Sunshine Millions News and Notes

Gulfstream Park
Photo: MEC

Buongiorno A. Tutti Stable’s 4-year-old filly Sweet Repent, who likely be among the favorites for the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff next Saturday (Jan. 30) at Gulfstream Park, worked a sharp ‘bullet’ five furlongs in 59 1/5 Friday morning over the track for trainer Dave Braddy.

Sweet Repent won her last four starts of 2009 at Calder Race Course where she is stabled and was vanned over to Gulfstream for the workout as the Calder main track remains closed this week for a maintenance renovation of the surface.

“She needed that one more good work,” said Braddy later in the morning. “It was a short trip over and it went fine. The group that she’s been running against here (rivals based in South Florida) are a hard-hitting bunch, but we’ve done well with them.”

A Florida-bred daughter of Repent, Sweet Repent won an allowance in late August, the Judy’s Red Shoes Stakes in late September, and the Elmer Heubeck Distaff on Nov. 14 by 3 ¼ lengths before earning graded stakes credentials last out in the Stage Door Betty Handicap (G3) on Dec. 26 with a hard-fought nose victory over Amazing.

A field of 11 has been pre-entered in the Distaff, with another contender who worked over the Gulfstream track Friday morning in Fernando Abreu’s 5-year-old Granted Tiger. The mare breezed seven furlongs in 1:27 1/5 for Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens.

A daughter of Tiger Ridge, Granted Tiger finished fifth in a six-furlong sprint allowance over a ‘muddy’ track here on Jan. 10 in her first start since finishing fifth in the Top Flight (G2) at Aqueduct on Nov. 27, a respectable effort when beaten only 4 ½ lengths by Sara Louise in the one-mile test.  


Seven Double-Entered in Sunshine Millions Classic & Turf

Trainer David Fawkes is one of seven horsemen on both coasts that have big decisions to make in the days ahead with horses pre-entered in both the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Turf to be run at Gulfstream Park and the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Classic at Santa Anita on Sat., Jan. 30.

Fawkes sent out 4-year-old Duke of Mischief to win the $100,000 Fort Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream on Jan. 10 by a neck with Eibar Coa aboard after the one-mile test was forced off turf and run on a ‘good’ track in his first start since finishing seventh in the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park on Oct. 11.

The Florida-bred chestnut son of Graeme Hall is owned by a partnership that includes Alex and Jo Ann Lieblong, breeder Marilyn McMaster and Fawkes. He scored his biggest victory winning the Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows by five lengths in late June and finished fifth behind Rachel Alexandra in the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park in early August.   

“There are weather considerations for both races,” said Fawkes Thursday morning. “He’s pretty versatile, but we’ll be looking at who goes in which race, although everybody will keep their options open as long as possible. I guess the best case scenario would be if the race here were forced off turf. Coa will ride him if he runs here and (Jose) Lezcano will be at Santa Anita that day and ride him if we go that way.”

In addition to Duke of Mischief, others pre-entered in both the Turf at Gulfstream and Classic at Santa Anita are E.W. and Judy Johnson’s Acclamation (Donald Warren), Winning Move Stable and partners’ Bad Action (Todd Pletcher), Harris Farms’ and partners’ Compari (Marty Jones), Carol Nyren’s Dry Martini (Barclay Tagg), West Side Rentals’ Enriched (Doug O’Neill), Don Van Racing’s The Usual Q. T. (James Cassidy) and Ashbrook Stable’s Wicked Style (Rusty Arnold).

Final entries and post positions for the six races will be drawn on Monday. The $300,000 Turf attracted an overflow field of 19 pre-entered with only 12 allowed to start while 14 were pre-entered in the $500,000 Classic, also with 12 allowed to start.

The Tex Sutton Forwarding charter flight bringing the California-trained runners for the three races at Gulfstream will arrive Tuesday and then turn around on Wednesday to take the South Florida-trained team to California.

The other two Sunshine Millions races to be run at Gulfstream are the $300,000 Distaff with 11 fillies and mares pre-entered and $200,000 Sprint that drew 17 with only 14 allowed to start.

In addition to the Classic at Santa Anita, the $300,000 Filly & Mare Turf drew a field of 10, including three based in South Florida – Glen Hill Farm’s Closeout (Tom Proctor) and E.J. Sukley’s Tight Precision (Tom Proctor) and Haras de Santa Maria de Araras’ Scolara (Bill Mott).

The $200,000 Filly & Mare Sprint drew an overflow 17 entries, including two from South Florida – Desperado Stables and partners’ Rate of Exchange (Marty Wolfson) and David Ross’ Libor Lady (Michael Pino).


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