OBS Championships Draw Solid Fields
Trainer Todd Pletcher has supplemented Bortolazzo Stable and Wind River Stables’ Big Blue Nation to the $100,000 OBS Championship, one of four races run March 12 during the Ocala Breeders’ Sales’ 23rd annual Day of Champions races.
The four-race program worth $300,000 is open to 3-year-olds that at any point passed through an OBS sale. The races are run on the sale company’s all-weather Safetrack west of Ocala. They will be streamed live on OBS’ website, www.obssales.com, with post time at 1 p.m.
After winning at first asking, Big Blue Nation was third behind fellow OBS graduates Currency Swap and Trinniberg in Saratoga’s Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) despite a slow start. The Bluegrass Cat colt, to be ridden by John R. Velazquez, faces 10 other challengers in the OBS championship for 3-year-olds colts and geldings, including stakes winners Big Wednesday and Hello Prince.
Martin Brothers Inc. and Napier Stables’ Big Wednesday won the Fitz Dixon, Jr. Memorial Stakes at Presque Isle last October. He will be teamed with Pablo Morales, who rode him to victory at Presque Isle Downs in western Pennsylvania.
Rey Wan Racing’s Hello Prince, taken down from second in a roughly run Needles Stakes at Gulfstream Park last time out, had romped by six lengths in Calder Casino & Race Course’s Birdonthewire Stakes in his final start at 2. The Florida-bred colt by Halo's Image, trained by Daniel Pita, will be ridden by Jose Garcia.
Trainer Mark Casse has seven horses entered in the day’s races. One of his top competitors is Making Amends, winner of the Clarendon Stakes at Woodbine Racecourse in his first start at 2. In his next race, he finished third in the Vandal Stakes. This is the 3-year-old debut for Making Amends. The colt by Repent is owned Quintessential Racing Florida, Hors’n Around Racing Stable, and Richard Lederman.
Gold Mark Farm’s graded stakes winner Vexor also will make his 3-year-old debut in the $50,000 OBS Sprint colt and gelding division. The Florida-bred by Wildcat Heir heads a field of six in the six-furlong Sprint. He won the Nashua Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park last October. He is trained by Todd Quast and will be ridden by Rajiv Maragh.
Priscilla Vaccarezza’s My Due Process heads a field of eight in the $50,000 OBS Sprint Stakes for fillies, coming into the race off a third-place finish in Gulfstream’s Madcap Escapade Stakes in February. Winner of the NATC Futurity last summer at Monmouth Park, the daughter of Henny Hughes is trained by Dale Romans and will be ridden by Manoel Cruz.
Wayne A. Dacosta’s Given Enchantment heads a field of 12 in the afternoon’s third race, the filly division of the $100,000 OBS Championship Stakes. Second to fellow OBS graduate Yara in the Joe O’Farrell Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Calder, the Florida-bred daughter of Point Given , trained by Jason Dacosta, will be ridden by Luis Jurado.
Race 1 $50,000 OBS Sprint (Filly Division) S., 6 Furlongs, 120 pounds, 1 p.m. EDT
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