George and Lori Hall’s Bold Union, a four-time stakes winner in 2009, leads a field of nine in the $100,000 Sugar Swirl Stakes (gr. III) for older fillies and mares Jan. 9 at Gulfstream Park.
A 4-year-old daughter of Dixie Union, Bold Union’s biggest win came in the grade III Endine Stakes at Delaware Park last September when she led the field all the way over a sloppy track. She closed out her successful campaign with a wire-to-wire win in the Dec. 2 Tate Stakes at Aqueduct.
In addition to a pair of other stakes scores last year, Bold Union was runner-up to the talented filly Sara Louise in the Victory Ride (gr. III) at Saratoga. Overall, she has posted a record of 6-1-2 from 13 lifetime starts and has earned $356,416. Trainer Kelly Breen has named Joe Bravo to ride the 120-pound high weight and they will break from the rail in the six-furlong contest.
Another top contender in the Sugar Swirl is Windmill Manor Farm’s Thunders Dove, who had a five-race win streak snapped in the Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont in September when finishing fourth. The 6-year-old daughter of Thunderello made just two starts in 2009, the other a four-length score in the Addison Mallery Stakes at Saratoga. In 2008, she won four times, including two against stakes company. John Velazquez will ride for Nick Zito.
Also in the mix are Pretty Prolific, who was runner-up in the grade I Test Stakes at Saratoga last summer but has just two wins in 10 lifetime starts; undefeated Warbling, a lightly-raced 4-year-old filly making just her third start for Eddie Kenneally; and Honchis 'n Ponchis, a Dale Romans trainee entering off a pair of allowance victories at Churchill Downs but who has been off the board in all three of her previous stakes efforts.
The Sugar Swirl is the second of five stakes on the “Gulfstream Sprint Showcase” card and is set for a 3:36 p.m. EDT post.
$100,000 Sugar Swirl Stakes (gr. III, Race 6, 3:36 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 6 Furlongs (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Bold Union (KY), J Bravo, 120, K J Breen
2. D'wild Ride (ON), J Castellano, 116, J F Orseno
3. Warbling (KY), J R Leparoux, 116, E Kenneally
4. Tar Heel Mom (KY), J Lezcano, 116, S M Hough
5. Sailing Time (FL), M R Cruz, 116, S L DiMauro
6. Saratoga Tango (TX), L Saez, 116, M D Wolfson
7. Honchis'n Ponchis (KY), R Maragh, 116, D L Romans
8. Thunders Dove (KY), J R Velazquez, 116, N P Zito
9. Pretty Prolific (KY), E S Prado, 116, J E Baker