Trainer Bobby Frankel will saddle the highly-regarded duet of Citronnade and Price Tag as he aims to add to his record six wins in the $300,000 Gamely Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. IT) on turf Monday at Hollywood Park.
The event for fillies and mares drew a field of six and will be run at 1 1/8 miles.
The 4-year-old filly Citronnade has been an impressive winner of her last three races, including the Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita two months ago. The Stronach Stables' homebred daughter of Lemon Drop Kid suffered her last loss in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (gr. IT) last fall at Keeneland, and gets a chance to avenge that defeat with race winner Vacare shipping west for the Gamely.
“She should be unbeaten on turf,” Frankel said of Citronnade. “I messed up the time she got beat. There was miscommunication between myself and Edgar (jockey Prado) that day. He got her behind horses and she didn’t like it.”
Price Tag gives Frankel a strong one-two punch in the Gamely. The Great Britain-bred won the Matriarch (gr. IT) making her U.S. debut and scored an allowance win while making her lone 2007 start at Santa Anita in mid-March. A two-time group winner in France, she has won four of 11 starts overall for earnings of $494,977.
Vacare, unbeaten in five starts, makes her second start of 2007 in the Gamely. The 4-year-old daughter of Lear Fan won the Magna Distaff at Gulfstream Park on April 1. The Christophe Clement-trained filly, who has been training at Belmont Park, enters the Gamely with earnings of $511,000.
Christophe Lorieul, assistant to Clement, said the Gamely has been a long-time target. “The owners (Jon and Sarah Kelly of Rancho Santa Fe) are from California, the distance is good for her, and she likes firm turf,” he said of major factors in the decision. “There should be some pace in the race, more than on the East Coast, and that won’t hurt her.”
Lorieul said the filly is also under consideration for the $1 million CashCall Mile (gr. IIT) at Hollywood July 6, and her performance in the Gamely will have a significant bearing on whether she returns following a flight back to New York Wednesday.
Vacare, to be ridden for the first time by Jose Valdivia, Jr., drew the outside post in a field of six in the Gamely.
Irish-bred Three Degrees finished third behind Citronnade in the San Gorgonio (gr. IIT) and second behind Price Tag in the Matriarch in her two most recent races. Usually contentious, she won her last race at Hollywood in the 2005 Honeymoon Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. IIT). She has been in the money in 12 of 15 starts while winning three times and earning $473,813.
Charm the Giant, also an Irish-bred, is conditoned by Ron McAnally for his wife Debbie. The 5-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway takes a two-race win streak into the Gamely. She won the Hillsboro Handicap at Bay Meadows in March and the Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood on April 25. She has won six of 13 starts overall for earnings of $294,734.
Sohgol closed for second money in the Wilshire while making her first 2007 start and her initial try for trainer Neil Drysdale. The Irish-bred daughter of Singspiel has won three of 17 starts. In her lone grade I start to date, she finished fourth in the 2006 Yellow Ribbon at odds of 95-1 when trained by Luis Seglin.
$300,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. IT, Race 9, 5:20 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Price Tag (GB), 123, Alex O. Solis
2. Three Degrees (IRE), 117, Victor Espinoza
3. Charm the Giant (IRE), 117, Michael C. Baze
4. Citronnade (KY), 119, David R. Flores
5. Sohgol (IRE), 117, Brice Blanc
6. Vacare (KY), 123, Jose Valdivia, Jr.