'Saint Favored in Sunshine Millions Classic

'Saint Favored in Sunshine Millions Classic
Photo: NTRA/Horsephotos
Sweetnorthernsaint favored in Sunshine Millions Classic despite outside post.
(from Gulfstream Park report)
Sweetnorthernsaint was installed the 9-to-5 favorite for Saturday’s $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park despite drawing the far outside post position 12.

The Classic is one of four Sunshine Millions races to be run at Gulfstream while four other races in the Florida-bred vs. California-bred  series will be contested at Santa Anita Saturday. In addition to the Classic at Gulfstream, there will be renewals of the $500,000 Filly & Mare Turf, $300,000 Filly & Mare Sprint and $250,000 Dash for 3-year-olds.

NBC will televise the 2007 Sunshine Millions from 4 to 6 p.m. ET.

Trained by Michael Trombetta, Josesph Balsamo and Ted Theo’s 4-year-old gelding Sweetnorthernsaint is best-known as the beaten favorite behind Barbaro in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) last spring and runner-up to Bernardini in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). The son of Sweetsouthernsainttuned up for Saturday’s race with a close-up third-place effort in the one-mile Hal’s Hope Handicap (gr. III) over the Gulfstream main track on Jan. 6.

Scott and Wayne Anastasi and Carl Van Burger’s 5-year-old gelding Texcess is the Classic’s second choice at 4-to-1, invading from California with Garrett Gomez picking up the mount. Trained by Mike Mitchell, the son of In Excess captured the Cal Cup Classic last out at Santa Anita on Oct. 28.

Glen Hill Farm’s 5-year-old Florida homebred mare Rich in Spirit was made the lukewarm 3-to-1 favorite in a full field of 12 fillies and mares set to go in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf at 1 1/8 miles, breaking from post 11 with jockey Jose Lezcano to ride.

Trained by Tom Proctor, Rich in Spirit scored her most important victory in the Locust Grove Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs last summer and has been competitive in the top ranks of her division. The daughter of Repriced got a useful prep for Saturday’s race winning a Tampa Bay Downs allowance on Dec. 31.

Jacks or Better Farm’s 4-year-old Florida homebred filly Bayou Lassie breaks from post 4 and will be the 4-to-1 second choice on the morning line with Elvis Trujillo getting the return call for trainer Stanley Gold.

The daughter of Outflanker is a rising star in the division with four victories and a second in five career starts on turf, her only defeat on grass when beaten a length by the older grade I winner Amorama in the My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Calder on Dec. 2. Last out on Dec. 3 at Calder, Bayou’s Lassie went wire-to-wire to capture the Frances A. Genter Stakes (gr. IIIT).

The Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint is another wide-open affair with a bulky field of 14 drawn for the six-furlong test. Hobeau Farm’s grade I winner Swap Fliparoo, trained by Allen Jerkens, is listed as the 7-to-2 favorite with jockey Javier Castellano aboard and breaking from post 9.

Swap Fliparoo is a 4-year-old roan/gray daughter of Exchange Rate that scored her biggest career victory winning the Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga last summer with a last-to-first move. The confirmed stretch runner rallied for third last out in the First Flight Handicap (gr. II) on Nov. 4 at Aqueduct.

A full field of 14 3-year-olds was drawn for the Sunshine Millions Dash at six furlongs, with Wachtel Stable and partners’ Leonardo the 3-to-1 choice despite having to break from post 13 under jockey Edgar Prado.

Trained by John DeStefano, Jr, Leonardo is a roan/gray gelding by Smoke Glacken with two victories in three starts, most recently a 10 ¾ lengths victory in a Laurel Park allowance on Dec. 6. His only loss was a head defeat in an Aqueduct allowance after capturing his career debut at Canterbury Downs by nine lengths in early September.

Trainer Bob Baffert sends out the second choice in the Dash invading from California with Murray Smith’s Texas Voyager a 4-to-1 chance under Matt Garcia, although he will have to overcome the far outside post 14. The son of Texas Glitter won his only start at Santa Anita on Jan. 13 by 7 ¼ lengths.

$250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash (Race 7, 3:50 p.m.), 3-year-olds, 6 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey
1. SARAND STAR, Valdivia, Jr.,
3. CAN THIS BE TRUE, Guidry, M
5. FELONIOUS MONK,Velazquez, J
7. COMPLEXITY, Desormeaux, K
8. IDIOT PROOF, Bejarano, R
10. ACTIN GOOD, Velasquez, C
12. STORM IN MAY, Cruz, M
13. LEONARDO, Prado, E
14. TEXAS VOYAGER, Garcia, M
--Also Eligibles--
15. HURRY UP AUSTIN, Valdivia, Jr., J
Blinkers Off: Sunshine Ridge
Each assigned 120 pounds.

$300,0000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint (Race 8, 4:20 p.m.), 4 & Up, 6 Furlongs
1. WEE BIT FANCY, 121, Baze, M
2. COLI BEAR, 121, Dominguez, R
3. THE YELLOW SHEET, 122, Valdivia, Jr., J
4. GN. GROUP MEETING, 122, Jara, F
5. SHAGGY MANE, 121, Guidry, M
6. DOUBLE DELTA, 121, Bravo, J
8. GRECIAN LOVER, 122, Velasquez, C
9. SWAP FLIPAROO, 121, Castellano, J
10. SECRET SCHEME, 121, Baze, R
11. BETTARUN FAST, 121, Velazquez, J
12. A SEA TRIPPI, 121, Desormeaux, K
13. HOT STORM, 122, Gomez, G
14. MAY DAY VOW, 121, Bejarano, R

$500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf (Race 9, 5:05 p.m.), 4 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
1. PRIVATE BETTY, 120, Prado, E
2. MEMORETTE, 122, Desormeaux, K
4. BAYOU'S LASSIE, 120, Trujillo, E
5. FORMAL MISS, 122, Cruz, M
6. MAY NIGHT, 120, Gomez, G
7. MISS SHOP, 120, Bejarano, R
8. FORTUNATE EVENT, 122, Baze, M
9. TIGER BELLE, 122, Guidry, M
10. PROP ME UP, 122, Bravo, J
11. RICH IN SPIRIT, 122, Lezcano, J
12. CHARMSIL, 122, Castellano, J
--Also Eligibles--
13. SAINT KNOWS, 120, Cruz, M

$1 Million Sunshine Millions Classic (Race 10, 5:45 p.m.), 4 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles
1. DRY MARTINI, 120, Velasquez, C
2. GET FUNKY, 120, Valdivia, Jr., J
3. SUMMER BOOK, 122, Guidry, M
4. BLAZING RATE, 120, Velez, Jr., J
5. SILVER WAGON, 122, Prado, E
6. REHOBOTH, 120, Cruz, M
7. PAPI CHULLO, 122, Smith, M
8. MCCANN'S MOJAVE, 122, Alvarado, F
9. TEXCESS, 122, Gomez, G
10. BOB'S PROUD MOMENT, 122, Bejarano, R
11. ARMENIAN SUMMER, 122, Velazquez, J
12. SWEETNORTHERNSAINT, 120, Dominguez, R
--Also Eligibles--
13. GOTTCHA GOLD, 120, Desormeaux, K
14. HALOS SAILING SAIN, 122, Bravo, J

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