Champion Ce Ce leads Princess Rooney invitees

Champion Ce Ce leads Princess Rooney invitees
Photo: Gulfstream Park

Bo Hirsch LLC’s Ce Ce is the most prominent name on the list of invitees for the Grade 2, $300,000 Princess Rooney Invitational July 2 at Gulfstream Park, where the Michael McCarthy-trained daughter of Elusive Quality scored a 3 1/4-length victory in last year’s seven-furlong Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ sprint for fillies and mares.

After earning a fees-paid berth for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) with her dominating Princess Rooney triumph, Ce Ce went on to prevail by 2 1/2 lengths in the Nov. 6 seven-furlong race for fillies and mares at Del Mar, clinching the 2021 Eclipse Award female sprinter title.

Click here for Gulfstream Park entries and results.

The Princess Rooney headlines Summit of Speed Weekend at Gulfstream Park, supported by the $100,000 Smile Sprint (G3), a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up, July 3 and the $100,000 Bob Umphrey Sprint, a 5 1/2-furlong dash for 3-year-olds and up on Tapeta, July 4.

Ce Ce ran seven furlongs in a swift 1:21.94 while winning the 2021 Princess Rooney to give McCarthy his second big-race success at Gulfstream, where he saddled City of Light for an impressive victory in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) in 2019.

Two other Grade 1 stakes winners are included on the list of 18 invitees to the Princess Rooney – David Bernsen LLC, Gainesway Stable, Rockingham Ranch and Chad Littlefield’s Kalypso and Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith, Westerberg Limited and Jonathan Poulion’s Kimari.

Kalypso, who captured the La Brea (G1) at Santa Anita in December, has made two starts this year since being transferred to trainer Steve Asmussen, returning to winning form in the Memorial Day Stakes at Lone Sta in her most recent start.

Wesley Ward-trained Kimari, who earned Grade 1 credentials in the 2021 Madison, scored an impressive optional claiming allowance victory March 3 at Gulfstream in her 2022 debut before finishing third in the Madison and fifth in the Derby City Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs.

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott is represented on the list of Princess Rooney invitees by Frank Fletcher Racing Operations Inc.’s Frank’s Rockette and Godolphin LLC’s Caramel Swirl.

Frank’s Rockette is a multiple Grade 2 stakes winner who concluded her 2021 campaign with a second-place finish in the Sugar Swirl (G3) at Gulfstream before finishing second in both the Carousel at Oaklawn and Vagrancy (G3) at Belmont.

Caramel Swirl, who closed out her 2021 campaign with a victory in the Raven’s Run (G2) at Keeneland, made an impressive 2022 debut with a 3 3/4-length optional claiming allowance score at Belmont Park May 20.

Godolphin LLC is also represented on the list of Princess Rooney invitees by Pennybaker, a homebred daughter of Medaglia d’Oro who made auspicious U.S. and 2022 debuts while capturing the April 16 Heavenly Cause at Laurel by 6 3/4 lengths. The Michael Stidham trainee had previously won her last four races in France.

Gary Barber’s Make Mischief is also invited. A multiple Grade 2 stakes-placed daughter of Into Mischief, Make Mischief broke her maiden at first asking at Belmont before finishing second in the Schuylerville (G2) and Adirondack (G2) as a juvenile. The 4-year-old has been a model of consistency, winning six of 18 starts and finishing worse than third only five times.

Charlton Baker and Michael Foster’s Glass Ceiling, who captured the Distaff (G3) at Aqueduct and Barbara Fritchie (G3) at Laurel Park; Frank Fletcher Racing Operations Inc. and Ten Strike Racing’s Lady Rocket, the Go For Wand (G3) winner who finished third last time out in the Ruffian (G1) at Belmont in her second start off a layoff; are among the most accomplished invitees.

WSS Racing LLC’s Joyful Cadence, a multiple graded stakes-placed daughter of Runhappy who finished second in the Winning Colors (G3) last time out at Churchill Downs; Joel Poliiti’s Li’l Tootsie, a daughter of Tapiture who finished third in the Winning Colors; and Sanford Goldfarb’s Kept Waiting, who finished second behind Glass Ceiling in the Distaff; are also on the Princess Rooney invitation list.

Jacks or Better Farm Inc.’s Spirit Wind, who is coming off a five-length triumph in the Musical Romance and a 2 1/2-length score in the Any Limit and Slam Dunk Racing LLC, Saffie Joseph Jr., Daniel Damen, and Dominique Damico’s All Worthy, a two-length allowance winner at Churchill Downs last time out, are also invited.

EKB Stables’ Corey, Vaccaro Racing Stable’s Race Day Speed, and Steven Dwoskin’s Helping Lisa D, are reserve invitees. Spirit Wind and Corey are eligible for a Florida-bred ‘Win Only’ Bonus.

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