Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Draws Diverse Field

December 10, 2019

Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Draws Diverse Field

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Several out-of-town horses led by multiple New York-bred stakes winner Effie Trinket help comprise a diverse field for the $100,000 Filly & Mare Turf. Pennsylvania-breds Dame Dorothy, Peace Talk and Waterway Run and Maryland-bred Awesome Flower are also entered.

A 5-year-old Freud mare, Effie Trinket has finished first or second in eight of her last 10 starts but endured a winless 2014 that included one second and four thirds. In her lone try at Gulfstream Park, she led for much of last winter’s Honey Fox (G2) before settling for third, beaten 1 ½ lengths.

Owned by Patsy Symons, Effie Trinket is stabled with trainer Rick Violette at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County. She drew post 10 in a field of 11 and will be ridden by Paco Lopez, who was also aboard in the Honey Fox.

“She’s trained very well since she arrived in Florida and breezed great the other day, so it’s all systems go,” Violette said. “This race works for us. We’re a New York-bred, and it looks like a very good spot for us to kind of retool and get back going again.”

Representing Florida are three horses from Gulfstream Park-based trainer Marty Wolfson: Miller Racing’s E B Ryder and Rock On Baby and Arindel Farms’ Pink Poppy.

A 5-year-old multiple stakes-winning daughter of Bluegrass Cat, E B Ryder captured the Anka Germania Stakes at Gulfstream last May. Put in against males in the Sunshine Millions Turf Preview in her most recent effort, she wound up fourth by five lengths behind Bad Debt.

“I gave her a little time off because I had to run her against the colts last time when the filly race didn’t fill,” Wolfson said. “It wasn’t that bad a race, but I just wanted to freshen her up.”

Rock On Baby made only one start in 2014 as a 5-year-old, coming off a 12-month layoff to run second for the second straight edition of the Claiming Crown Tiara on December 6.

“She had been off for a while. She hurt her back one day so I just gave her the time off,” Wolfson said. “She’s doing really good. She belongs in this.”

Pink Poppy is a 4-year-old Tiznow filly who did not get her career under way until last year, breaking her maiden in May at Belmont Park and taking an optional claiming allowance in November at Gulfstream Park West. She returned to the track for her stakes debut in the Tropical Park Oaks, rallying on the outside for seventh of 14, beaten 2 ¾ lengths.

“She closed pretty well last time,” Wolfson said. “I think she’ll run good in here. I don’t know if she’s got that type of class to run with them, but we’ll take a shot.”

The 119-pound high weight for the Filly & Mare Turf is Florida-bred Speed Seeker, trained by Joan Scott. Last summer, the 4-year-old Heatseeker filly won the Ontario Colleen (G3) at Woodbine and was fifth by less than three lengths in the Lake George (G2) at Saratoga. After finishing off the board in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) and Mrs. Revere (G2), she capped her sophomore year winning an optional claiming allowance December 20 at Tampa Bay Downs.

Waterway Run was supplemented to the race by trainer Chad Brown on behalf of owner Martin Schwartz. A 5-year-old daughter of Arch, she began her career in Europe before finishing second in her debut last February at Gulfstream and going on to take the Beaugay (G3) at Belmont Park.

Dame Dorothy, a Grade 3 winner on dirt, was cross-entered in the Filly & Mare Turf and Distaff. She was a 12-length winner last winter at Gulfstream in her second lifetime start, going on to take the Turnback the Alarm (G3) and finish third in the Comely (G3).

Owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, Dame Dorothy is by Bernardini out of the Woodman mare Vole Vole Monamour. She has yet to make a grass start.

“Actually, she is bred very much for the turf on the bottom side, so it is a consideration,” trainer Todd Pletcher said.

Also entered are Light Bringer, Peace Talk, Salamera and Awesome Flower.

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