Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Firestone’s 5-year-old Winchester will be the favorite and horse to
beat in a field of 11 older horses entered in Saturday’s $150,000 Pan American
Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park,
a race that also will mark the season debut of Fred Bradley’s remarkable
9-year-old gelding Brass Hat.
Jockey Alan Garcia rides Winchester for trainer Christophe
Clement in the 1 ½ miles turf course marathon after a solid runner-up
performance last out in the 11-furlong Mac Diarmida Stakes (G3) on Feb. 28,
beaten 1 ¼ lengths by Presious Passion in his first start since another good
try finishing third behind Cloudy’s Knight in the 12-furlong W.L. McKnight
Handicap (G2) at Calder on Dec. 26.
homebred son of the Firestones’ 1987 Eclipse champion turf horse Theatrical, Winchester began his
career in Ireland
with trainer Dermot Weld and won his American racing debut as a 3-year-old in
the 2008 Secretariat Stakes (G1) at Arlington
In two good tries before the W.L. McKnight, Winchester
finished runner-up in the Bowling Green Handicap (G2) to Grand Couturier at
Belmont Park in September and second again, beaten a head by Cloudy’s Knight in
the 12-furlong Sycamore Stakes (G3) at Keeneland in October.
Jockey Eddie Castro will be aboard Brass Hat for trainer
William ‘Buff’ Bradley as he makes his first start since a game second-place
effort last out in the 12-furlong Stars and Stripes Handicap (G3) at Arlington
Park on Sept. 7 to complete a campaign that focused on long distance turf
Brass Hat is a Kentucky
homebred by Prized whose career highlight was winning the 1989 Breeders’ Cup
Turf (G1) over the Gulfstream course for trainer Neil Drysdale. The biggest
victory of Brass Hat’s career was a wire-to-wire victory over a ‘sloppy’ track
in the 2006 Donn Handicap (G1), and he begins another campaign with more than
$2 million in earnings.
Two other contenders with credentials in the 49th edition
of the Pan American are Lotheback Stable’s Bearpath and Gary and Mary West’s
Expansion, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Mac Diarmida last out behind
Presious Passion and Winchester.
Jockey Freddie Lenclud will be in town to ride Bearpath for
trainer Ian Wilkes. The 4-year-old Dynaformer gelding made his stakes debut in
the Mac Diarmida and was beaten 5 ¼ lengths for it all in his first start since
capturing a ‘two other than’ allowance going 12 furlongs at Churchill Downs on
Jockey Jeffrey Sanchez gets the call on Expansion for
trainer Chad Brown. The 5-year-old Maria’s Mon horse was well-backed at 3-to-1
in the Mac Diarmida as he made his first appearance since capturing the
11-furlong Red Smith Handicap (G2) at Aqueduct on Nov. 7 in his stakes race
Completing the field for the Pan American are Mount Joy
Stable’s Lemon Spice, Paco Lopez; Constantine and Peter Beler’s Brother Nick,
C.H. Marquez, Jr.; Daniel-Yves Treves’ Never On Sunday, Joe Bravo; Butterfly
Stable’s Memorial Maniac, E.T. Baird; Sundance Thoroughbreds’ Silver Mountain,
Jesus Castanon; and Lazy F Ranch’s Uncle Indy, Manoel Cruz.
Haras Cotacachi’s Gabriel’s Hill was entered for ‘main
track only’ by trainer Seth Benzel with jockey Eddie Castro named to ride.