Awesome Banner back with Florida-breds in Sunshine Millions Sprint

HorseRacingNation.com
January 19, 2017 08:40am
Awesome Banner wins 2016 Swale
Photo: Gulfstream Park

Jacks or Better Farm’s Awesome Banner is slated to exit Grade 1 company to compete against fellow Florida-breds in Saturday’s six-furlong Sunshine Millions Sprint at Gulfstream Park.

The Mark Casse-trained 4-year-old, a multiple graded-stakes winner over the Gulfstream racetrack, stalked the early pace before finishing fifth in the Malibu (G1) at Santa Anita Dec. 26.

“It was a tough race; I thought he just ran even. But he ran his best [speed figure] he’s run in awhile,” Casse said. “California is always tough and then you fly out there, and it always makes it a little more difficult, but he held his own.”

The son of Awesome of Course has won six of nine starts at Gulfstream, including wins in the Hutcheson (G3) and Swale (G2) during the 2015-16 Championship Meet. During his 2016 campaign he also scored back-to-back victories in the Prized and Foolish Pleasure, a pair of Florida Sire Stakes events in the fall. He followed up with a two-length victory in the $200,000 Steel Valley Sprint at Mountaineer Park Nov. 21, only to be placed second through a controversial disqualification.

Awesome Banner, who has earned more than $550,000 in purses, is scheduled to be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione in a field of seven state-breds, including stablemate Sing Praises, a multiple-stakes winner seeking his first victory in more than a year, and multiple-stakes winner Yourdreamsormine.

N.T.S. Stable’s Yourdreamsormine had a streak of eight races with first or second-place finishes snapped in the Mr. Prospector (G3), in which he finished a troubled fifth under Paco Lopez.

“He had to make a decision quick either to move to the inside or the outside. He went to the outside and so did all the rest of them. The horse that was behind us [Squadron A] came on and won the race [on the rail],’ Wolfson said.  “Racing close to the pace isn’t his game and he was up there ding-donging it with two other horses. He got tired and I got nothing.”

Wolfson also entered Extravagant Kid, a multiple stakes-placed 4-year-old gelding came off a six-month layoff to win an optional claiming allowance race at Gulfstream Park West Nov. 19 and most recently finished third in a five-furlong turf event at Gulfstream.

Yourdreamsormine, who has seven wins and six seconds from 27 starts at Gulfstream, is scheduled to be ridden by Nik Juarez, while Roberto Alvarado Jr. was named to ride Extravagant Kid.

Monster Racing Stables’ Delta Bluesman, who finished third in the Mr. Prospector, will seek a return to the form he displayed with a victory in the Smile Sprint (G2) at Gulfstream in July. Prior to the Mr. Prospector, the Jorge Navarro-trained gelding finished sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita Nov. 5.

Eddie Kenneally-trained Schivarelli, a steady-running gelding who  has earned more than $300,000 for Pike Place Racing and Homewrecker Racing, enters the Sprint with a pair of third-place finishes in the Ack Ack (G3) at Churchill Downs and in an allowance race at Keeneland.

Tommy Roberts Racing Stable’s Early Entry was entered for a return from an 11-month layoff in the Sprint. The Kathleen O’Connell-trained 6-year-old son of Keyed Entry won an allowance and the Rail Splitter Stakes at Gulfstream back to back before heading to the sidelines.

Moment of Delight, You Bought Her Meet Again in Distaff         

Moment of Delight and You Bought Her are scheduled to renew their rivalry in Saturday’s Sunshine Millions Distaff at Gulfstream Park.

Moment of Delight registered a half-length decision over You Bought Her in the Sunshine Millions Distaff Preview at Gulfstream Park West Nov. 12. Owned by Pinnacle Racing and Norman Stables, Moment of Delight is set to make her first start for trainer David Fawkes after winning two stakes and finishing second in another in three starts for trainer Stanley Gold.

Luis Saez was named to ride the 5-year-old daughter of A.P. Warrior in the six-furlong sprint for Florida-bred fillies and mares.

You Bought Her, who finished second in last year’s Sunshine Millions Distaff, followed up her runner-up finish in the Preview with a late-closing second in the Sugar Swirl (G3) at Gulfstream Dec. 17. Owned by Richard Perkins and trainer David Hinsley, the 7-year-old daughter of Graeme Hall has earned more than $500,000 in her 47-race career.

You Bought Her is scheduled to be ridden by John Velazquez
GoldMark Farm’s Lucky Switch is also set for a run in the Distaff after finishing third in the Distaff Preview.

Mia Torri, who finished second in the Charles Town Oaks (G3) in September, steps back into stakes company in the Distaff following a sharp 5 ¼-length optional claiming allowance victory at Gulfstream Dec. 9 in her first start for trainer Jorge Navarro. Javier Castellano has the mount.

Flutterby, a multiple-stakes winner owned and trained by 95-year-old Jerry Bozzo, was entered for a return from a 10-month layoff in the Distaff. The graded stakes-placed filly is scheduled to be ridden by Luca Panici.

Rose Family Stable’s Jamie’s Dancer rounds out the six-horse field.

Source: Gulfstream Park

 

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