Jeri & Sam Knighton's Request for Parole figures to be a slight choice in the wagering over six opponents, including an entry, in Saturday's $200,000 Pan American Handicap (gr. IIT), Gulfstream Park's traditional 1 1/2-mile grass course marathon.
Anstu Stables' Balto Star, tough to beat when he runs his best, and Richard Violette Jr.'s Man From Wicklow, who knows how to win going long on the local grass, top a field of eight in Sunday's $250,000 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) at a mile and three-eighths on the turf.
A total of 130 horses, including several major stakes winners, have been pre-entered for the second running of the $3.6 million Sunshine Million at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park on Jan. 24.
Man From Wicklow, who won last year's Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I), is currently training at Palm Meadows for a scheduled start in the Sunshine Millions Franks Farm Turf on Jan. 24.
Saratoga Notebook: Record Discrepancy; Ashado, Daydreaming Point to Frizette; Volponi Trainer Checking Figures; Man From Wicklow Mending; Mariensky Sore; Possibility Abounds
After some additional research into the records was done by journalist Bill Mooney, it appears likely that trainer Todd Pletcher smashed the 49-year-old Saratoga standard for victories quite a bit earlier than first thought.
For the second consecutive year, Kim Loves Bucky has won the Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland. The 6-year-old gelding completed the 1 1/2-mile turf distance in 2:29.39, with Man From Wicklow a half-length back in second, and Williams News a nose behind for third.
Mansell Stables' Quest Star and jockey Edgar Prado dictated the pace from the start and scored a sharp 1 3/4-length victory over 3-5 favorite Man From Wicklow in the $200,000 Pan American Handicap (gr. IIT) on the lawn at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Rick Violette Jr.'s Man From Wicklow should be a solid favorite in Saturday's $200,000 Pan American Handicap (gr. II), where he attempts to become the second horse to sweep the meet's two top turf handicaps.
Man From Wicklow earns his first stakes victory as the W.L. McKnight Handicap highweight .
Man From Wicklow, Whitmore's Conn, and Evening Attire are among the 16 horses entered in Saturday's Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct.
It may have been over a year since Todd Kabel and Strut the Stage had been paired together, but the duo were once again in familiar territory, combining for a classic winning effort in Sunday's $279,500 Sky Classic Stakes (gr. IIT) at Woodbine.
Belmont Notes: Lido Palace Works for Gold Cup; Banks Hill's Return in Flower Bowl; Turf Classic Nears for With Anticipation
John W. Amerman's Lido Palace, prepping for next Saturday's 84th running of the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), worked a half-mile in :49 2/5, breezing on Belmont Park's fast main track Thursday morning.
With Anticipation guts out a victory in the Sword Dancer, giving Pat Day the earnings record for jockeys.
Augustin Stable's With Anticipation will try to become the third horse to win back-to-back runnings of the Sword Dancer Invitational when he faces 10 opponents Saturday at Saratoga.
Dr. John Chandler's Cetewayo and Rose B. Cerullo's Williams News are expected starting highweights Saturday for the $150,000 Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds and up. The 11- furlong race is the final graded turf stakes in New York this year.
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