Wolfson Has Strength in Numbers for Wednesdayâ€™s Miami Shores Stakes
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL â€“ Trainer Marty Wolfson has strength in numbers for Wednesdayâ€™s $60,000 Miami Shores Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
The veteran trainer is represented by five entries in a field of 12 for the seven-furlong event for fillies and mares. Although Wolfson may not actually saddle all five for the Miami Shores, heâ€™ll still have a formidable group for the featured ninth race on a 10-race card.
Ol Donyo and Flores Island are the two most prominent horses of the Wolfson contingent and are fully expected to start.
Ol Donyo finished a fast-closing third behind Merry Meadow in the six-furlong Sugar Swirl (G3) at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 13.
â€œShe didnâ€™t get a good trip last time. She was taken far back off the pace â€“ thatâ€™s not her race,â€ said Wolfson, who trains the Kentucky-bred mare for Newtown Anner Stud. â€œShe was third and only got beat a little more than a length. She should have won that race.â€
The 5-year-old daughter of Curlin previously finished third behind Merry Meadow in the Sky Beauty Stakes at Gulfstream Park West and topped stablemate Flores Island in the Musical Romance Stakes at Gulfstream. The stakes triumph came at the seven-furlong distance of Wednesdayâ€™s Miami Shores.
â€œSheâ€™s a nice filly. Sheâ€™s at her best up to a mile, a one-turn mile,â€ said Wolfson, who named John Velazquez to ride Ol Donyo for the first time Wednesday.
Flores Island, previously trained by Bill Mott for Gainesway Stable, made her first start for Wolfson in the Musical Romance, in which she finished 3 Â½ lengths behind Ol Donyo and 2 Â½ lengths clear of third-place finisher Kiplingâ€™s Joy, who completed an all-Wolfson trifecta.
The 5-year-old daughter of Giantâ€™s Causeway was subsequently shipped to Belmont for the Turnback The Alarm (G3), in which she set the pace before fading to seventh.
â€œShe was a good second to Ol Donyo in a stake here and I took her to New York to run in a Grade 3. She was on the lead, but it was way too tough a race,â€ Wolfson said. â€œSheâ€™s been training well. She likes it here.â€
Wolfson also entered Best Behavior, who captured the $110,000 Claiming Crown Glass Slipper on Dec. 6, as well as Quiet Hour and Cabo Queen, who finished second and third, respectively, in a recent second-level optional claiming allowance.
Although outnumbered by the Wolfson contingent, Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Wedding Toast appears to be the horse to beat. Never worse than second in six lifetime starts that include four victories and a score in the Comely (G3) at Aqueduct on Nov. 30, 2013, Wedding Toast is the 2-1 morning-line favorite.
The 5-year-old daughter of Street Sense hasnâ€™t raced since finishing second in the Cat Cay Stakes at Aqueduct on April 6.
â€œWedding Toast is doing great; sheâ€™s training well. She had a long time off. I just wanted to start her back in an easier spot, but itâ€™s not so easy,â€ McLaughlin said. â€œWe drew the 11 Hole, so weâ€™re way outside. But weâ€™re excited to get her back racing. Weâ€™re hoping she does real well and moves on to graded stakes.â€
Jose Lezcano has the mount aboard Wedding Toast.
Rose to Gold, a graded-stakes winner who raced without success against the boys in the Harlanâ€™s Holiday on Dec. 13 in her first start since April, is looking to regain the form that propelled her to victories in the 2013 Fantasy (G3) and the last yearâ€™s $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic.
Ice for the Lady, Lucky Rag Doll, The Magic Stone, Jâ€™s Two Step Halo and Taketheodds round out the field.
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