Simmard and Newsdad, separated by only a nose in the recent Mac Diarmida (gr. IIT), will battle it out once again in the $150,000 Pan American (gr. IIT) March 24 at Gulfstream Park.
A field of six was drawn for the 1 1/2-mile Pan American, the feature on Gulfstream’s Saturday program. Also a main contender is the improving Harrods Creek, who makes his season debut for Bill Mott. Post time is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. EDT.
Simmard, a 7-year-old son of Dixieland Band trained and co-owned by Roger Attfield with William Werner, outlasted Newsdad in the Feb. 26 Mac Diarmida at Gulfstream. That race was at 1 3/8 miles on the firm turf. Newsdad figures to have the edge this time since he will once again carry 117 pounds, while Simmard will have to tote 123, including Patrick Husbands.
Simmard notched the first graded stakes win of his 28-race career in the Mac Diarmida. He had been graded stakes-placed three times prior to that, including the 2011 Northern Dancer (Can-IT). The chestnut horse has won six times and earned $507,391 in his career.
James Karp’s homebred Newsdad seeks his first graded stakes victory in his seventh try. The 4-year-old Arch colt tuned up for the Mac Diarmida with a sharp optional claiming score Jan. 28 at Gulfstream, rolling by nearly seven lengths in a 1 7/16-mile event. Mott also trains Newsdad, who will be ridden by Julien Leparoux once again.
Also back from the Mac Diarmida is the fourth-place finisher, Center Divider, who was beaten six lengths.
Hiram Polk Jr. and David Richardson’s Harrods Creek was graded stakes placed in the last two starts of 2011. The 5-year-old Langfuhr horse was third in the Nov. 5 Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT) at Aqueduct and second by a head in his most recent try, the Dec. 4 Valedictory (Can-III) on the Woodbine Polytrack. Mott has assigned Jose Lezcano to ride.
$150,000 Pan American Stakes (gr. IIT, Race 10, 5:35 p.m.), 4YO and Up, 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. Newsdad (KY), J R Leparoux, 117, W I Mott
2. Simmard (KY), P Husbands, 123, R L Attfield
3. Harrods Creek (KY), J Lezcano, 117, W I Mott
4. Hailstone (KY), J Rocco Jr., 117, R Ribaudo
5. Cause of Freedom (KY), E S Prado, 117, C R McGaughey III
6. Center Divider (KY), J Bravo, 117, C C Brown