Las Vegas, NV - Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida will play host to the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl Stakes on Saturday, December 13. Fillies and mares three years old and upward will be featured when they take to Gulfstream's dirt track and dash six furlongs for the winner's share of the $100,000 purse.
A field of just six talented females have been confirmed for the Sugar Swirl - race 3 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card. Post time is 1:33 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all six entries for this Grade 3 stakes.
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2014 Sugar Swirl Stakes Race Favorite Entries
R Free Roll - four time stakes winner enters this week off a somewhat disappointing fifth in the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland October 4 which followed a terrific three race win streak - the last being her biggest - the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap by 1 1/2 lengths in front running style at Saratoga July 28 and the others being minor stakes action - the U Can Do It Handicap in May and the Hollywood Beach Stakes in April. She has even wins, five seconds and two third place finishes in 18 career starts and looks to bounce back off a disappointing effort that followed five straight on-the-board finishes. 123 pound highweight R Free Roll will have Edgard Zayas in the irons from gate 4 Saturday and looks like the one to beat.
Merry Meadow - Mark Hennig trained filly has placed in five of seven starts this year - a win by 1 3/4 lengths last time out in the minor Sky Beauty Stakes November 1 at Gulfstream Park West (formerly Calder) followed a somewhat disappointing fourth in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap September 20 and a third behind R Free Roll in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga July 28. She looked good before that - a second in the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses Handicap in June and a terrific win - in the Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap by 3 3/4 lengths at 6-1 odds May 17. She has 22 career starts with five wins, 10 seconds and five third place finishes and will be looking to build on a good few months. Merry Meadow has placed in 21 of 24 and has been decent lately. Leading Gulfstream rider Javier Castellano will be in the saddle from gate 2 Saturday.
Sugar Swirl Stakes 2014 | Remaining Contenders
Ol Donyo - Martin Wolfson trained filly has won two of her three starts this year and has four wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 12 career starts. She enters off an OK third behind Merry Meadow in the minor Sky Beauty Stakes at Gulfstream Park West November 1 after a two race win streak - the $90,000 Musical Romance Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths on this track in September and an Allowance Optional Claiming in August. She has just one graded stakes start to her name - a fifth in the Grade 2 Go for Wand Handicap at Aqueduct last November. Joel Rosario will be in charge hoping for a graded stakes breakthrough - from the outside post on a track that she's been at her best.
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Centrique - Martin Wolfson trainee won a Starter Stakes at Gulfstream last December 7 and followed that with an Allowance score on that same track January 29. She recorded an OK third as favorite the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel Park February 22 and has placed in just two of five starts since. Last time out was fifth in the minor Sky Beauty Stakes at Gulfstream Park West November 1 which followed a sixth in the minor Paseana Stakes here in July, a third in the minor Nancy's Glitter Handicap in June and a second in the U Can Do It Handicap in March. Centrique has 10 wins, seven seconds and six thirds in 36 career starts and enters in so-so form for this one. Edgar Prado gets the call from post 5.
Wildcat Lily - raced 14 times in 2013 - a good second in the Grade 1 Test Stakes in August, a second in the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes July 27 and her biggest victory to date - in the Grade 3 Azalea Stakes at Calder July 6 being the best results. She was off for nearly five months before returning to the track February 9 with a respectable third in the Grade 3 Hurricane Bertie Stakes at Gulfstream but has failed to place in four starts since. Last time out was a fourth in the minor Punkin Pie Stakes at Belmont Park October 13 after a fourth in an Allowance, a distant eighth in the Grade 1 Madison Stakes in April and a fourth in the Grade 3 Inside Information Stakes here in March. She looks for her first win in 17 months Saturday with Paco Lopez guiding her from post 3.
Risky Rachel - George Weaver trained mare has 25 career starts with nine wins, five seconds and three third place finishes - two wins, a second and two thirds in nine starts this year. She races in graded stakes company for the first time in three years off a third in the minor Iroquois Stakes at Belmont Park October 18, a fifth in the minor Union Avenue Stakes at Saratoga in August and a second in an Allowance in July. She did win two minor stakes races to start 2013 at Tampa Bay Downs and has been just OK since. Risky Rachel will depart from the rail Saturday with Joe Bravo aboard.