Stronach Stable’s Awesome Feather, the 2010 champion 2-year-old filly, will take on five rivals under top weight of 123 pounds in Saturday’s $300,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff for Florida-bred fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park as she attempts to run her unbeaten streak to nine.
Trained by Chad Brown, the 4-year-old daughter of Awesome of Course will be ridden in the 1 1/8-mile race by regular rider Jeffrey Sanchez.
Awesome Feather won all six starts at 2 including the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) for breeder/owner Jacks or Better Farm. A few days after the November race, Frank Stronach bought Awesome Feather at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale for $2.3 million.
Awesome Feather missed most of the 2011 season because of a tendon issue but picked up where had left off. Racing in New York last fall, she won the Le Slew Stakes at Belmont Park, and then the Gazelle Stakes (gr. I) at Aqueduct Thanksgiving weekend by 5 1/4 lengths.
“Since she’s won the Gazelle everything’s been perfect,” said Brown “She’s been training here at Palm Meadows and hasn’t missed anything. She’s been working right along.
“She’s done really, really well, but we play it day by day. Stronach Stable has been great. We see how she is after every breeze and every race and if she is not 100%, we’ll stop on her right away. I couldn’t be happier with the way she’s doing. She’s a good horse, so we’ll line her up with the rest of them and see what she does.”
Awesome Feather, who has earned $1.6 million, worked five furlongs in 1:01.44 at Palm Meadows Jan. 21.
Tiz the Argument, a 4-year-old daughter of Closing Argument, also is working on a win streak. Owned by Jay Em Ess Stable, she has won her last three starts including the Let Me Linger Stakes at Aqueduct by 7 3/4 lengths Dec. 18. Overall, she has won four of six starts. Richard Dutrow Jr. trains.
John Oxley’s Delightful Mary, who sports a two-race win streak, is the only one in the field with a victory at the current Gulfstream meeting. The 4-year-old daughter of Limehouse won the restricted Ocala Stakes Jan. 8. Trained by Mark Casse, Delightful Mary sports a career record of five wins from eight starts.
Sweet Repent, a 6-year-old Repent mare, won the 2010 Sunshine Millions Distaff for her fifth straight win. In 2011 at Calder Race Course, she captured the Nancy’s Glitter Handicap and the Emergency Nurse Stakes. In her sole start this year she ran fourth, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, in the Ocala Stakes. Owned by Buongiorno A Tutti Stable, she is trained by J.D. Braddy.
My Pal Chrisy, by Alex's Pal, ran fourth in an optional claiming race at Gulfstream in December in her last start. Prior to that effort she won the Elmer Heubeck Distaff Handicap in November and the Stage Door Betty Handicap, both at Calder.
Rounding out the field is Perfect Embrace, a Wekiva Springs mare who rallied to finish second in a 1 1/8-mile turf race at Gulfstream Jan. 12.
$300,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff (Race 5, 2:35 p.m.), Florida-bred Fillies and Mares, 4 and Up, 1 1/8 Miles
Post Horse Weight Jockey Trainer
1. My Pal Chrisy 119 L Panici P Lutchman
2. Tiz the Argument 117 R A Dominguez R Dutrow Jr.
3. Delightful Mary 117 L Contreras M Casse
4. Awesome Feather 123 J Sanchez C Brown
5. Perfect Embrace 117 P Lopez B Dibona
6. Sweet Repent 117 M Cruz J Braddy