Harmony Lodge goes for her fourth Gulfstream stakes victory -- and her fourth stakes score in a row -- when she tops a field of eight in Sunday's $100,000 Shirley Jones Handicap (gr. III) over seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park.
Harmony Lodge, owned by Laura and Eugene Melnyk, is coming off her second straight win in Gulfstream's The First Lady Handicap (gr. III). She will seek a repeat in the Shirley Jones. She won last year's renewal by three lengths over Gold Mover.
The Todd Pletcher-trained 6-year-old mare by Hennessy will be a short-priced favorite to keep her winning streak alive in the Shirley Jones. She finished her 2003 season with victories in the grade I Ballerina at Saratoga and the grade II Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont, then opened up her 2004 campaign with a 1 3/4-length victory over House Party in the six-furlong The First Lady 'Cap.
Richard Migliore will be down from New York again to handle Harmony Lodge in the Shirley Jones. She will carry highweight of 121 pounds and break from the outside in the eight-horse field.
Harmony Lodge will meet a seasoned foe in Randaroo, and a stakes-winning question mark in Dedication.
Kiaran McLaughlin trains Randaroo, who won three straight stakes last year in Maryland and New York before running second in the grade I La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita on Dec. 27.
The Gold Case
filly, owned by Joseph Allen, took the grade II First Flight at Belmont and the grade II Top Flight at Aqueduct after winning the grade III Safely Kept Handicap at Pimlico.
Randaroo has been training sharply at Palm Meadows for her Gulfstream debut and totes 118 pounds with John Velazquez aboard.
Dedication, a French-bred mare trained by Christophe Clement, will be making her first start on the main track Sunday. The 5-year-old by Highest Honor won the group I Prix de la Foret at Longchamp in 2002, one of the best sprint stakes in Europe, and last year scored in a six-furlong allowance event on the Belmont grass.
The mare has been training over the dirt track at Payson Park, and appears to handle that surface very well. Edgar Prado, who was aboard in her Belmont win, gets the riding call at 114.
The field, in post order:
1--Dedication, 114, Edgar Prado
2--Mayo On the Side, 115, Jose Velez Jr.
3--Honeymooner, 111, Eddie Castro
4--Kitty Knight, 113, Jean-Luc Samyn
5--Randaroo, 118, John Velazquez
6--Halory Leigh, 114, Craig Perret
7--Nannycam, 112, Pat Day
8--Harmony Lodge, 121, Richard Migliore