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Presious Passion Leads Mac Diarmida Noms

Gulfstream Park
Photo: MEC

Patricia Generazio’s 7-year-old Presious Passion worked a mile in 1:40 flat Thursday morning at Gulfstream Park as he prepares for the $150,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G3) to be run at 1 3/8 miles on turf on Sun., Feb. 28, a race he won last year for trainer Mary Hartmann early in his best season ever.

Presious Passion went on to score a repeat victory in the United Nations Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park in early July, won the Clement Hirsch Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita in October and ran the race of his life to finish second in the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 7, beaten a half-length by defending champion Conduit.

A chestnut son of Royal Anthem, Presious Passion arrived in South Florida in time to bid for a third straight victory in the 12-furlong W.L. McKnight Handicap (G2) at Calder on Dec. 26, but checked in fifth in his last start.

Hartmann has indicated that the Mac Diarmida will serve as a tune-up for Presious Passion to go to Dubai for the $5 million Sheema Classic (G1) going 12 furlongs at the new Meydan Race Course on Mar. 27.

Presious Passion leads the list of 30 older horse nominated for the Mac Diarmida that will be one of four Graded stakes to be run next weekend at Gulfstream Park, preceded Saturday by renewals of the $150,000 Davona Dale Stakes (G2) for 3-year-old fillies at one mile, the $100,000 Sabin Stakes (G3) for fillies and mares at one mile and the $100,000 The Very One Stakes (G3) for fillies and mares at 1 3/8 miles on turf.

Other accomplished stakes runners on the Mac Diarmida roster include Harlequin Ranches’ Spice Route and Mr. and Mrs. Bert Firestone’s Winchester, second and third, respectively, behind Cloudy’s Knight in the W.L. McKnight; Starlight Partners’ Take the Points, disqualified winner of the Gulfstream Turf Handicap (G1) last out on Feb.6; and Marc Keller’s multiple Grade 1 winner Grand Couturier.

Nancy Mazzoni’s 2009 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner and Eclipse champion filly She Be Wild is prominent on the nomination list for the Davona Dale along with Lori and George Hall’s Bickerson and Jerry Romans’ Sassy Image.

Bickersons romped home a seven lengths winner of the seven-furlong Forward Gal Stakes (G2) here on Jan. 31 for trainer Kelly Breen with She Be Wild fifth as the favorite for trainer Wayne Catalano, although going a distance likely short of her best in her first start since winning the Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 6.

Sassy Image completed her juvenile campaign for trainer Dale Romans winning the Pocahontas Stakes (G3) and Golden Rod Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs by two and 3 ¾ lengths, respectively. The daughter of Broken Vow came back with a 4 ½ lengths victory in the ‘off the turf’ Sweetest Chant Stakes here on Jan. 17 to launch her 3-year-old campaign.

West Point Thoroughbreds and partners’ 4-year-old filly Justwhistledixie swept the Davona Dale Stakes and Bonnie Miss Stakes (G2) here early last year for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and is back this winter with trainer Bill Mott and nominated for the Sabin.

A daughter of Dixie Union, Justwhistledixie went on to finish second in the Acorn Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park in the spring before being sidelined until late November when she  finished second in the Top Flight Handicap (G2) at Aqueduct in his first start for Mott. In one outing since the Top Flight, she finished fourth trying the Pro-Ride synthetic surface at Santa Anita in the El Encino Stakes (G2) on Jan. 17.

Edward P. Evans’ 4-year-old filly Casanova Move finished second behind Justwhistledixie in the Davona Dale and Bonnie Miss last year for trainer Jimmy Jerkens and returns this year with trainer Todd Pletcher, training strongly for her first start since finishing third in the Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 22. She is nominated for the Sabin.

World-Wide Audience for Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth


The 64th renewal of the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes, a stepping stone to the Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby, will broadcast to an international audience—more people than ever before-- via live radio, television and the world wide web.

For the second straight year, Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) kicks-off their award-winning Road to the Triple Crown coverage at Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino, with a live, two hour special starting at 4pm eastern. Available on various radio outlets across the nation and live streaming at www.horseracingradio.net, the second hour of the program hosted by Mike Penna and Jude Feld will be available locally on WFTL 640AM out of Fort Lauderdale starting at 5 pm.

On the television side, Eclipse Award-winning journalist Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form will be on site in South Florida, joining Gulfstream Park regulars Caton Bredar and Alyssa Ali for live coverage throughout the day on HRTV network beginning at noon Eastern.  On-line subscribers can also catch the action 24/7 from the sport’s most popular channel at www.hrtv.com.

Features and race replays for all the action from Gulfstream are always available on the Park’s YouTube channel, www.YouTube.com/gulfstreamparkracing.com.  Fountain of Youth Day updates, features and lively conversation will be the calling card this Saturday, and every Saturday, via Gulfstream’s Park’s Facebook page www.facebook/gulfstreampark.com, and for handicapping information, race by race analysis, money plays and more, log on to www.gulfstreampark.com.

 



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