Suwannee River Draws Solid Group
Never Retreat and Cherokee Queen, who both ran big races to in the Marshua’s River Stakes (gr. IIIT) last out, were listed as the 119-pound high weights for the $150,000 Suwannee River Stakes (gr. IIIT) Feb. 5 at Gulfstream Park.
A field of 10 fillies and mares that will go 1 1/8 miles on turf was drawn for the Suwannee, which precedes a pair of grade I races on the Gulfstream card. Also in the field is grade I winner Miss World. Toocleverforwords was entered for main track only.
Jockey Carlos Marquez Jr. will ride Never Retreat for trainer Chris Block after they teamed up for a forceful third, beaten only a length, in the Marshua’s River after finishing strongly. The 6-year-old daughter of Smart Strike shipped around frequently last season, winning stakes at Fair Grounds, Canterbury Downs, and Kentucky Downs, and has won six of 22 starts overall.
Marty Wolfson will send out Cherokee Queen, who also finished well in the Marshua’s River when fourth, beaten only 1 1/4 lengths. The 6-year-old mare is a three-time black-type winner but seeks her first graded stakes.
The filly that won the Marshua’s River, Justaroundmidnight, was entered in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (gr. IT) against males later on the Saturday Gulfstream card.
Jockey Cornelio Velasquez rides Miss World for trainer Christophe Clement as she bids to regain her form from 2009 that saw her win three straight that year including the Garden City Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park. The 5-year-old daughter of Bernstein has run well but failed to win in her last three starts after a 10-month layoff, most recently checking in fourth in an allowance over the Gulfstream course Jan. 12.
Also likely to attract support in the Suwannee River is Alex Campbell, Jr.’s 4-year-old Kentucky homebred filly It's Tea Time with Julien Leparoux in the saddle for trainer Rusty Arnold. The daughter of Dynaformer won two of four starts with a second on turf last year and captured the Lake Placid Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga after that race was forced off turf.
It’s Tea Time makes her first start since finishing fourth behind Unrivaled Belle, Blind Luck, and Havre de Grace in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.
$150,000 Suwannee River (gr. IIIT, Race 7, 3:52 p.m. EST), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
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