Pomeroys Pistol, winner of a graded stakes at Gulfstream Park earlier this year and coming off a solid effort in the Breeders’ Cup, is the one to beat in the $100,000 Sugar Swirl (gr. III) Dec. 10.
Though she is only 3 facing older horses, Pomeroys Pistol was assigned top weight of 120 pounds in the six-furlong Sugar Swirl. A field of eight was drawn for Gulfstream’s Saturday feature.
The Pomeroy filly won the Forward Gal (gr. II) back in January at Gulfstream and scored the Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) by four lengths in September at Belmont Park. A Florida homebred of Hardacre Farm, she was fourth, beaten less than four lengths, last out in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs. In that effort she was within a head of the lead at the top of the stretch before giving way late.
Overall, Pomeroys Pistol has three wins in nine starts this season for trainer Amy Tarrant. She was also runner-up in both the Prioress and Test (both gr. I) earlier this summer in New York. In her two previous starts at Gulfstream she finished second in the Old Hat (gr. III) and third in the Forward Gal (gr. II).
Javier Castellano has the mount once again, and they will break from the rail.
The other graded winner in the race is Terra Di Sienna Stables’ Pica Slew. The 4-year-old filly won the grade III Azalea Stakes at Calder in 2010 as part of a three-race win streak. Pica Slew has been off for most of the year, as she shows only a sixth-place finish in the Jan. 30 Santa Monica (gr. I) at Santa Anita while being trained by John Shirreffs.
The Pico Central filly is now in the barn of Brian Lynch and has been working steadily at Palm Meadows and Woodbine. Woodbine’s leading rider Luis Contreras will be in the irons.
“She’s doing well and we thought we’d try her,” Lynch said. “She’s been with me at Woodbine most of the year and had a pretty nasty splint bone injury, which we had operated on in May.”
Another contender is R. Larry Johnson’s 3-year-old Strike the Moon. The daughter of Malibu Moon finished second in three straight stakes earlier this year, including a head defeat behind St. John’s River in the Delaware Oaks (gr. II) in July. Her biggest victory came in the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks in September and last out she finished fifth in the Raven Run Stakes (gr. II) on Polytrack at Keeneland, but was beaten only three-quarters of a length.
Trainer Mike Trombetta has assigned Edgar Prado to ride Strike the Moon.
Third Chance, riding a four-race win streak in Illinois, and Roman Treasure, winner of a pair of minor stakes in New York this season, are the other 3-year-olds in the race.
$100,000 Sugar Swirl (gr. III, Race 10, 4:45 p.m.), Fillies and Mares, 6 Furlongs (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. Pomeroys Pistol (FL), J Castellano, 120, A Tarrant
2. Pica Slew (FL), L Contreras, 117, B A Lynch
3. Roman Treasure (KY), J Bravo, 114, A Iwinski
4. Catch a Thief (MD), P Lopez, 117, T A Hills
5. Indulgence (FL), J R Leparoux, 117, M D Wolfson
6. Strike the Moon (KY), E S Prado, 116, M J Trombetta
7. Moontune Missy (KY), M R Cruz, 117, E G Harty
8. Third Chance (IL), J Z Santana, 116, J P DiVito