California Chrome sibling Fort McHenry stepping into stakes company

Gulfstream Park Communications
November 21, 2019 04:51pm
California Chrome sibling Fort McHenry stepping into stakes company
Photo: Lauren King/Gulfstream Park

Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith’s Fort McHenry, a half-brother to two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome, is prominent on the list of 23 nominees for the $75,000 Smooth Air on the Nov. 30 Juvenile Showcase program at Gulfstream Park.


The Smooth Air is one of six stakes for up-and-coming 2-year-olds on the Juvenile Showcase program that will kick off the lucrative stakes schedule for Gulfstream’s 2019-2020 Championship Meet.


Fort McHenry, who was purchased for $1.1 million at the 2018 Keeneland September sale, graduated impressively at Gulfstream Park West on Nov. 2. Making his third career start, the Todd Pletcher-trained son of Tapit overcame a stumbling start to take the lead on the backstretch and continue on to register a dominating 5 ½-length victory in a mile maiden special weight race.

Pletcher has since confirmed with the Daily Racing Form that he's pointing Fort McHenry to the Smooth Air.


Also among the prominent Smooth Air nominees: Screen Door Stables LLC’s As Seen On TV, who captured the Juvenile Sprint for Florida-breds at Gulfstream Park West Nov. 9; Ramon J. Dominguez’s Lookinatamiracle, who finished third in the Grey Stakes (G3) at Woodbine last time out; and Gary and Mary West’s Went West, who recently debuted impressively at Parx.


The Buffalo Man, a six-furlong sprint, attracted 18 nominations, including Shooting Star Thoroughbreds LLC’s Chance It and Stonehedge LLC’s Smash Factor, the 1-2 finishers, respectively, in the $400,000 Florida Sire Stakes In Reality. Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained Chance It is scheduled to run in the Springboard Mile (G3) at Remington Park Dec. 15. Michael Yates-trained Smash Factor scored a 1 ½-length triumph over Chance It in their respective debuts at Gulfstream June 1.


The Hut Hut, a mile race for fillies, drew 15 nominations, including Gary Barber’s Two Sixty, who captured the $400,000 FSS My Dear Girl before finishing off the board in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita. Stoneway Farm LLC’s Cofactor, who has won three races in a row, including the Smart Halo at Laurel Park in her most recent start for trainer Kelly Breen, is also a prominent nominee. Amalio Ruiz-Lozano’s Ceci Valentina, who has captured two stakes in her last three starts. Also nominated are Tonalist’s Shape, who is undefeated in two starts for Slam Dunk Racing.


Ceci Valentina and Tonalist’s Shape are also nominated for the House Party, a six-furlong sprint for fillies that also attracted a nomination for eFive Racing Thoroughbreds’ Sound Machine, a $500,000 yearling purchase who won her debut by 8 ½ lengths at Gulfstream in July before finishing off the board in a Keeneland allowance.


The Pulpit, a mile turf stakes, drew 25 nominations, including Smooth Air nomine Lookinatamiracle. Our Country, who finished third in the Pilgrim (G3) at Belmont for R.A. Hill Stable and Gatsas Stables, and Godolphin LLC’s Pixelate, who finished a strong-closing second in the Awad Stakes at Belmont last time out, are also among the highly regarded nominees.


The Wait a While, a mile turf stakes for fillies, attracted 23 nominations, including Castleton Lyons’ Diamonds Are A, a daughter of Street Sense who is 2-for-2 on turf for trainer Ben Colebrook, as well as Live Oak Plantation’s American Giant and Our Little Jewel, who recently finished 1-2, respectively, in the Juvenile Filly Turf for Florida-breds at Gulfstream Park West.


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