HorseracingFLA Staff Report
Three horses that ran at Gulfstream Park this year are among the ten possible starters’ for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, to be run on Saturday, Oct. 31 at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.
They are Keen Ice, Frosted and Honor Code.
Triple Crown champion American Pharoah and the 5-year-old mare Beholder also are among the horses that on Tuesday were pre-entered for the Classic.
The Breeders’ Cup will have 13 races, all Grade 1, with four on Friday, Oct. 30 and nine the following day.
HorseracingFLA.com will have a series of previews throughout this week.
More than 30 horses that raced at Gulfstream this year are among the 200 pre-entries. Entries and post positions will be announced this coming Tuesday Oct. 27.
Among the horses looking to deny American Pharoah are Honor Code, who edged Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) contender Private Zone in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2); Keen Ice, fifth in the Holy Bull (G2) before going on to snap American Pharoah’s win streak in the Travers (G1); and Holy Bull runner-up Frosted, whose two wins since came in the Wood Memorial (G1) and $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G2).
(Note: The photo in the headline of this story shows Honr Code at the Pam Meadows training facility in Boynton Beach early this year)
Multiple Grade 1 winner Tonalist, a Gulfstream maiden winner in 2014, is also pre-entered in the Classic.
Trained by Gulfstream Park-based David Fawkes Harold Queen’s Florida homebred Sheer Drama goes after her third straight Grade 1 in the $2 million Distaff on Friday. Winner of the Royal Delta (G3) at Gulfstream, she captured the Delaware Handicap and Personal Ensign in her past two starts.
Also pre-entered in the 1 1/8-mile Distaff are Curalina, Got Lucky and Wedding Toast, who each parlayed Gulfstream wins into Grade 1 victories.
From the barn of Gulfstream Park West-based Kathleen O’Connell is Ranlo Investments’ Lady Shipman, pre-entered in the $1 million Turf Sprint (G1). The 3-year-old filly opened the year with an optional claiming allowance win at Gulfstream in January before reeling off six stakes wins from eight subsequent starts.
Among fellow pre-entrants are Swale (G2) winner Ready for Rye and Mongolian Saturday, third in the Mr. Prospector (G2).
Based at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, trainer Marcus Vitali pre-entered multiple graded stakes winner Valid for the $1 million Dirt Mile (G1). Winner of February’s Fred Hooper (G3), the 5-year-old most recently returned to Gulfstream to take the September 26 Groomstick Stakes.
Also pre-entered in the Dirt Mile are Hutcheson (G3) and Spectacular Bid winner Barbados; Hal’s Hope (G3) winner and Donn Handicap (G1) runner-up Lea; Harlan’s Holiday winner Liam’s Map; and Mshawish, who won the El Prado, Fort Lauderdale (G2) and GP Turf Handicap (G1) over the winter.
Mshawish and Lea were also pre-entered in the $2 million Mile (G1) on turf. Joining them among Mile pre-entrants is Robert Masterson’s Tepin, an optional claiming allowance winner in March at Gulfstream to open her 2015 season. In five starts since she has captured two Grade 1 events, including the First Lady October 3 at Keeneland.
Sugar Swirl (G3), Hurricane Bertie (G3) and Princess Rooney (G2) winner Merry Meadow was pre-entered in the $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint (G1), along with Sunshine Millions Distaff winner Dame Dorothy; Kiss to Remember, winner of the Monroe Handicap in July for Gulfstream-based trainer Marty Wolfson; and 2014 Old Hat (G3) winner Sweet Whiskey.
Pre-entered in the $3 million Turf (G1) were multiple Grade 1 winner Twilight Eclipse, second in the Mac Diarmida (G2) and third in the Pan American (G2) this year and whose world-record 1 ½-mile time from the 2013 Pan American still stands; and Slumber, second by a nose to Mshawish in the GP Turf Handicap.
Other Gulfstream alumni among the pre-entries are Private Zone, trained by Gulfstream Park West-based Jorge Navarro, and Barbados in the $1.5 million Sprint; Grade 1 winner Photo Call, third in last December’s La Prevoyante (G3), in the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf (G1); and Fellowship, from the barn of Gulfstream trainer Stanley Gold, in the $2 million Juvenile (G1).
A 2-year-old Jacks or Better Farm homebred, Fellowship has raced five times this year, all at Gulfstream, including an October 3 victory in the $500,000 In Reality division of the Florida Stallion Series.
Pletcher and Ramseys
Twelve-time defending Championship Meet leading trainer Todd Pletcher pre-entered 11 horses in 10 Breeders’ Cup races. Liam’s Map, Mshawish, Curalina, Dame Dorothy and Sweet Whiskey are joined by Azar (Juvenile Turf), Thrilled (Juvenile Fillies Turf/Juvenile Fillies), Got Lucky (Distaff), Stopchargingmaria (Distaff), Rachel’s Valentina (Juvenile Fillies), and Red Rifle (Turf).
Ken and Sarah Ramsey, leading owners at the Championship Meet the past three years, are represented by six pre-entries, five of them trained by Chad Brown, whose 14 pre-entries are most among Breeders’ Cup trainers. Brown pre-entered Camelot Kitten (Juvenile Turf), Bobby’s Kitten (Turf Sprint), Stephanie’s Kitten (FM Turf), Big Blue Kitten (Turf) and Shining Copper (Turf). Joe Sharp trains the Ramsey’s other pre-entrant, Sapphire Kitten (Juvenile Fillies Turf).
Gulfstream’s summer meet, which continues to build in part due to its 2-year-old program, was also represented with several Breeders’ Cup pre-entries, including In Reality winner Fellowship in the $2 million Juvenile, Imperial Warrior and Copingaway in the Juvenile Turf, and Andreya’s Reward and Vieja Luna in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.