By Jim Freer
East Hall, a winner of two “Derbys” last year, and Flutterby, a star filly sprinter trained by “95-years-young” Jerry Bozzo, will be top attractions Saturday on the Gulfstream Park West stakes day for Florida-breds.
Fields were announced late Wednesday afternoon for the eight stakes races that will be run at Calder Casino & Race Course. For the second straight October-November, Gulfstream Park is holding a race meet at Calder under a lease agreement and calling it Gulfstream Park West.‘
All eight stakes races are restricted to Florida-breds and have $100,000 purses, with $25,000 for each race coming from the Ocala-based Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association.
Gulfstream is calling Saturday the “Sunshine Millions Preview,” expecting that many of the horses will run back in Sunshine Millions races at Gulfstream on Jan. 16.
East Hall almost pulled off a double in 2014-2015. He won the Millions Classic Preview and two months later finished second in the Sunshine Millions Classic.
(Note: photo in Preview is East Hall Winning the 2014 Millions Classic Preview
On Saturday, the 4-year-old gelding likely will be favored to repeat his victory in the Millions Classic Preview at 1 1/16 miles on dirt for 3 year-olds and up.
East Hall is trained by Bill Kaplan and is known nationally for his wins last year in the $200,000 Ohio Derby and in the $500,000 Indiana Derby (Grade 2)
Flutterby will be among favorites in the Millions Distaff Preview at seven furlongs on dirt for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.
This past May 30, Flutterby made Bozzo (then 94) the oldest trainer to win a stakes race in North America. She did that with a victory in the 6 ½ furlong Sea Lily Handicap at Gulfstream on May 30.
Bozzo also is the breeder and owner of the 4-year-old Flutterby. Their feel-good story kept getting better this summer and fall at Gulfstream when Flutterby won two more stakes and finished second in the Princess Rooney (Grade 2).
Over the next several days, we will have preview stories on Saturday’s stakes races on this Web site and on our blog
Here is the order in which they will be run:
* Millions Turf Preview–second race, scheduled post
1:05 p.m.; 1 1/16 miles on turf; 3-year-olds and up.
* Juvenile Filly Sprint–third race, scheduled post 1:35 p.m.; 6 ½ furlongs in dirt; 2-year-old fillies
* Millions Turf Sprint Preview — fourth race; 2:05 p.m.; 5 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up
* Millions Classic Preview — fifth race; 2:35 p.m.; 1 1/16 miles on dirt; 3-year-olds and up
* Millions Distaff Preview — sixth race; 3:05 p.m., 7 furlongs on dirt; fillies and mares 3-years-old and up
* Juvenile Turf — seventh race; 3:35 p.m.; one mile 2-year-olds
* Juvenile Filly Turf — ninth race; 4:35 p.m.; one mile; 2-year-old fillies
* Juvenile Sprint — tenth race; 5:05 p.m.; 6 ½ furlongs on dirt; 2-year-olds