Turf Preview kicks off program
The Sunshine Millions Turf Preview kicks off Sunshine Millions Preview Day on Saturday at Gulfstream Park West, and, like many of the eight other $75,000 stakes races for Florida-breds that make up the bulk of the 11-race card, it is a wide-open affair. Post time for the Turf Preview is noon Eastern.
Galleon Mast will certainly receive a lot of betting support in the 1 1/16-mile race that drew seven horses. Trained by David Fawkes, he finished second in the Turf Preview last year and then won the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Turf at Gulfstream Park. He is coming off a narrow loss after a troubled trip in the $75,000 Mr. Steele Stakes going a mile on turf Sept. 29 at Gulfstream.
The 5-year-old son of Mizzen Mast gets a significant rider change with Paco Lopez riding him for the first time in his 28-race career, and he should appreciate the extra halffurlong he gets to work with.
“He couldn’t be doing any better,” Fawkes said. “He was unlucky to lose the Mr. Steele, and I’m just hoping for a clean trip. “
A deep closer, Galleon Mast should have an honest pace to work with. He will break from post 5.
Archer Road is coming off back-to-back stakes wins at Gulfstream. After taking the 1 1/2-mile Copingaway on July 28, he was able to cut back in distance in his win over Galleon Mast in the Mr. Steele.
The Stanley Gold-trained 4-year-old, who also does his best running late, could take a big step forward making his second start following a two-month layoff. He will break from post 6 with Jeffrey Sanchez retaining the mount.
Class and Cash, trained by Jane Cibelli, is usually in the mix early, but he trailed the field on the turn when he won the $100,000 Laurel Dash going six furlongs on yielding turf in his last start Sept. 22.
Expect him to be on the lead or sitting just off the Mike Makertrained Swagger Jagger. Swagger Jagger set the pace in the Mr. Steele and faded to finish fifth. On Oct. 18, he lost by a neck after leading most of the way in a $62,500 optional-claiming race at Gulfstream Park West.
Competition appears to run deep in the Filly and Mare Turf Preview as well. However, if Thinkin Cowtown continues to move forward for trainer Gary Jackson, she could be a handful in the 7 1/2-furlong dash that drew eight horses and goes as race 3.
Making her third start for Jackson, the 5-year-old daughter of Cowtown Cat finished with a rush to win a $62,500 optional-claiming race on Sept. 23 at Gulfstream. She won her first start for him in her initial outing this year on Aug. 5. Sandwiched between her wins was a third-place finish in a $62,500 optional-claiming race Aug. 24.
“When she finished third we shod her the day of the race and she just wasn’t perfect,” Jackson said. “She has a lot of ability and is the biggest horse I’ve ever trained. When I first got her, my blacksmith, who didn’t know she was a winner, told me her feet were too big and that she would never run. After her last race he thinks she’s a Breeders’ Cup horse. She runs well fresh and is a pretty happy horse right now.”
Southern Sis, trained by Mark Casse, is eligible to move forward after finishing second in a first-level allowance race with a $35,000 claiming option in her first start of the year Oct. 19.
Warranty just missed to nextout winner Proud O’Paddy in a first-level allowance race with a $25,000 claiming option in her first start at Gulfstream Park West on Oct. 28. She could be sitting on a peak performance in the third start of her form cycle for Maker.
Picara came from a stalking position to win in a first-level allowance race with a $16,000 claiming option for Floridabreds on Oct. 14 at Gulfstream Park West, her second start for trainer Todd Pletcher. Her only other win came in her debut over the local surface as a 2-year-old last year.
Last year’s Sprint Preview winner Quijote has a good chance of defending his title in the six-furlong dash that drew seven horses and goes as race 2.
Last time out, the 5-year-old Pomeroy gelding romped by 6 1/2 lengths over a sloppy track in a $62,500 optionalclaiming race on Oct. 7 It was his second start for new trainer Sally Mitchelhill, who also sent Quijote out to finish third in the $75,000 Trinniberg on Sept. 8 at Gulfstream.
Edgard Zayas picks up the mount from Lopez, who will ride Kroy for Quijote’s former trainer, Armando De La Cerda.
Kroy and Field Trip appear to be the main threats to Quijote.