Miss Gracie Stakes Coming Up at Gulfstream
Today’s feature race at Gulfstream Park is the $100,000 Miss Gracie at 7 ½ furlongs on turf for Florida-bred 3-year-old fillies.
It is the 11th race, with scheduled post of 5:30 p.m. The course is listed as Firm and the rail is at 115 feet.
A key to the Miss Gracie could be how well Surprise Wedding adjusts to turf in her first race on that surface.
Gran Cherry, Katinka and Two Step Blues also are serious win candidates in the nine-horse field. All three have won non-stakes races at Gulfstream this year—and all are taking a big step up in class today.
Surprise Wedding could be the post-time favorite based on her very impressive victory at seven furlongs on dirt in a $12,500 optional claiming race at Gulfstream on Aug. 6.
She won that race by nine lengths in the fast time of 1:22.0 She earned a Brisnet Speed Figure of 97—highest of any of the nine entrants in the Miss Gracie.
Surprise Wedding’s record includes a second place finish, in a 13-horse field, last Oct. 1 in the 1 1/16 mile In Reality Stakes at Gulfstream.
Dude Fantasy, who was entered as Main Track Only for the Miss Gracie, won the In Reality by three-quarters of a length over Surprise Wedding. That race is the annual third and final leg of the fillies’ division of the Florida Sire Stakes.
David Fawkes trains Surprise Wedding, a daughter of High Cotton, for owner William A.T. Rainbow.
Jesus Rios has the mount on Surprise Wedding in the Miss Gracie.
Emisael Jaramillo rode Surprise Wedding in her Aug. 6 win.
He is riding Gran Cherry in the Miss Gracie. He rode her on Aug. 6 when she won a $25,000 optional claiming race at one mile on the Gulfstream turf.
Gran Cherry won in the credible time of 1:34.4 on the course listed as firm She earned an 85 Brisnet figure.
Victor Barboza Jr. trains Gran Cherry for owner Granpollo Stables.
Barboza also trains Two Step Blues for owners Shadybrook Farm and Pam Klein. Edgard Zayas has the mount,
Michael Yates trains Katinka for owner Mac Nichol. Leonel Reyes will ride in the Miss Gracie. Her 2017 record includes a second place finish in the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes at Gulfstream on July 4.
Fawkes also trains Pinnacle Racing Stable’s Sweet Tooth Haven—another filly making her first start on turf. Jose Batista will ride Sweet Tooth Haven, the winner of two of her four starts on the Gulfstream dirt this year.
Sweet Distinction, trained by Stan Gold, is a third horse making her turf debut. Luca Panici will ride Sweet Distinction, a filly with two wins in five starts on the Gulfstream dirt this year.
Two Step Blues, in post 8, and Katinka, in post 9, have histories of early speed. So does Princess Victoria, in post 3.
That indicates a speed duel could develop, and that might benefit late runners Surprise Wedding, Gran Cherry and Sweet Tooth Haven.
1- Surprise Wedding
1- Surprise Wedding
2 – Gran Cherry
3 – Katinka
4—Sweet Tooth Haven