Saturday, December 26, 2015
Gulfstream Today: Sugar Swirl, McKnight, La Prevoyante
Today's racing at Gulfstream Park is topped by a trio of Grade 3 races, all with $100,000 purses.
They are part of an 11-race card that has first post at 12:05 p.m.
The stakes races are
* Sugar Swirl -- 6 furlongs on dirt for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up. It is the fourth race with scheduled post of 1:35 p.m.
* W.L. McKnight -- 1 1/2 miles on turf for 3-year-olds and up. It is the ninth race with scheduled post of 4:05 p.m.
* La Prevoyante -- 1 1/2 miles on turf for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up. It is the 11th race with scheduled post of 5:05 p.m.
We will have coverage of all three races this afternoon.
The Sugar Swirl has seven entrants. Stonetastic, Best Behavior and Dogwood Trail are likely favorites.
Stoneway Farm’s Stonetastic, who captured the 2014 Prioress (G2) at Saratoga, chased the early pace into the stretch run of the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (Grade 1) on Oct. 31 before weakening to eighth, beaten by less than six lengths.
“She came out of the Breeders’ Cup good and fresh. That’s why we’re running,” said trainer Kelly Breen. “It’s just a matter of timing to see where we’re at. Turning back from seven to six furlongs looks like a good distance for her.”
Paco Lopez has the mount aboard the 4-year-old daughter of Mizzen Mast.
Miller Racing’s Best Behavior, who came off a four-month layoff to finish second behind Cali Star in the one-mile Rampart Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Dec.12, is set for a quick return to action in the Sugar Swirl.
“I planned on this race first. I hadn’t planned on running a mile, but Mr. Miller just wanted to try it fresh off the bench,” trainer Marty Wolfson said. “She ran her heart out, but she’s better going shorter.”
Wolfson saddled Cali Star for an impressive victory in the Rampart but was equally impressed with Best Behavior’s effort off a long layoff.
“Best Behavior has a huge heart,” said Wolfson, who is pointing Cali Star to the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic (G3) at Sam Houston Park Jan. 30. “She ran a great race. She hadn’t run since July and I only worked her four times.”
Hall of Famer John Velazquez has the return mount aboard the 5-year-old daughter of Into Mischief.
In July, Dogwood Trail won the Azalea at seven furlongs at Gufstream for trainer Stan Gold and owner Jacks or Better Farm. Jeffrey Sanchez will ride.
All three of the horses listed above have early speed. If any of them falter, Miss Melinda would be a good candidate to get into the exacta. Junior Alvarado will ride