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Multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Spiced Perfection goes after her eighth career stakes victory and second straight on the East Coast in the Grade 2, $200,000 Inside Information Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, January 25.
The 41st running of the seven-furlong Inside Information for fillies and mares 4 and older is among nine stakes, six graded, worth $5.2 million on a blockbuster 12-race Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series presented by Runhappy program featuring the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at 1 1/8 miles on dirt and $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) at 1 3/16 miles on the grass.
First race post time is 11:30 a.m. Post time is 4:51 p.m. for the Pegasus Turf and 5:36 p.m. for the Pegasus. Both races will be part of NBC's live national telecast from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Race 9 at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, January 25 - Post 3:36 PM
|1||Liza Star||15-1||Miguel Vasquez
|2||Wildwood's Beauty||12-1||Julien Leparoux
|3||Baccarat Fashion||20-1||Roberto Alvarado, Jr.
|4||J P's Delight||10-1||Jairo Rendon
|5||Blamed||6-1||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|6||Nonna Madeline||8-1||John Velazquez
|7||Spiced Perfection||8-5||Javier Castellano
|8||Bronx Beauty||12-1||Emisael Jaramillo
|Anthony Margotta, Jr.|
|Robert Hess, Jr.|
|10||A Bit of Both||12-1||Paco Lopez
|11||Pink Sands||8-1||Jose Ortiz
|Claude McGaughey III|
|12||Our Super Freak||20-1||Tyler Gaffalione
Based in California with trainer Peter Miller, Spiced Perfection will be making her South Florida debut but is no stranger to coming east. Last year she finished second by a head in the seven-furlong Barbara Fritchie (G3) last February at Laurel Park, fourth in the Humana Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs and won both the Madison (G1) in the spring and Thoroughbred Club of America (G1) in the fall at Keeneland.
Most recently, Spiced Perfection was a front-running winner of the one-mile Go For Wand (G3) Dec. 7 at Aqueduct under Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano, who gets the return call from Post 7 in a field of 12 at co-topweight of 124 pounds.
"She's doing very well," Miller said. "She was going to run in a stakes race here but we opted to keep her around one turn. She's very sharp so we're looking forward to getting her out there. She's a little dynamo. She's just got a big heart and fires every time. She handles every racetrack she's been on so we expect a good effort from her."
A 5-year-old daughter of Smiling Tiger, himself a multiple Grade 1 winner, Spiced Perfection cuts back from the Go For Wand to a distance where she owns three wins and two seconds from eight career tries. Overall she has nine wins and $1.2 million in purse earnings, having finished third or better in 16 of 20 starts.
"I got her midway through her career and she was already a Grade 1 winner, but she's traveled well and pretty much run on every racetrack that we've had her on. Hopefully, she continues that," Miller said. "I think seven-eighths is probably her best distance. She's good. She's tactical, she can win from anywhere. She's a very, very special filly."
Teresa Viola Racing Stables and St. Elias Stable's Nonna Madeline steps back into graded company in the Inside Information for her 4-year-old debut. The Candy Ride filly returned from more than a 14-month gap between races to post a front-running 5 ¾-length triumph over her elders in an entry-level allowance going seven furlongs Dec. 20 at Gulfstream.
"She hadn't run in quite a while, but she had been training very good going into that race," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "I think she had a class edge in that race, but it's still hard to win off that long a layoff and she did it well."
Nonna Madeline broke her maiden at first asking in June 2018 and went straight into graded-stakes, running second second in the Schuylerville (G3) and fifth in the Spinaway (G1) later that summer at Saratoga. She went to the sidelines after finishing fifth behind champion juvenile filly Jaywalk in the Frizette (G1) in October 2018.
Pletcher won the Inside Information with Ivy Bell (2018), Hilda's Passion (2011), Game Face (2009), Harmony Lodge (2003) and Marley Vale (2000). Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, also a five-time Inside Information winner, rides Nonna Madeline from Post 6.
"We thought about [coming back] in a two-other-than [allowance]," Pletcher said, "but the fact that she's been tipping us in the morning, we're going to go ahead and give this a try."
Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey trained Inside Information, the champion older mare of 1995 that won 14 of 17 lifetime starts, six Grade 1 races and $1.6 million in purses and herself earned induction in 2008. McGaughey has won the race three times, most recently with Cat Cay in 2002.
McGaughey will be represented by Gainesway Stable and Andrew Rosen's Pink Sands, a 5-year-old Tapit mare who capped her 2019 campaign by rallying from last in a field of 10 to capture the one-mile Rampart (G3) Dec. 14 at Gulfstream by a half-length. It was the first graded win for Pink Sands, who ran fourth in last year's Inside Information, beaten 3 ½ lengths by America's Tale.
Jose Ortiz will be aboard from Post 11 at 124 pounds.
Trainer Peter Walder will take two shots at the Inside Information with Baccarat Racing's Baccarat Fashion and Ron Paolucci Racing's Liza Star. Baccarat Fashion was fourth behind Pink Sands in the Rampart and again in the five-furlong Abundantia Stakes Dec. 28, originally carded for the Gulfstream turf. Her most recent win came during the Fall Turf Festival at Gulfstream Park West, an 8 ½-length optional claiming allowance romp going 6 ½ furlongs Oct. 24.
"As easy as she won the race over there ... that's probably what it's going to take to win this race," Walder said. "Two starts ago we stretched her out to a mile and that was a little too far. I made a training boo-boo and ran her five-eighths last time. It was probably not the best thing for her. The speed just ran away from her. I thought she'd be quick enough to stay with them, but I think seven-eighths will hit her right in the head."
Liza Star had her five-race win streak snapped when third to Wildwood's Beauty in the Millions Distaff Nov. 9 at Gulfstream Park West - four of those wins coming after being claimed last May by Walder for $6,250. Back at Gulfstream, she came back four weeks later with a gate-to-wire triumph in the one-mile Claiming Crown Glass Slipper Dec. 7.
Miquel Vasquez, up for her first four races after joining Walder, climbs back aboard Liza Star from Post 1. Roberto Alvarado Jr. has the call on Baccarat Fashion from Post 3.
"She was pretty impressive last time," Walder said. "She went a quarter in 24 [seconds] and by rights it was all over from there. Nobody thought she'd go that far, and she carried her speed. She's doing so good right now that it's worth a shot. Miguel is unbeaten on her, the timing is perfect since her last race, and for that kind of money over this track with the roll that we're on with her, it's worth a shot."
Rounding out the field are multiple stakes winners A Bit of Both, four-for-six lifetime at Gulfstream and fifth in the Sugar Swirl (G3) Dec. 14; Blamed, unraced since winning the Royal Delta (G3) last February; Bronx Beauty; Heavenhasmynikki, the 2019 Vagrancy (G3) winner; and Wildwood's Beauty; and stakes winners J P's Delight and Our Super Freak.
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