Edited from a release
Waterville Lake Stable's 4-year-old filly Derrianne will be the horse to beat in Saturday's $150,000 Hollywood Wildcat Breeders' Cup Handicap with a full field drawn for the 1 1/16 miles turf course test.
The Hollywood Wildcat is carded as the fifth of 12 races on the card as fans will be focused on the 130th Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and other major stakes races simulcast later that afternoon from Churchill Downs. The anticipated post time for the race is 2:33 p.m.
Trainer Christophe Clement has named jockey Gary Boulanger to ride Derrianne in the Hollywood Wildcat, formerly known as the Calder Breeders' Cup. Clement would have had the odds-on choice in the race last year in Dress To Thrill, but scratched after rain forced the race off turf.
Derrianne is a highly accomplished gray daughter of Cozzene
bred in Kentucky but campaigned in France last year with Clement's brother Nicholas. She ran well in the best of company, most notably finishing a close-up third in a stakes behind Six Perfections, who would go on to capture the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs.
Derrianne won her American debut in late September, capturing the Martha Washington Breeders' Cup (gr. IIIT) at Laurel Park and then finished third in the Valley View Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland to complete her season. Clement brought her back in top form at Gulfstream as she looked good winning a tough allowance on April 4.
Other contenders Saturday will be Nick Fornaro and Elite Racing's Formal Miss, Santa Cruz Ranch's Stay Forever, and Patricia Generazio's Cocktailsandreams.
Formal Miss is a 4-year-old daughter of Formal Dinner
has been a solid performer in the filly and mare turf stakes ranks in Florida since early last year and comes off a good try when third in the Florida Turf Distaff at Tampa Bay Downs on April 4.
Trained by Paul Maxwell, Formal Miss was beaten only a length for it all and moved up to second after the winner was disqualified. The highly consistent performer shows a turf record of 15-3-4-4 for earnings of over $200,000.
Stay Forever is a 7-year-old homebred daughter of Stack trained by Marty Wolfson, who won this race in 1998 with Santa Cruz' top class Winfama. Stay Forever didn't fire last time out in the Turf Distaff behind Formal Miss, finishing eighth, but didn't handle the Tampa course well, according to Wolfson.
Stay Forever has won seven of just 13 career starts-all on turf-during a career that included a two-year layoff with a tendon injury. She is very effective on her game, scoring the biggest victory of her career in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf early last year.
Cocktailsandreams is a proven turf runner trained by Kim Laudati and ran very well last out to finish second behind Clement-trained stakes mare Meridianna. The 7-year-old mare by Lucky Northran one of her best races last summer at Monmouth Park when third behind Volga in the Matchmaker Stakes (gr. IIIT).
This race was forced off turf last year and there is always that possibility at this time of year in South Florida. However, if that is the case Saturday, the race will still be an attractive feature with several solid main track stakes runners in the field.
Trainer Marty Wolfson will be well represented regardless of surface with Stay Forever for grass and Martin Cherry's Pampered Princess for the main track. Jockey Eddie Castro gets the call on the main track. The 4-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie
finished a good third last out behind grade I winner Nonsuch Bay in the Banshee Breeze Handicap at Gulfstream and easily won the Wayward Lass at Tampa Bay in her previous appearance.
Two others likely to be a factor if the race goes on dirt are Henry Waring's Grab Bag and James and Virginia Gamble's Doc's Doll, Sebastian Madrid. The trainers of both have won this race in the past.
Tom Skiffington has entered Grab Bag, who showed well over the main track here in December when second by a nose in the Stage Door Betty Handicap. Skiffington saddled the first two winners of the race with Anka Germania in 1986 and Slew's Exceller in 1987.
Phil Gleaves trains Doc's Doll, a 4-year-old daughter of Out of Place who looked good winning the Florida Breeders' Distaff last out at the Ocala Training Center by nearly four lengths. Gleaves sent out Lady Reiko in the 1995 edition.
Completing the field for Saturday are Acclaimed Racing Stable's Mrs. M, Darren Jablow's Sniffles, Emerald Pastures Corp.'s Love Sting, Willis Family Stable's Dandy Rose, La Colmena Racing Stable's Sweettrickydancer and Michael Nyman and Daniel Monosson's Russian Sweetie Pie.