By Jim Freer
Gulfstream Park will have a full card of stakes races this coming Monday, its annual Presidents’ Day program.
All 12 of the day’s races are starter stakes. That means they are stakes races that are open only to horses that have raced at least once for a claiming price at or below a designated dollar number. For the President’s Day races, it is either $35,000 or $12,000.
Fields and post positions for those races will be announced on Friday afternoon.
The list of nominees includes prominent Gulfstream and/or Calder stakes winners Manchurian High, Quiet Kitten, City of Weston, Rizwan and Golden Rifle.
The 12 races have total purses of $680,000, and are for either $50,000 or $60,000 in purse money.
All of the races have names that are nicknames of U.S. presidents or references to U.S. first families or to the British royal family.
The $60,000 Old Man Eloquent for 4-year-olds and up that have started for a claiming price of $35,000 or less going 1 1/16 miles on turf had the most nominations with 40, led by Grade 3 winner Quiet Force, two-time defending Sunshine Millions Turf winner Manchurian High, and stakes winners Golden Rifle, Key to Power, Rizwan and Sayler’s Creek.
(Note: the photo on the home page shows Manchurian High winning the Sunshine Millions Turf Stakes at Gulfstream on Jan. 16, 2016.)
Grade 3 winners City of Weston and Trouble Kid; Successful Native and Delta Bluesman, who ran 1-2 in the Claiming Crown Canterbury on Dec. 5; and stakes winners It’s Not Me and Officer Griffin are among the 29 nominees to the $60,000 Rail Splitter for 4-year-olds and up which have started for a claiming price of $35,000 or less going 6 ½ furlongs.
The $60,000 Old Hickory for 4-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles which have started for $35,000 or less drew 16 nominations led by Sr. Quisqueyano, who upset the Sunshine Millions Classic to open 2015 and Catholic Cowboy, who capped the calendar year by taking the Claiming Crown Jewel.
Born to Be Winner, third by a length in the Sweetest Chant (G3) Jan. 30 at Gulfstream tops the 25 horses nominated to the $60,000 Mrs. Presidentress, a 7 ½-furlong turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies that have started for a tag of $35,000 or less.
Claiming Crown Tiara winner Quiet Kitten and runner-up Seneca Destiny, who exited the race with back-to-back wins including the San Jacinto Stakes Jan. 22, top 20 horses nominated to the $60,000 Mary Todd at 1 1/16 miles on turf for females 4 and up that have started for a claiming price or $25,000 or less$50,000
Florida-bred stakes winner Silvery Sashay, a front-running winner of the inaugural Claiming Crown Distaff Dash Dec. 5, is nominated to a pair of seven-furlong sprints for females 4 and up. Those races are the $60,000 Queen Mother for horses that have started for $35,000 or less and the $50,000 Lady Bird for horses which have started for $12,500 or less.
Runs With Bulls and Twocubanbrothersu, the 1-2 finishers in the Claiming Crown Iron Horse, and stakes winner Purely Boy are among 14 nominees to the $50,000 Rough and Ready for 4-year-olds and up which have started for a claiming price of $12,500 or less going 1 1/16 miles.
The $50,000 Little Magician for 4-year-olds and up which have started for a claiming price of $12,500 or less going a mile on the turf drew 30 nominations. A total of 43 horses were nominated to the $60,000 American Fabius at seven furlongs on dirt and the $60,000 Sage of Monticello at 7 ½ furlongs on turf, each for 3-year-olds that have started for a claiming price of $35,000