Brown Saddles Solid Pair in Suwannee River
February 05, 2015 07:30am
A winner of two graded grass stakes already at the Championship Meet, trainer Chad Brown will go for a third with Cay Dancer and Rosalind in Saturday’s 67th running of the $150,000 Suwannee River (G3) at Gulfstream Park. 

The 1 1/8-mile turf race is one of six stakes races, four of them graded, on tap at Gulfstream, including the $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1), $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1), $100,000 Fred Hooper (G3), $75,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint and $75,000 Texas Glitter. 

A 4-year-old chestnut daughter of Broken Vow, Rosalind will be making her first start since being transferred to Brown by Landaluce Educe Stables. Second in the Alcibiades (G1) and third by a half-length in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at TWO, she won the Ashland (G1) over Keeneland’s Polytrack and was a distant fourth in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) last year before being moved to the turf by former trainer Ken McPeek. 

Rosalind tried grass last June in the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Royal Ascot in England, where she unseated rider Kiaran Fallon. She was off the board in two subsequent starts back in the U.S., the last in mid-October.

“She’s a good looking filly, and she has trained steadily,” Brown said. “She’s not an outstanding work horse; she just kind of trains steady. She’s a good-looking horse nonetheless, and she has some nice races back a little ways that would make her competitive wherever we ran her. Our hope is to just get her back on track and back to some of her better races.”

Cay Dancer, bred in England and owned by Highclere America, made her stateside debut in the 1 ½-mile La Prevoyante (G3) on December 27 at Gulfstream, where she found herself between horses and wide and wound up ninth in the field of 14, beaten 4 ½ lengths. She shortens up to 1 1/8 miles after running at 1 ¼ miles or longer each of her last four starts.

“I probably debuted her a little farther than I wanted to for her first start in North America. On top of that she had a wide post and a terrible trip,” Brown said. “She’s trained better than that so I think she deserves another chance and hopefully she draws better in a race like this. She didn’t get beat very far last time and she had a rough trip, and the cutback in distance may be just what she needs.” 

To be ridden by Edgard Zayas, Cay Dancer drew post 12 in the 14-horse field, two spots outside of 123-pound highweight Rosalind and jockey Joel Rosario. 

Another filly to get her start in Europe is Ireland-bred Sandiva, a Group 3 winner in England and France who was fifth by 2 ¼ lengths in the Coronation Cup. The Suwannee River will be her fifth consecutive stakes since arriving in the U.S. last summer, having won the 1 1/16-mile Tropical Park Oaks on December 20 in her South Florida debut.

"I thought she ran well last time. She put in a long, sustained drive and was kind of wide around the turn so it was a big effort from her,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “It was solid race, figure-wise, and even though it wasn’t a graded stake it was a grades stakes-caliber field.” 

Sandiva and Championship Meet-leading jockey Javier Castellano will break from post 8. 

Stuart Janney’s 6-year-old mare Scampering will be making her final start in the Suwannee River before going off to be bred. Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, she has been in the money in 10 of 18 lifetime starts with four wins and $283,895 in purses but it is still seeking her first stakes victory.

Most recently, the bay daughter of Afleet Alex was fourth in the 1 1/16 mile Marshua’s River (G3) on January 10 over the Gulfstream turf after being reluctant to load in the gate. 

“She ran good in there,” McGaughey said. “She didn’t have the best of trips, and a mile and a sixteenth is a little short for her. This race is going to be a mile and an eighth and I think that will suit her a little better. We just wanted to go a little farther with her. It would be very nice to get her a stakes win. She always does give her best.”

Scampering will carry jockey Luis Saez and 117 pounds from post 3. 

As he did in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf, trainer Marty Wolfson will send out the trio of Pink Poppy, multiple stakes winner E B Ryder and Claiming Crown Tiara Rock On Baby in the Suwannee River. Pink Poppy led all the way to win the 1 1/16-mile stakes by 1 ½ lengths, while Rock On Baby was fourth and E B Ryder sixth.  

Rounding out the field are 2014 Matchmaker (G3) winner Starstruck; 2013 Virginia Oaks (G3) winner Nellie Cashman; Skylander Girl, second in the Marshua’s River (G3) on January 10 at Gulfstream; Bitty Kitty, who had a four-race win streak snapped when seventh in the Cardinal Handicap (G3) last November; multiple stakes winner White Rose and Bohemian Dance. Sheer Drama was entered for main track only.

Source: Gulfstream Park


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