Trainer Dale Romans sent First Dude to the Gulfstream track Sunday morning for his final major tune-up for Saturday’s $500,000 Sunshine Millions Classic. The Romans-trained Black N Beauty also worked in preparation for a start in Sunday’s $400,000 Holy Bull (G3).
First Dude, who finished second in the Preakness (G1) and third in the Belmont (G1) last year, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 under exercise rider Alfonso Ramirez.
First Dude, who has been winless since breaking his maiden at Gulfstream last Jan. 30, has earned $860,160 from five on-the-board finishes in Grade 1 stakes last year.
Black N Beauty breezed a half-mile in 49 seconds under exercise rider Faustino Orantes.
“He started off nice and even and also finished up well,” Romans said.
Black N Beauty will make his stakes debut in the Holy Bull, the first qualifying race for the Preakness 5.5 bonus series. The 3-year-old son of Devil His Due posted an impressive front-running triumph at the one-turn, one-mile distance of the Holly Bull in an allowance race at Gulfstream on Jan. 7.
MUCHO MACHO MAN DRILLS ‘BULLET’ FOR HOLY BULL
Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and partner’s 3-year-old Mucho Macho Man worked a sharp five furlongs in 59 flat Sunday morning at Gulfstream Park for trainer Kathy Ritvo in preparation for his 2011 debut in next Sunday’s $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
A son of Macho Uno, Mucho Macho Man finished second behind To Honor and Serve in the Nashua Stakes (G2) and Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct in November in his final two starts as a juvenile and was posting his third consecutive ‘bullet’ workout over the Gulfstream track this month. The move was fastest of 38 timed at the distance.
The one-mile Holy Bull shapes up as the strongest test of the season yet for 3-year-olds with Kentucky Derby (G1) and Triple Crown hopes with the field also expected to include Zayat Stable’s Black N Beauty, Our Sugar Bear Stable’s Gourmet Dinner, Jay Em Ess Stable and partners’ Boys At Tosconova, Klaravich Stable and William Lawrence’s Printing Press and either of the same owners’ Leave of Absence or Rescind the Trade.
Terri Pompay trains Printing Press while Rick Violette has both Leave of Absence and Rescind the Trade for Klaravich and Lawrence.
WOLFSON WORKS FOR SUNSHINE MILLIONS
Trainer Marty Wolfson has five stakes runners from his powerful stable entered in the rich Sunshine Millions races to be run next Saturday, three at Gulfstream Park and two making the cross-country trip to Santa Anita, and four of them breezed a half-mile each Sunday morning at Wolfson’s Calder Race Course headquarters.
Martin Cherry’s 6-year-old gelding Pickapocket was timed in 49 4/5 for the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Turf and Farnsworth Stables’ 5-year-old mare Amazing in 50 3/5 for the $300,000 Distaff, both races at Santa Anita. Farnsworth’s 4-year-old filly Speak Easy Gal was clocked in 49 1/5 and 4-year-old filly Omega Cat in 49 4/5 for the $300,000 Filly & Mare Turf at Gulfstream.
The final Wolfson team runner in the Sunshine Millions is Carolyn Vogel’s 6-year-old mare Jessica Is Back in the $200,000 Filly & Mare Sprint at Gulfstream. The daughter of Put It Back will likely get a little blowout before the race after having run seventh in the Sugar Swirl Stakes (G3) here on Jan. 15, her first start since a very rough trip when ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.
Pickapocket is a son of Mecke that finished second in the Sunshine Millions Turf run here last year behind Wolfson-trained stablemate Jet Propulsion. Pickapocket won the Bonnie Heath Turf Cup at Calder in mid-November, but will have to do better than his last outing finishing seventh in the Tropical Turf Handicap (G3) at Calder on Dec. 4, although beaten only 3 ½ lengths by the winner – Wolfson-trained Twilight Meteor.
Speak Easy Gal has shown a particular fondness for the Gulfstream turf course, winning four of five starts at last year’s meet and finishing second in the other. The daughter of West Acre went wire-to-wire to win the 12-furlong Orchid Stakes (G3) in late March. She finished fifth last out in the 12-furlong La Prevoyante Handicap (G3) at Calder on Jan. 2.
Wolfson previously won the Sunshine Millions Turf at Gulfstream with Live Oak Plantation’s Miesque’s Approval in 2006 as a longshot with favorite Silver Tree second as Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey’s final career ride. Miesque’s Approval went on to seal an Eclipse Award campaign with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) that fall at Churchill Downs.
Wolfson also has won the Filly & Mare Turf previously over the Gulfstream course, sending out Santa Cruz Ranch’s top class mare Stay Forever to capture the inaugural edition in 2003