Sweet Repent, who dominated stakes action at Calder Race Course at the end of 2009, makes her 4-year-old debut in the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff Jan. 30 at Gulfstream Park, and based on her recent form, seems poised to pick up right where she left off.
The daughter of Repent drilled five furlongs in a bullet :59.30 Jan. 22 in her first work over the Gulfstream oval since being shipped in from her Calder base. The dark bay filly won four consecutive races at Calder to end last year’s campaign, including the Dec. 26 Stage Door Betty Handicap (gr. III) for her first graded stakes score.
Owned by Buongiorno A. Tutti Stable, Sweet Repent will face a field of nine in the 1 1/8-mile Distaff, which is one of three Sunshine Millions events at Gulfstream Jan. 30. Three other Millions races, which pit Florida-breds against California-breds, will take place at Santa Anita Park the same day. All nine entrants in the Distaff were bred in Florida.
Bred by Nikki Schick and Roger Schick, Sweet Repent has produced a 6-2-1 record from 12 starts and earnings of $299,190. In her only other start at Gulfstream she finished sixth in the Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 4, 2009 in her graded stakes debut.
Trainer Dave Braddy said his charge is ready for a big effort.
“She needed that one more good work,” Braddy of the Jan. 22 move. “It was a short trip over and it went fine. The group that she’s been running against (in South Florida) are a hard-hitting bunch, but we’ve done well with them.”
Regular rider Manoel Cruz will keep the mount on Sweep Repent.
Looking for revenge against Sweet Repent will be Marilyn Seltzer’s Florida homebred Amazing, who was beaten a nose in the Stage Door Betty after setting the pace and leading in deep stretch before being tackled at the wire. A 5-year-old daughter of Greatness, Amazing went winless in five starts in 2009 while being trained by Terry Oliver and later by current conditioner Brian Lynch.
As a 3-year-old in 2008, she had a more successful campaign while racing mainly at Calder for Oliver. The chestnut filly won four of 12 starts that year, including a pair of stakes. All four of the scores came in front-running fashion. This will be her first try at 1 1/8 miles. Elvis Trujillo will be in the irons.
Also coming into the race in good form is Robert A. Adams’ Unforgotten, who has fared well in many of her stakes efforts. A 6-year-old Northern Afleet mare trained by Dallas Stewart, Unforgotten won the Dec. 4 Treasure Chest Stakes at Delta Downs in the mud, then came back two weeks later to finish runner-up in the Daily Racing Form Distaff at Fair Grounds at the Millions Distaff distance.
Unforgotten is no stranger to stakes competition, having made her last 21 starts in that company. She finished third in last year’s Millions Distaff at Santa Anita, and has also been runner-up in five graded races—including the $150,000 Chilukki Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs in 2008. Overall, she has earned more than $500,000 from 31 starts. Kent Desormeaux draws the mount.
Also in the mix is Jessica is Back, who has won three times for trainer Marty Wolfson since being claimed last spring and enters off a nearly six-length allowance romp at Calder in December; and two-time stakes winner Scolara, a 5-year-old daughter of Quiet American who wheels back just two weeks after finishing sixth by only 1 1/2 lengths in the Marshua’s River Stakes on the Gulfstream turf.
$300,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff (Race 9, 5:08 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Cat Can Do (FL), P Lopez, 122, R Ziadie
2. Granted Tiger (FL), E Castro, 122, H A Jerkens
3. Christmas Ship (FL), J R Velazquez, 122, J Hollendorfer
4. Sweet Repent (FL), M R Cruz, 120, J D Braddy
5. Amazing (FL), E Trujillo, 122, B A Lynch
6. Even Road (FL), C H Velasquez, 122, S M Ersoff
7. Jessica Is Back (FL), J R Leparoux, 122, M D Wolfson
8. Scolara (FL), J Castellano, 122, W I Mott
9. Unforgotten (FL), K J Desormeaux, 122, D Stewart