Friday, January 16, 2009
Gilchrist Stable in Sunshine Millions Action at Gulfstream and Santa Anita
Trainer Greg Gilchrist has had a remarkable record of success shipping stakes runners from his Northern California headquarters to South Florida in recent years, and he will have two top contenders in Sunshine Millions races at Gulfstream Park next Saturday (Jan. 24) and another that afternoon at Santa Anita.
“Wild Promises and High Resolve will be on a FedEx cargo flight out of Oakland Tuesday for the races at Gulfstream and Victorina will run in the Distaff at Santa Anita,” said Gilchrist Friday morning from Golden Gate Fields, adding that he will be at Gulfstream that afternoon.
“The only question right now is with Wild Promises. She coughed a little the other day, but we’ve gone ahead with her and I think she’ll be all right. We’ll be watching her closely when she gets there to make sure she’s all right after the trip, but if she’s not, she won’t run.”
All three of the Gilchrist runners are owned by the Estate of Harry Aleo, who made friends at major tracks coast-to-coast during the career of Eclipse champion sprinter Lost in the Fog, who shipped into Gulfstream to capture the Sunshine Millions Dash and Swale Stakes (G2) in 2005.
Wild Promises will be among the favorites in the Filly & Mare Turf after winning five straight stakes races, most recently the My Charmer Handicap (G3) at Calder on Dec. 13 over a very talented field with Canadian champion Callwood Dancer second and Grade I winner Rutherienne third.
A Florida-bred daughter of Wild Event, Wild Promises has won 11 of 16 starts overall with four seconds and a third. Prior to the My Charmer she won stakes at Bay Meadows, Santa Rosa and Golden Gate.
High Resolve is a roan/gray Florida-bred daughter of Put It Back who has won six of her nine career starts with two seconds and a third. She finished second last out in the Kalookan Queen Handicap at Santa Anita on Dec. 31. She also has shipped to Florida previously, winning the Joe O’Farrell Juvenile Fillies as a 2-year-old at Calder.
Victorina goes into the $500,000 Distaff at Santa Anita after an impressive victory in the Paseana Handicap over the track on Jan. 2. The 6-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Delaware Township goes into the race with a 24-13-6-2 record for earnings of $627,000. Among her major victories was the Azalea Breeders’ Cup (G3) at Calder as a 3-year-old in 2006.
“Small Guy” Presious Passion Aiming Big in the Sunshine Millions Turf
Whenever trainers competing against Patricia Generazio’s Presious Passion talk about their chances, a remarkable number say “if I can’t win it, I’m rooting for Mary’s horse.”
Mary is trainer Mary Hartmann, who is humbled by the credit she and her Grade 1-winning turf star get. She will take the 6-year-old gelding’s act on the road to California for the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf on Jan. 24 at Santa Anita in the annual showdown of Florida- and California-breds.
“I think people like to see the small guy win one once in a while,” said Hartmann, who keeps a modest string at Gulfstream Park each winter while on a working vacation from Monmouth Park in her native New Jersey.
Presious Passion, a Florida-bred son of Royal Anthem, has been winning more than once in a while. He defended his title in the W.L. McKnight Handicap (G2) at Calder in his last start on Dec. 13, capping a year when he also posted major victories in the United Nations Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park and the Pan American Handicap (G3) at Gulfstream early in the campaign.
This will be Presious Passion’s second attempt in the Sunshine Millions Turf. He got off to a poor start in the race when it was held at Gulfstream last year and finished ninth. Hartmann will be hoping for a better trip over the Santa Anita course.
“He’s going to love the firm ground,” she said. “He’s training great and we figured out he doesn’t like it soft.”
Jockey Elvis Trujillo will travel west to ride. He has been aboard for both Presious Passion’s W.L. McKnight wins.
“He’s got the two wins on him and he knows what to do with him,” said Hartmann. Trujillo has already won two stakes at Gulfstream this winter and was scheduled to ride Marshua’s River Stakes winner Waquoit’s Love last Sunday, but was injured earlier on the card. “Elvis seems to be the best at getting him to relax.”
As a Grade 1 winner, Presious Passion is the highest rated entrant in the 1 1/8 miles Sunshine Millions Turf. He will be on the Tex Sutton Forwarding charter flight transporting runners from Florida and New Orleans to Southern California on Wed., Jan. 21.
Annabill to Make First Start Outside of Florida in Distaff at Santa Anita
N.T.S. Stable’s 6-year-old mare Annabill was bred in Florida and has made all of her 39 career starts in the state but she’s set to fly cross-county next week to make her 40th start in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff at Santa Anita Park.
“She’s earned her chance,” said Wolfson’s assistant Kathy Davey Friday morning. “Joel Rosario will ride her.”
Annabill will be making her first start since losing a nose decision to Amazing in the $200,000 Elmer Heubeck Distaff at Calder on Nov. 8.
Jockey Javier Santiago, aboard Annabill, lodged a claim of foul against jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan and Amazing for alleged interference in the stretch, but after lengthy deliberation by the stewards, the original order of finish was upheld. The decision is under appeal by Wolfson.
Wolfson claimed Annabill from her fifth career start at Calder for $25,000 in August of 2006 and she has gone on to earn most of her career bankroll of more than $600,000 since then with a record of 39-17-8-5. The daughter of Outflanker scored the biggest victory of her career in the 2007 edition of the Elmer Heubeck with Bayou’s Lassie and Peache Flambe third.
Annabill will be aboard the Tex Sutton Forwarding charter flight out of Opa Locka Airport in Miami Wednesday morning for the trip to Southern California along with the rest of the South Florida-based contingent competing in the four races run Saturday at Santa Anita.
Read more articles in the Gulfstream category.