Florida-bred 2-year-olds in spot­light

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - Front Page - By Randy Gould­ing

Fu­ture stars could be on dis­play in four stakes races for ju­ve­niles on the Sun­shine Mil­lions Pre­view Day card Satur­day at Gulf­stream Park West. There are nine stakes in to­tal, and the $75,000 races for Florida-breds serve as early preps for Sun­shine Mil­lions Day on Jan. 19 at Gulf­stream Park.

Lucky Mike might be worth tak­ing a shot with in the Ju­ve­nile Turf, which drew nine horses and goes as race 10.

The Hand­some Mike colt, owned by Sam and Di­ane Schwartz, showed a lot of prom­ise when he de­buted in a maiden spe­cial weight race Oct. 27 at Gulf­stream Park West. Af­ter get­ting off to a poor start in the one-mile race on turf, he started to make his pres­ence known ap­proach­ing the sec­ond turn. He was full of run but lost a lot of mo­men­tum while go­ing wide on the turn. He per­se­vered, though, and lost by only 1 1/2 lengths while fin­ish­ing fourth.

Trainer Lilli Kurtinecz is hop­ing for a bet­ter trip Satur­day.

“That was a bad start, but he showed me a lot, and he came out of the race fan­tas­tic,” Kurtinecz said. “He is eat­ing bet­ter than ever, and he’s very pro­fes­sional. He’s the first horse for his own­ers, so it would be nice to win the race for them.”

Lucky Mike will break from post 5 with Hec­tor Ber­rios rid­ing.

Stir­ling Drive is an­other pos­si­bil­ity in a wide-open event.

Trained by Mil­ton Wolf­son, he stead­ied sharply go­ing into the first turn when he fin­ished fourth go­ing 7 1/2 fur­longs in a first-level al­lowance race with a $75,000 claim­ing op­tion Oct. 25 at Gulf­stream Park West. In his pre­vi­ous start, Stir­ling Drive fin­ished third in the $75,000 Armed Forces on Sept. 29 at Gulf­stream Park.

Mr Wrench is the only stakes win­ner in the field, but he didn’t make any kind of im­pact in his last two starts in the Grade 3 Iro­quois at Churchill and the Grade 3 Bour­bon at Keeneland.

Mega Bucks im­proved when he moved to turf in his sec­ond start at Lau­rel, and fin­ished full of run to win the same race Lucky Mike ex­its.

Ju­ve­nile Sprint: Jack­son tough

Any­one go­ing with Jack­son in the Ju­ve­nile Sprint (race 6) is prob­a­bly head­ing in the right di­rec­tion. The 6 1/2-fur­long dash drew 10 horses.

The 79 Beyer Speed Fig­ure that the Jose Pinchin-trained colt re­ceived for his fourth­place fin­ish in the $100,000 Dr. Fager on Aug. 4 at Gulf­stream Park stands out. Jack­son also showed an affin­ity for turf when he had a rough trip while fin­ish­ing sec­ond in the $82,500 Hol­ly­wood Beach. Even with a clean trip, he wasn’t go­ing to beat Bul­letin, who sub­se­quently won the Breed­ers’ Cup Ju­ve­nile Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs.

Jack­son will break from post 7 un­der usual rider Emisael Jaramillo.

Maddy’s Last Dance, who looked like he was go­ing nowhere down the back­stretch, ral­lied to win a $50,000 starter race with a $50,000 claim­ing op­tion on Oct. 17 at Gulf­stream Park West. It was his sec­ond straight win for trainer Mar­cus Vi­tali. He also ran a good race over a sloppy track to fin­ish sec­ond when he de­buted in a $50,000 maiden-claim­ing race Sept. 3 at Gulf­stream Park.

With plenty of po­ten­tial speed, the shape of the race could work for him.

Se­lect Fri­day eyes re­bound

Trainer David Fawkes is ex­pect­ing Se­lect Fri­day to bounce back with a strong per­for­mance in the Ju­ve­nile Fil­lies Sprint (race 5). The 6 1/2-fur­long race drew eight horses.

Se­lect Fri­day fin­ished sev­enth go­ing two turns for the first time in the $400,000 My Dear Girl on Sept. 29 at Gulf­stream. In her pre­vi­ous race, she was the run­ner-up go­ing 6 1/2 fur­longs in the $100,000 Desert Vixen on Aug. 4.

“She wasn’t her­self go­ing into her last start,” Fawkes said. “She’s do­ing great now, and she was well in hand in her last work.”

He was re­fer­ring to Se­lect Fri­day’s sharp half-mile move in 47.80 sec­onds last Satur­day at Gulf­stream.

Star­ship Nala, trained by Steven Dwoskin, could end up fa­vored. She fin­ished fifth in the Desert Vixen but was the run­ner-up in her next two starts, the $200,000 Su­san’s Girl and the My Dear Girl.

Deep cast in Ju­ve­nile Fil­lies Turf

A well-matched field goes in the Ju­ve­nile Fil­lies Turf (race 8). Dec­o­rated Ace will be among the fa­vorites in the one-mile race that drew nine horses.

Trained by Brenda McCarthy, Dec­o­rated Ace won the $78,000 Soror­ity on Sept. 1 at Mon­mouth Park and in her next start was over­whelmed by News­pa­p­er­ofrecord in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo at Bel­mont Park. News­pa­p­er­ofrecord re­mained un­de­feated with an im­pres­sive win in the Breed­ers’ Cup Ju­ve­nile Fil­lies Turf.

Lovely Luvy was im­pres­sive in win­ning her de­but sprint­ing on dirt for trainer Vic­tor Bar­boza Jr. Con­sid­er­ing her two sib­lings have com­bined to win 11 races on grass, she could thrive with the sur­face switch.


Jack­son (right) wins a maiden race at Gulf­stream. He will be a con­tender in the Ju­ve­nile Sprint.

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