‘Carlos’ Set to Defend Mr. Prospector Title

Much of the attention on the running of Saturday’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) has been focused on whether Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner and Eclipse finalist Big Drama runs in the six-furlong dash. But if he does he will likely face a formidable rival in the defending champion in the race, Homewrecker Stable and Avalon Farm’s 5-year-old Custom for Carlos.

“He’s been working right along here at Palm Meadows,” said trainer Eddie Kenneally recently. “He’ll work again tomorrow morning (Saturday), and if he goes well, we plan to run. We know he likes the Gulfstream track.”

Custom for Carlos is a Kentucky-bred son of More Than Ready and won the Mr. Prospector last year by three-quarters of a length over Pass the Points on Jan. 9 and made only two starts after that, finishing second by a neck in the Toboggan (G3) at Aqueduct on Mar. 6 and winning the Count Fleet Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn Park on Apr. 9.

“He came out of that race with a foot injury and it took some time,” said Kenneally, who won the 2007 Mr. Prospector with Kelly’s Landing, who went on to score in the $2 million Golden Shaheen Stakes (G1) on Dubai World Cup Day in March that year.

Custom for Carlos made the first three starts of his career at Gulfstream early in 2008, losing a head decision in his debut, breaking his maiden by a length in his second start and made his third appearance in the Swale Stakes (G2), finishing a good third as Big Drama and This Ones for Phil finished one-two. Big Drama won the photo and ran the seven furlongs in track record time, but was disqualified to second.

Kenneally also has a pair of fillies and mares nominated for the $100,000 Sugar Swirl Stakes (G3), companion event to the Mr. Prospector the same afternoon –Windmill Manor Farm’s 5-year-old My Jen and Waratah Thoroughbred’s 7-year-old Argentine-bred Isadora.

“We’ll wait for the next one ($150,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G3) on Feb. 13) with My Jen. Isadora is a possibility (for Sugar Swirl),” said the trainer. My Jen won the Gallant Bloom Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park in late September, but had a rough trip finishing last of 13 in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) last out at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5, pinned down on the inside after breaking from the rail.

ROSE WEIGHS OPTIONS WITH JOANIE’S CATCH

Trainer Barry Rose said Sunday morning he plans on shipping his stakes-winning mare Joanie’s Catch to Santa Anita Jan. 29 for the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff. The only question for Rose is whether he runs the 4-year-old mare first in the Jan. 15 $100,000 The Sugar Swirl Stakes (G3).

The Sugar Swirl will be contested at six furlongs, the Distaff at 1 1/16th mile.

“We haven’t decided if we’re running this weekend,” Rose said. “My plan is to run her in California on the 29th. We’re deciding on whether to give her a sprint before the race.”

Joanie’s Catch has earned $545,846 in her 31-race career. Last winter at Gulfstream she finished second in the Forward Gal (G2) and Davona Dale (G2) and third in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2).


‘Jessica’ & Bronx City Girl Breeze for Sugar Swirl

Trainer Marty Wolfson appears to have a strong hand for next Saturday’s $100,000 Sugar Swirl Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park with Carolyn Vogel’s 6-year-old Grade 1 winner Jessica Is Back and Farnsworth Stables’ 4-year-old filly Bronx City Girl eligible for the six-furlong test, and both breezed Sunday morning at Calder Race Course.

“Right now I plan to run both of them,” said Wolfson, who will send out Ernest Dahlman and Eugene Hauman’s 4-year-old colt Green Monster in Sunday’s highly-competitive second race allowance race against accomplished stakes runners Pulsion and Piscatelli.

“Jessica Is Back could come back in the ($200,000) Sunshine Million (Filly & Mare Sprint on Jan. 30) or wait for one of the (Graded) sprint stakes later in the meet,” said Wolfson, who sent out the Florida-bred daughter of Put It Back to score the biggest victory of her career in the $350,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (G1) in July at Calder.

Jessica Is Back ran twice more after the Princess Rooney finishing third in the Ballerina Stakes (G1) sat Saratoga and ninth with considerable trouble beginning at the start of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs last out on Nov. 5 for Farnsworth Stables.

Two nights after the Breeders’ Cup, Jessica Is Back was consigned to the Fasig-Tipton November sales in Lexington, Ky. She did not sell in the ring, but was purchased privately by Carolyn Vogel for $475,000 and returned to Wolfson to train for a start or two this winter, although plans call for her to be bred in the spring. She has trained steadily for her return and was timed a half-mile in 49 flat Sunday morning

Bronx City Girl got her half-mile in 49 4/5 as she prepares for her first start since finishing fourth in the Chilukki Stakes (G2) at Churchill during Breeders’ Cup weekend. The daughter of Yankee Gentleman was a $50,000 claim at Churchill in late May for Farnsworth and finished third in the $200,000 Azalea Stakes (G3) at Calder in July and second in the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks in September.

In addition to Jessica Is Back as a possibility for the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint on Jan. 29, Wolfson also plans to run Farnsworth’s 5-year-old mare Speak Easy Gal in the $300,000 Filly & Mare Turf at Gulfstream and two other stable stars in the Sunshine Millions races at Santa Anita that afternoon – Farnsworth’s 6-year-old mare Amazing in the $300,000 Distaff and Martin Cherry’s 7-year-old gelding Pickapocket in the $300,000 Turf.

Speak Easy Gal is a Florida-bred daughter of West Acre and was very busy at the Gulfstream meet last year, running five times over the turf course, finishing second in an ‘a other than’ allowance and winning her next four straight, including $150,000 Orchid Stakes (G3) and $100,000 Florida Thoroughbred Charities.