The six-furlong Dash, which drew a field of 10 to the Cushion Track, is one of eight rich stakes for Florida and California-bred horses being contested at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita.
Garrett Gomez, who rode Georgie Boy for the first time in the Del Mar Futurity, takes the call once more on the California-bred Tribal Rule gelding for his close friend Kathy Walsh and owner-breeder George Schwary.
Georgie Boy, listed as the 5-2 morning line favorite in the Dash, has been freshened since rallying from 12th to capture the Sept. 5 Futurity, which was contested on Polytrack, by a half-length. Previously, Georgie Boy ran second, one length behind Salute the Sarge, in Del Mar's Best Pal (gr. II) before turning the tables on his rival three weeks later. The dark bay gelding owns a 2-2-1 mark in five races for earnings of $286,806.
The biggest challenge in the Dash is expected to come from the fast-developing Bob Black Jack, smashing 6 1/4-length winner of the California Breeders’ Championship Stakes Dec. 26 over the Santa Anita surface. The California-bred Stormy Jack colt, 3-1 on the morning line, worked four furlongs Jan. 20 in :46 4/5.
“He went an easy half,” said 33-year-old trainer Jim Kasparoff. “He should be up to the challenge. I see no reason he can’t run with those horses.”
Owned by Jeff Harmon and Tim Kasparoff, Bob Black Jack has won two of his four starts and earned $131,425. After breaking his maiden at Del Mar in August, he was off for three months, returning with a fourth-place finish in the Hollywood Prevue (gr. III) prior to his sharp win over state breds.
The Jeff Mullins trainee Winsome Charm makes his stakes debut for owners A and R Stables and Class Racing as the 9-2 third choice. After breaking his maiden over the Santa Anita Cushion Track Sept. 29, the Florida-bred gray Silver Charm colt finished second in his only try versus winners in an allowance optional claiming race at Hollywood Park more than two months later.
Afleet Ruler comes off a smart front-running maiden score at 6 1/2 furlongs in his second start for trainer John Sadler Jan. 12 at Santa Anita. The Florida-bred Northern Afleet colt lost his debut by a half-length at Hollywood Park a month earlier.
Dee Dee's Legacy was hindered by a slow start, then rallied to finish fourth, 7 3/4 lengths behind Bob Black Jack as the 9-5 favorite in the Cal Breeders' Championship. That was only the Bartok colt's second start and he has every right to show improvement for trainer Mike Puype.
Little Nick makes his first appearance for trainer Dale Romans since the Florida-bred gelding by Tiger Ridge finished sixth in Churchill Downs' Iroquois (gr. III) Oct. 28.
$250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash (Race 6, 2:15 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds Bred in California and Florida, 6 Furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, ML Odds
1. Little Nick (FL), Cornelio H. Velasquez, 8/1
2. Johns Grooms (FL), Jeremy Rose, 20/1
3. Winsome Charm (FL), Tyler Baze, 9/2
4. Afleet Ruler (FL), Joseph Talamo, 6/1
5. Dee Dee's Legacy (CA), Michael C. Baze, 6/1
6. Georgie Boy (CA), Garrett K. Gomez, 5/2
7. Bob Black Jack (CA), David R. Flores, 3/1
8. Italian Rules (CA), Joel Rosario, 30/1
9. Nevada Worrier (CA), Jon K. Court, 20/1
10. Topper Shopper (CA), Isaias D. Enriquez, 30/1
Each assigned 120 pounds.