Jockey Julien Leparoux picks up the mount on Battle of Hastings as he makes his second start for trainer Gregory Fox after Jeff Mullins guided his career in California. The son of Royal Applause finished a close-up fourth in the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar in late August and re-surfaced more than two months later in Kentucky with Fox and was very impressive winning the River City Handicap (G3) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4.
In two starts since the summer, Get Stormy finished an even fourth in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland in October and tired to last of 11 in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6 behind Goldikova after prompting the pace into the far turn.
Another contender in the field with considerably less experience is Live Oak Plantation’s 4-year-old Souper Spectacular with John R. Velazquez in the saddle for trainer Seth Benzel. The son of Giant’s Causeway is a half-brother to Zenyatta and won consecutive races at Saratoga, Keeneland and Aqueduct last year before a solid fourth-place try in the Tropical Turf Handicap (G3) at Calder on Dec. 4, beaten 1 ¼ lengths.
Completing the field for the Fort Lauderdale are Magdalena Racing’s Dark Cove, Tom Mina and partners’ Uncle T Seven, Anstu Stable’s Blues Street, Augustin Stable’s Smart Bid, Agnes Peace’s Boots Ahead, Castletop Stable’s Baletti, J D Farms’ Bim Bam, Priscilla Vaccarezza’s Little Mike and Michael Lynch’s Dr. Smarty Jack.
Overflow Field Drawn for Marshua’s River
William Pacella and partners’ 5-year-old mare C.S. Silk was a nine-length allowance winner at Churchill Downs last out in late November for trainer Dale Romans and Team Block’s multiple stakes-winning 6-year-old mare Never Retreat recently arrived from Fair Grounds, and they will be among the favorites in a full field of 14 fillies and mares with one more left on the ‘also-eligible’ list.
Kent Desormeaux rode C.S. Silk in her last two starts of 2010 and gets back aboard Sunday. Before the easy allowance score last out at Churchill, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro ran a very big race to finish second by a half-length behind Proviso in the First Lady Stakes (G1) at Keeneland in October.
Jockey Carlos H. Marquez, Jr. picks up the mount on Never Retreat for trainer Chris Block, who shipped her in from his New Orleans division last week as she makes her first start since losing a nose decision when second in the River Memories Stakes at Woodbine on Oct. 30.
A well-traveled daughter of Smart Strike, Never Retreat won three races and finished second three times in nine starts last year, beginning at Fair Grounds on Jan. 2 when she finished first in the Furl Sail Handicap, but was disqualified to second. She later won turf stakes at Canterbury Downs and Kentucky Downs during a busy campaign.
A solid Calder-based contender in the field is Peter Fuller’s 4-year-old Florida homebred Trip for A.J. with John Velazquez to ride for trainer Milt Wolfson. The daughter of Trippi won six of 12 starts last year with one of her best performances last out finishing second by a half-length in the My Charmer Handicap (G3) at Calder on Dec. 4 won by Askbut I Won’ttell, a stablemate of Never Retreat for Team Block.
Completing the field for the Marshua’s River are Paul Pompa, Jr.’s Mary’s Follies, Farnsworth Farms’ Cherokee Queen; Rosemont Stud Syndicate’s Wild Mia, Jim Tafel’s Sweetest Song, GHW Stable’s Quebrada Shiner, James Lauffer’s Persuading, Mueller Thoroughbred’s Ansong, Jerry Jamgotchian’s Satans Quick Chick, Carl Pollard and Mrs. Paul Shanahan’s Justaroundmidnight, Equinox Inc.’s Street Gossip.
Wertheimer et Frere’s Happy Week is entered for ‘main track only’ on the ‘also-eligible’ list.