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Breeders' Cup 2017

In The Rough Heads Boynton Beach

Gulfstream Park
Photo: MEC

Lori and George Hall’s In the Rough and Alex Rankin and partners’ Sea Road will get a final start in the South Florida sunshine at Gulfstream Park Saturday when they go to the post as the probable favorites in a field of nine 3-year-old fillies entered in the $50,000 Boynton Beach Stakes at 7 ½ furlongs on turf before shipping to summer quarters in New Jersey and New York, respectively.

Leading jockey Paco Lopez gets the call on In the Rough for trainer Kelly Breen as she bids to bounce back from a seventh-place finish last out in the nine-furlong Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3) after an impressive score in the Coconut Grove Stakes over the course in her previous start.

“The distance of her last race was probably a factor,” said Breen Thursday morning from Palm Meadows. “I think she’ll appreciate the shorter trip Saturday. That will be it for us down here this season. On balance it’s been a pretty good meet winning a couple of stakes,” referring to the victory of the Halls’ other good 3-year-old filly Bickersons in the $150,000 Forward Gal Stakes (G2) on Jan. 31.

In the Rough is a daughter of Stormy Atlantic purchased for $40,000 at the Eastern September yearling sales at Timonium and found her best stride in her turf debut here early in the meet finishing second before the Coconut Grove after winning one of four tries on the main track to begin her career.

Jockey Joe Bravo will ride Sea Road for trainer Stan Hough as she makes her stakes debut in the Boynton Beach after winning an allowance test over the course on Feb. 5 in her first and only start this year. The homebred daughter of Tale of the Cat had previously broken her maiden on turf at Aqueduct on Nov. 25 in her third career start.

DATTT Stable’s Dattt Echo finished a game third to In the Rough in the Coconut Grove for trainer Mark Hennig, beaten only 1 ¼ lengths in her first ever try on turf after winning two of seven on the  main track, and gets another chance in Saturday’s race with Jesus Castanon in the saddle. Dattt Echo is a daughter of Stormy Atlantic as is In the Rough and was purchased for $360,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sales.

Completing the field for the Boynton Beach are Aurora Springs Farm’s Dreamed to Dream, E.T. Baird; Trade Winds Farm’s Mehndi, Rosemary Homeister, Jr.; Hall E. Snowden, Jr.’s Bet On the Blue, Jermaine Bridgmohan; Edward A. Seltzer’s Besitos, Edgar Perez; and LRK Stable’s Worstcasescenario, Eduardo Nunez; Pinnacle Racing Stable’s Musical Romance, Juan Leyva.

Four in Lexington at Keeneland Ran at Gulfstream

Led by upset winner Stately Victor, four 3-year-olds that ran at Gulfstream Park earlier this season swept the first four places in the $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland last Saturday, and four other potential Kentucky Derby (G1) prospects that raced at Gulfstream this year will line-up in the field of 12 drawn for this Saturday’s $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G2).

Harvey Clarke and Ron Winchell’s Krypton and Augustine Stable’s Bushwhacked each ran twice at Gulfstream and then won a race over the Polytrack surface at Keeneland since then for trainers Jonathan Sheppard and Kiaran McLaughlin, respectively.

The other two in the Lexington with Gulfstream experience are Gary and Mary West’s Call Shot and Casa Farms’ Prince Will I Am. A son of Tale of the Cat, Call Shot finished third in the Dania Beach Stakes on turf and third in a main track allowance at Gulfstream in his last two starts for trainer Wayne Catalano.

Prince Will I Am is a son of Victory Gallop trained by Michelle Nihei. The colt will try Keeneland’s synthetic Polytrack surface after finishing up the track in eighth behind Eskendereya in the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) last out at Gulfstream on Feb. 20 after a respectable second-place effort behind Drosselmeyer in an allowance race.

There also will be a strong Gulfstream influence in Saturday’s renewal of the $150,000 Distaff Handicap (G2) at Aqueduct with four of the six fillies and mares entered in the race coming out of Gulfstream stakes. Alex Rankin’s Tar Heel Mom and Windmill Manor Farm’s Thunders Dove finished two-three in the Inside Information (G2) on Mar. 14 for trainers Stan Hough and Nick Zito, respectively.

Peachtree Stable’s Matchless Orinda and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Justwhistledixie finished second and fourth last out in the Sabin Stakes (G3) on Feb. 27. Justwhistledixie will bid to regain the form that saw her sweep the Davona Dale Stakes (G2) and Bonnie Miss Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream early last year for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The daughter of Dixie Union is trained this year by Bill Mott.

Three other fillies and mares with Gulfstream stakes experience earlier this season are entered in stakes events this Saturday at Hawthorne in Chicago and Charles Town in West Virginia. Trainer Marty Wolfson has Farnsworth Stable’s Jessica Is Back and Team Valor’s Miss Singhsix on the road this weekend. Jessica Is Back and Miss Singhsix are entered in the $200,000 Sixty Sails Handicap (G3) at Hawthorne, and Jessica Is Back is also in the $250,000 Sugar Maple Stakes Saturday night at Charles Town. Jessica Is Back romped home a nine-length winner of the Ocala Stakes last out at Gulfstream while Miss Singhsix finished third in the Rampart Stakes (G3) on Mar. 20.

Trainer Doug O’Neill shipped Flintridge Stable’s 4-year-old filly Pinkarella from California to win an allowance race at Gulfstream on Feb. 12 and left her here to finish fifth last out in the Inside Information Stakes on Mar. 14. The daughter of Malibu Moon was subsequently shipped to O’Neill’s division stabled at Philadelphia Park and also is entered to run in the Sugar Maple at Charles Town.




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