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After Si Que Es Buena won her Florida debut in the Via Borghese Stakes last month, it didn't take long for the mare's connections to zero in on the $200,000 La Prevoyante (G3), which will be run at Gulfstream Park Saturday as part of the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) undercard.
The Pegasus World Cup and the inaugural Pegasus World Cup Turf - the richest races on either surface in North America - headline a blockbuster 12-race program featuring nine stakes, six graded, worth $17.125 million in purses.
Race 8 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 3:05 PM
|1||Holy Helena||3-1||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|2||A. A. Azula's Arch||20-1||Luis Saez
|3||English Affair||8-1||Javier Castellano
|George Arnold, II|
|4||Beau Belle||30-1||Paco Lopez
|5||Tricky Escape||9-2||Christopher DeCarlo
|6||La Manta Gris||20-1||Brian Hernandez, Jr.
|George Arnold, II|
|7||Si Que Es Buena (ARG)||6-1||Chris Landeros
|8||Semper Sententiae||8-1||John Velazquez
|9||Santa Monica (GB)||7-2||Jose Ortiz
|11||Top Cats (ARG)||15-1||Julien Leparoux
|12||Ickymasho (GB)||20-1||Florent Geroux
Trained by Graham Motion for Takaya Shimakawa, Si Que Es Buena is among 12 entered in the 1 1/2-mile turf stakes for fillies and mares. The 6-year-old's rivals include Via Borghese runner-up, Holy Helena, and graded winner Santa Monica, making her first start of the year for trainer Chad Brown after finishing in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare (G1).
Santa Monica, who won the Dance Smartly (G2) at Woodbine as part of her 2018 campaign, will look to give her trainer his third win in the La Prevoyante. Brown won the 2018 edition with Texting and the 2015 running with Goldy Espony
Si Que Es Buena, who was bred in Argentina, will be making her third start in this country since arriving late last summer from South America, where she won a Group 3 in May. In her first start for Motion, the mare finished a narrowly beaten fourth in the Long Island Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct in November.
Motion, who has won two previous runnings of the La Prevoyante, with Film Maker in 2005 and New Economy in 2002, said there was a period of adjustment for Si Que Es Buena when she arrived at his Fair Hill barn in Maryland.
"She came to us from South America, where things are a little bit different, so it took her awhile to figure things out," Motion said. "Usually when the South American horses come over we give them a lot of time, but the owners didn't really want to do that with her - they wanted to get her in the program. She's a really kind filly and she handled everything really well, but it just took her awhile to start working to impress me. But the more I worked her, the more impressed I was with her.
"I was pleased with the way she ran at Aqueduct in the Long Island. When Rajiv Maragh jumped off of her, he was also very pleased. But I thought she made a big step forward last time at Gulfstream. She really impressed me."
Chris Landeros will ride Si Que Es Buena from Post 7.
Stronach Stables' homebred Holy Helena finished second to Si Que Es Buena, beaten a head, in the Via Borghese. The 5-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper has won just over a million in purse earnings, and has racked up several graded stakes victories during her productive career, including the prestigious Queen's Plate (G1) at Woodbine in 2017.
Trained by Jimmy Jerkens, Holy Helena has a penchant for firm turf courses and showed that by winning the The Very One Stakes (G3) and an allowance race, in back-to-back starts, over Gulfstream Park's turf course last year.
"There's no question she's better on firm ground," Jerkens said. "She seems to like it here in Florida. She's holding her flesh good and training good, like she did last year. She was running at the end in her last race. It was an absolutely paceless race and then she had problems down inside and the winner [Si Que Es Buena] swung out and got the jump on her. She couldn't run her down, but I thought she ran very well.
"Hard to say what her best trip will be at this distance, but mile-and-a-half races can be very strange from a pace standpoint. But it seems if any horse would get the route, she can, with her style. She seems to have a lot of stamina. Heck, she won the Queen's Plate in her fourth start and you've got to have a lot of stamina to do that. So I don't think the distance is a big question."
Irad Ortiz Jr. has the riding assignment aboard Holy Helena, who will break from Post 1.
Calumet Farm's homebred English Affair, the winner of the Cardinal Handicap (G3) at Churchill Downs in November, will make her seasonal debut in the La Prevoyante. The 5-year-old daughter of English Channel, trained by George "Rusty" Arnold, will be making her first start at Gulfstream Park.
"She just got good at the end of her 4-year-old year, and has done exceptionally well down here in Florida and we're pretty happy about running her in this race," Arnold said. "We're expecting to have a good year with her.
"Before winning the Cardinal, if you look at her form, she was really unlucky not to have won her race [the Dowager Stakes] before that at Keeneland. She got put in the hedge in that race. In my opinion, she was probably going to win that race, but finished third and then was placed second."
English Affair will be ridden by Javier Castellano and breaks from Post 3.
Arnold also entered La Manta Gris, who finished fourth in the Cardinal in her most recent start.
Also entered are graded winners, Tricky Escape and A. A. Azula's Arch; Argentinean import Top Cats; the stakes-placed Semper Sententiae; allowance winner Rahway; Ickymasho, who is winless in five starts in the United States; and maiden Beau Belle.
|South Beach||F&M 4YO & Up||7 1/2 Furlongs Turf||$150,000 USD|
|Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint||4YO & Up||5 Furlongs Turf||$150,000 USD|
|Ladies Turf Sprint||F&M 4YO & Up||5 Furlongs Turf||$150,000 USD|
|Fred W. Hooper Stakes||III||4YO & Up||1 Mile Dirt||$150,000 USD|
|La Prevoyante Handicap||III||F&M 4YO & Up||1 1/2 Miles Turf||$200,000 USD|
|W.L. McKnight Handicap||III||F&M 4YO & Up||1 1/2 Miles Turf||$200,000 USD|
|Inside Information||II||F&M 4YO & Up||7 Furlongs Dirt||$200,000 USD|
|Pegasus World Cup Turf||I||4YO & Up||1 3/16 Mile Turf||$1,000,000 USD|
|Pegasus World Cup||I||4YO & Up||1 1/8 Miles Dirt||$3,000,000 USD|
|Race Tracks||Time (EST)|