory Ride Stakes (G3) at Saratoga last year, and will bid to bounce back from a disappointing eighth-place finish last out as the favorite in the Manatee Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Jan. 21.
 

 

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