Princess Rooney winner Jessica Is Back faces 9 in the Sugar Swirl Stakes.

Princess Rooney winner Jessica Is Back faces 9 in the Sugar Swirl Stakes.

Jim Lisa Photos

Jessica Is Back Tops Sugar Swirl Stakes

Well-balanced field of 10 fillies and mares entered in six-furlong test.

Jessica Is Back, winner of the Princess Rooney (gr. I) at Calder last summer, heads the 10-horse field of fillies and mares entered in the $100,000 Sugar Swirl Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 15 at Gulfstream Park.

Jessica Is Back is one of two mares making their first start in the six-furlong race since finishing unplaced in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I). Jessica Is Back and Moontune Missy finished ninth and 12th, respectively, behind Dubai Majesty in the Nov. 5 Filly & Mare Sprint.

Trained by Marty Wolfson for Farnsworth Stables, Jessica Is Back has won 12 of 46 lifetime starts, with 17 placings and earnings of $796,765. In addition to the Princess Rooney, the 7-year-old daughter of Put It Back also won the state-bred restricted Ocala Stakes at Gulfstream last season.

Jessica Is Back, who will have Elvis Trujillo aboard, is one of three mares top-weighted at 123 pounds. The other two are grade II winners Tar Heel Mom and Hilda's Passion.

Trained by Stanley Hough for owner-breeder Alex Rankin, Tar Heel Mom comes into the Sugar Swirl off a third-place finish in the Garland of Roses Handicap at Aqueduct on Dec. 4. The 6-year-old daughter of Flatter  has seven wins and 10 placings in 21 starts with earnings of $478,692. Last year, the mare’s sole victory came in the Distaff Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct, but she placed second or third in three additional graded stakes.

Owned by Starlight Partners and C. E. Glasscock, Hilda's Passion was unraced at age 2 but won four of seven starts in 2010. The daughter of Canadian Frontier, who won the Lexus Raven Run (gr. II) at Keeneland on Oct. 23 in her last start, is trained by Todd Pletcher.

A lightly raced daughter of Forest Wildcat owned by Goldmark Farm, Moontune Missy has won four of nine career efforts while earning $162,317. The 5-year-old Kentucky-bred’s only stakes triumph came in the 2009 Sometime Thing Stakes at Belmont Park.

The Sugar Swirl is named for the mare who in 2008 became the first to sweep Gulfstream’s distaff sprint series—the Shirley Jones (gr. II), Hurricane Bertie (gr. III), and First Lady (gr. III).

$100,000 Sugar Swirl Stakes (gr. III, Race 9, 4:52 p.m. ET), 4YO and Up, Fillies and Mares, 6 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1.    D’Wild Ride (ON) P Lopez 119 J Orseno
2.    Landing My Way (KY) J R Velazquez 117 E Plesa Jr.
3.    Jessica Is Back (FL) E Trujillo 123 M D Wolfson
4.    Moontune Missy (KY) E S Prado 117 T Quast
5.    Noisy Feet (KY) A O Solis 117 T F Proctor
6.    Tar Heel Mom (KY) A Garcia 123 S M Hough
7.    Ms Vanenzza KY) R Maragh 117 J C Vazquez
8.    Bronx City Girl (KY)J R Leparoux 117 M D Wolfson
9.    9 J Z Warrior (KY) J Lexcano 117 M R Matz
10.     Hilda’s Passion (KY) J Castellano T A Pletcher