Gulfstream: Harlan’s Holiday
A week after she would have been favored to win the $100,000 Soviet Problem Stakes for California-bred 2-year-old fillies at Los Alamitos, Patriotic Diamond is being given a tougher task in Saturday’s $300,000 Starlet Stakes at the same venue.
The prestige of the Grade 1 Starlet was the difference between races for owner Kin Hui and trainer Patrick Biancone.
“We decided to take a shot,” Biancone said. “I think it’s a very open race. A week more won’t hurt her. It’s time to see how good she is.”
In a projected field of seven 2-year-old fillies in the Starlet, Patriotic Diamond is one of five stakes winners, but none has won a Grade 1. Patriotic Diamond won the Generous Portion Stakes for California-bred fillies at Del Mar in August and an optional claimer for California-bred fillies there Nov. 26.
The Starlet is run at 1 1/16 miles, and Biancone said the distance has appeal. Patriotic Diamond is by the Sunday Silence stallion Hat Trick.
There were a couple of surprise entrants when Saturday’s $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday was drawn Wednesday – Mr. Jordan and Juan and Bina. They had been entered in Sunday’s one-mile Aventura Stakes for 3-year-olds, which was not used, in part, because of the inclement weather predicted for that afternoon.
Mr. Jordan and Juan and Bina were supplemented to the 1 1/16-mile Harlan’s Holiday and will face a strong group that also includes Madefromlucky, Valid, Sr. Quisqueyano, Ami’s Holiday, Encryption, Just Call Kenny, Lynx, and Mexikoma. The Harlan’s Holiday serves as a prep for several upcoming stakes, including the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope, the Sunshine Millons Classic, and the Grade 1 Donn Handicap.
A field of eight fillies and mares will decide Saturday’s Grade 3 Rampart, led by Legal Laura and Miss Venezuela, the one-two finishers in the Sunshine Millions Distaff Preview Stakes on Nov. 7 at Gulfstream Park West. Trainer Marty Wolfson entered three for the race, led by the improving Cali Star, an impressive allowance winner in her south Florida debut. Wolfson also will have Curlin’s Princess and Best Behavior, who was supplemented to the Rampart.
Moment of Delight, Pink Poppy, and Stiffed complete the Rampart field.
Patriotic Diamond (left) will seek her first Grade 1 victory in Saturday’s Starlet at Los Alamitos.