Devil's Cave, a two-length winner in her stakes debut over Florida-bred fillies last time out, will put her speed to the test in the $300,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff Jan. 18 at Gulfstream Park.
Alpha Delta Stable's 4-year-old daughter of Put It Back will attempt two turns for the first time for trainer Marty Wolfson. Seven older fillies and mares are entered in the 1 1/8-mile main track event, one of six Sunshine Millions races for Florida-breds on the Saturday card worth a combined $1.3 million. The Distaff is Race 5 with a 2:36 p.m. EST scheduled post.
Devil's Cave captured the one-mile Ocala Stakes at Gulfstream Dec. 29 after enduring a pace duel and edging away past mid-stretch for a mild upset in her stakes bow. Two of the fillies she beat in the Ocala, Sweet N Discreet and 3-5 favorite My Pal Chrisy, are also back in the SM Distaff.
Sweet N Discreet led to the eighth pole before finishing second last time, while My Pal Chrisy, also trained by Wolfson, stalked the first two into the stretch and finished a head behind Sweet N Discreet in third while toting 123 pounds.
Devil's Cave, with three wins and three seconds from eight career starts, breezed a half mile in :48.02 at Gulfstream Jan. 11. Joel Rosario, aboard the dark bay filly for the first time in the Ocala, takes the mount again. The will break from post 4 with co-highweight of 119 pounds. In four starts since being transferred to Wolfson, she has two wins and two seconds.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Toasting was a head shy of scoring her first graded stakes win in Aqueduct Racetrack's Comely (gr. III) in her most recent outing Nov. 30. Tom Albertrani trains the 4-year-old Congrats filly, winner the Dream Rush Stakes at Belmont Park a month before the Comely. Jose Ortiz rides from gate 2.
Toasting won her only prior start at Gulfstream, an off-the-turf first-level allowance test last February, by 5 1/2 lengths as the 8-5 choice. She is the 9-5 morning line favorite for her initial 2014 start.
"To me, she looks a little stronger this season. Last year, she didn't look as strappy," said Albertrani, who is hoping the chestnut filly rates off the pace. "She just seems to be a lot stronger, looking at her. I think she's going to improve this year."
Toasting owns a 3-2-4 mark from 13 starts while banking $371,350.
My Pal Chrisy, a 6-year-old by Alex's Pal, is the old pro in the field with 11 wins from 43 lifetime starts and earnings of $751,168. Owned by Miller Racing, she was third in the Go For Wand Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct Racetrack prior to the Ocala. The bay mare won a pair of stakes at Gulfstream immediately before that, including the Millions' Distaff Preview as a heavy pick Nov. 9.
To be ridden by Jonathan Gonzalez under 119 pounds, My Pal Crisy is looking for her first win in four tries at the 1 1/8-mile distance.
Sweet N Discreet, a 4-year-old homebred for the E. Paul Robsham Stables trained by Todd Pletcher, was also making her stakes debut in the Ocala. The daughter of Discreet Cat was coming off back-to-back wins sprinting at Gulfstream in allowance/optional claiming company and has three wins and two seconds in five starts over the track. Joe Bravo has the return call from the rail.
Sky Skier, no worse than second in five career starts for owner/breeder New Farm and trainer Kelly Breen, makes her stakes debut while trying two turns for the initial time. Dreamlicious and Burning Truth complete the field.
$300,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff (Race 5, 2:36 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, Florida-breds, 1 1/8 Miles (dirt)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Sweet N Discreet (FL), J Bravo, 117, T A Pletcher
2. Toasting (FL), J L Ortiz, 117, T Albertrani
3. Dreamlicious (FL), J C Leyva, 117, W A Kaplan
4. Devil's Cave (FL), J Rosario, 119, M D Wolfson
5. Sky Skier (FL), P Lopez, 117, K J Breen
6. My Pal Chrisy (FL), J J Gonzales, 119, M D Wolfson
7. Burning Truth (FL), A Jaen, 117, A Rodriguez