Miss Macy Sue and Wild Gams, a pair of graded stakes winners who finished one-two in the race last year, have been ticketed to go postward again in the second running of the $400,000 Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes Sept. 13.
The six-furlong event for fillies and mares 3-years old and up is the richest race on the Presque Isle schedule, and is designed as a prep for the $1-million Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, which will be run at Santa Anita Oct. 24.
This year’s ‘Masters has also lured the multiple grade I winner Dream Rush, along with the Argentinean-bred Jazzy and the Brazilian-bred Scalinatella, both of whom have grade II victories on their resumes.
Also among the 12 who have been entered are the Irish-bred Dhanyata, a group II winner in England; multiple stakes winners Miss Blue Tye Dye and Ride Em Cowgirl; and stakes winners Hadavision and Oelectra.
“We didn’t anticipate a full gate, but that’s what we’re getting,” said David Frizzell, the racing secretary at Presque Isle. “Coming 41 days before the Breeders’ Cup, the Masters is very well placed. People found that out in 2007, and want to benefit again this year.”
In 2007, four horses who ran in the inaugural Masters went on to complete in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. They included Miraculous Miss, who finished fourth at Presque Isle and second, missing victory by just a half-length, in the Breeders’ Cup; and Miss Macy Sue, who won the Masters by 1 1/2 lengths and was third in the Breeders’ Cup.
Wild Gams, the Masters runner-up, and Shaggy Mane, finished unplaced in their ’07 Breeders’ Cup efforts. Heavy rain caused last year’s Filly & Mare Sprint to be run on a deep, sloppy surface at Monmouth Park, and the conditions were not to Wild Gams’ liking.
This year, the Breeders’ Cup will be run over Santa Anita’s recently-installed synthetic surface. Although it is not an exact duplicate of the Tapeta Footings surface at Presque Isle, there are many similarities between the two – which could provide an advantage to horses who run well in the Masters and then head from Presque Isle to Santa Anita.
Miss Macy Sue is a serious candidate to be among that group. At age five she has a career record that includes 23 starts, 11 victories (including a half-dozen in stakes), six placings and purse earnings of $787,230. Her triumph is last year’s Masters was accomplished in a track-record time of 1:08.21. Jockey Eusebio Razo, Jr. piloted Miss Macy Sue in that effort, and will again be aboard her Sept. 13.
Wild Gams immediately followed her effort in last year’s Masters with a victory in the Grade 3 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland. This past May, the5-year-old mare was victorious in the $250,000 My Juliet Stakes at Philadelphia Park, and now has $898,486 in career purse earnings. Miguel Mena will ride again.
Dream Rush established a formidable reputation in ’07, when she registered back-to-back victories in the Prioress Stakes at Belmont Park and Test Stakes at Saratoga, both grade I events. Her efforts this year include placings in the Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. I) at Calder Race Course and Vagrancy Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont. Dream Rush is a 4-year-old filly who heads for the lead early, and will likely do it again in the Masters under Dale V. Beckner – the same Beckner who won a record six races at Presque Isle Sept. 6.
Strong cases exist for many others in this year’s Masters field, too. Jazzy was victorious in last year’s Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont, and Scalinatella scored twice at the grade II level in her country of breeding, prior to being shipped to the United States this season.
Before her relocation to the U.S., Dhanyata placed in group I company at Newmarket.
The eight-race card at Presque Isle will have a total purse distribution of approximately $555,000, the highest this year. Post time for the first race will be 5:30 p.m. EDT. Post time for the Masters will be approximately 8 p.m. EDT.