Curlin’s Approval to Defend Title in $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2) Alter Homebred among 23 Noms for ‘Win and You’re In’ Event
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Alter Racing Stables and Bridlewood Farm’s Curlin’s Approval and Rockingham Ranch and Gelfenstein Farm’s X Y Jet are among a long list of graded-stakes winners nominated to five stakes on the June 30 Summit of Speed program at Gulfstream Park.
Curlin’s Approval tops 23 nominees for the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2), a seven-furlong sprint for fillies and mares with a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ designation. The 5-year-old daughter of Curlin, who captured the Princess Rooney by 4 ½ lengths last year, is scheduled to defend her title and seek a fees-paid berth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs Nov. 3.
The Happy Alter-trained homebred captured three graded stakes in 2017, the Hurricane Bertie (G3) and Princess Rooney at seven furlongs, as well as the Royal Delta (G2) at 1 1/16 miles. Winless in three graded-stakes during the 2017-2018 Championship Meet, the Kentucky-bred mare prepped for the Princess Rooney with a commanding three-length triumph in the June 3 Ana T. Stakes at Gulfstream.
Ivy Bell, owned by China Horse Club International, Madaket Stables and Mathis Stable, is also prominent on the list of Princess Rooney nominations, having finished second in back-to-back Grade 1 stakes after capturing the $200,000 Inside Information (G2) at Gulfstream March 17. The Todd Pletcher-trained 5-year-old mare finished second behind American Gal in the May 6 Humana Distaff at Churchill and behind Abel Tasman in the June 9 Ogden Phipps at Belmont. The Pletcher-trained My Miss Tapit, who is owned by the Mathis Stable, has also been nominated to the Princess Rooney after returning from an eight-month layoff to capture an April 14 optional claiming allowance by more than six lengths at Gulfstream, where she is undefeated in three starts.
Ms Locust Point, a multiple-stakes winner owned by Jim Reichenberg and Cash is King LLC, boasts Grade 2 credentials, having won the $300,000 Barbara Fritchie (G2) at Laurel this year.
Ruis Racing’s Union Strike and Rick and Sharon Waller’s Spectator are Princess Rooney nominees with West Coast Grade 1 credentials. The Rick Ruis-trained Union Strike captured the 2016 Del Mar Debutante (G1), while the Philip D’Amato-trained Spectator finished second behind Midnight Bijou in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1).
Kent Spellman’s Kirby’s Penny enters the Princess Rooney off four wins in her last five starts for trainer Wesley Ward, including a 1 ½-length victory in the May 12 Vagrancy (G3) at Belmont Park.
Churchill Downs-based trainer Ron Moquett nominated three 4-year-old fillies, including graded stakes-placed Torrent and Treble, as well as multiple stakes-winning Swing and Sway. West Rock Stables owns Swing and Sway and Torrent, while Rialito Racing Stables and Southern Springs Stables own Treble.
X Y Jet is scheduled to make his first start since finishing second in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) March 31 at Meydan in the seven-furlong Smile. The 6-year-old gelding, who tops 16 Smile nominations, was leading in deep stretch, only to be headed by Mind Your Biscuits, Prior to his Dubai journey, the Jorge Navarro trainee won three straight stakes, including the Mr. Prospector (G3) and Sunshine Millions Sprint at Gulfstream.
X Y Jet also finished second behind Muarrab in the 2017 Dubai Golden Shaheen, for which the son of Kantharos prepped with three straight wins at Gulfstream, including the Mr. Prospector, Sunshine Millions Sprint and Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3)
Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Classic Rock is also scheduled to bring a strong Gulfstream resume into the Smile Sprint. The Kathy Ritvo-trained 4-year-old has won six of seven starts at his home track, including his last three races. The son of Maclean’s Music followed up a Dec. 20 optional claiming allowance win with a three-length triumph in the March 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3) and a length decision in the May 6 Jeblar Stakes, a 6 ½-furlong prep for the Smile.
West Point Thoroughbreds’ Reason to Soar is undefeated in four starts at Gulfstream Park, including his three most recent races. The George Weaver-trained son of Soaring Empire, who is in training at Palm Beach Downs, also broke his maiden at first asking by 6 ¼ lengths at Gulfstream Feb. 27, 2017 before being stakes-placed twice in New York.
Multiple graded-stakes winner Mr. Jordan had gone winless at Gulfstream in 12 starts before cutting back in distance and scoring a 1 3/4-length victory in the May 12 $100,000 Big Drama Stakes at Gulfstream going seven furlongs. The Eddie Plesa-trained 6-year-old son of Kantharos has won nine of 29 starts and more than $735,000 for owners David Melin, Leon Ellman and Laurie Plesa heading into the Smile Sprint.
Roy Gene Evans’ Chief Cicatriz, who was a multiple-stakes winner in Arizona, broke through with a graded-stakes win in the June 2 Aristides (G3) at Churchill Downs. The Shawn Davis-trained 5-year-old gelded son of Munnings has won eight of 11 career races, including back-to-back victories in the Phoenix Gold Cup at Turf Paradise.
The Princess Rooney and the Smile Sprint will be supported on the Summit of Speed card by the $75,000 Carry Back, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds, the $75,000 Azalea, a seven-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies, and the $75,000 Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint, a five-furlong turf dash.
Heczor Investments Corp.’s King Humor tops a list of 18 nominees for the Carry Back. The son of Distorted Humor is undefeated in three career starts, all at Gulfstream. The Victor Barboza Jr.-trained colt enters the Carry Back off a half-length victory in the $75,000 Ocala Flames Stakes. Orlyana Farm’s Powerful Venezuela, the Barboza-trained runner-up, and Harold Queen’s stakes-winning third-place finisher Noble Drama have also been nominated to the Carry Back.
Trainer Ralph Nicks nominated three horses to the Carry Back, including multiple-stakes winner Soutache, who finished fifth for GoldMark Farm in the Easy Goer Stakes on the Belmont Stakes undercard; Glencrest Farm’s Sighted, who has won twice in as many career starts at Gulfstream; and Raroma Stable’s Phantom Ro, a winner of the Florida Sire Stakes Dr. Fager last year.
e Five Racing Thoroughbreds’ Florida Fuego is among 14 nominees for the Azalea. The David Fawkes-trained filly prepped for the Azalea with a triumph in the $75,000 Liza Jane Stakes June 6 at Gulfstream. In the 6 ½-furlong Liza Jane, the daughter of Kantharos found room late and surged to prevail by a nose over pace-setting Luzmimi Princess, who has also been nominated to the Azalea by Grupo 7C Racing Stable and trainer Gustavo Delgado.
Starship Stables’ Starship Bonita, who captured two legs of the Florida Sire Stakes series last year, enters the Azalea off a close second-place finish in the $100,000 Ivanavinalot Stakes at Tampa.
Churchill Downs-based trainer Brad Cox nominated two fillies, Oscar Benavides’ Maybe Wicked, who moved from turf to dirt to graduate by 4 ½ lengths May 25, and Magic Cup Stables’ Cool Beans, who has been second in her last two optional claiming allowance starts around two turns.
Pay Any Price, who set a world record for five-furlongs on turf (53.61 seconds) while winning the Silks Run Stakes over the Gulfstream course last year, enters the Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint in peak form, having captured the $75,000 Crystal River by 5 ¼ lengths June 3. The Ralph Ziadie-trained 8-year-old gelding, who is owned by Averill Racing and Matties Racing Stable, has won 11 races over the Gulfstream turf course.
Churchill Downs-based Long On Value, who finished third in the Woodbine Mile (G1) last fall, has been nominated to the Umphrey by trainer Brad Cox. The 7-year-old son of Value Plus, who is owned by Madaket Stables, Ten Strike Racing and Steve Layman, returned from an 8 ½-month layoff to capture the five-furlong Mighty Beau Stakes at Churchill June 2. Cox also nominated Klein Racing’s Will Call, who captured the five-furlong Turf Sprint (G3) at Churchill last time out; and Head of Plains Partners and Kent Spellman’s Snack Snack, a two-time optional claiming allowance winner.