Sadler's Joy will return to the familiar Gulfstream Park course March 3

Sadler's Joy will return to the familiar Gulfstream Park course March 3

Chad B. Harmon

Sadler’s Joy Begins Season in Mac Diarmida

Gulfstream card also features Queen's Plate winner Holy Helena in The Very One.

While his seasonal debut will take place about a month later this year compared with last year, Sadler's Joy will return to Gulfstream Park for the $200,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2T) March 3.

A year ago, Sadler's Joy began his campaign—a season that saw the son of Kitten's Joy  nail down a grade 1 win—at Gulfstream, where he delivered a pair of quality efforts. He missed by a head in the W. L. McKnight Handicap (G3T) in late January before he narrowly won the Pan American Stakes (G2T) in April for his first stakes victory.

SHEA: Sadler’s Joy Wins Pan American at Wire

This year, Woodslane Farm's homebred will begin his 5-year-old campaign Saturday in the 1 3/8-mile Mac Diarmida, where he'll start from the inside in an expected field of 12 older horses.

"It was either this or the Pan American, and we're ready for both. The horse is doing well," said trainer Tom Albertrani. "It looks like he's ready to make his first start this year. He's been training really well, and he's ready to go. He actually runs well off the layoff. He showed that last year, so I would expect to see him come back as strong as he did last year, when he made his first start back."

In August, Sadler's Joy rallied to victory in the Sword Dancer Stakes (G1T) at Saratoga Race Course. He enters his 5-year-old season with five wins from 14 starts and earnings of more than $1.2 million, after he closed 2017 with a fourth-place finish in the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1T).

ANGST: Sadler's Joy Rallies to Sword Dancer Victory

Albertrani won the Mac Diarmida in 2014 with Twilight Eclipse, a grade 1-winning multi-millionaire who set the world record for 1 1/2 miles on grass in the 2013 Pan American (2:22.63).

"It's been great having a horse like him in the barn," Albertrani said of Sadler's Joy. "We've been very lucky in the past with some other horses going long on the grass, like Twilight Eclipse and Brilliant Speed, and a couple of others. The horse ran extremely well last year and (was) narrowly beaten in the Breeders' Cup. It's just great having a horse of his caliber in the barn, and hopefully we can have another successful year with him."

Saturday's card will offer a similar race for fillies and mares in the $150,000 The Very One Stakes (G3T), a 1 3/16-mile turf test that attracted seven entries.

Starting from the middle will be Stronach Stable's Holy Helena, who topped males in last year's Queen's Plate Stakes at Woodbine. The 4-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper  tried turf for the first time in her 2018 debut and delivered a narrow victory in a Feb. 4 optional-claiming allowance at Gulfstream.

Trained by Jimmy Jerkens, Holy Helena has won races on dirt, synthetic, and turf. She will aim for her first graded stakes win Saturday.

Entries: Mac Diarmida S. (G2T)

Gulfstream Park, Saturday, March 03, 2018, Race 13

  • Grade IIT
  • 1 3/8m
  • Turf
  • $200,000
  • 4 yo's & up
  • 5:34 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Sadler's Joy (KY)Julien R. Leparoux119Thomas Albertrani7/2
22Some in Tieme (BRZ)Manoel R. Cruz119Kenneth G. McPeek20/1
33One Go All Go (VA)Keeneland Sales GraduateChris Landeros117Charles L. Dickey12/1
44Muqtaser (KY)Joe Bravo119Kiaran P. McLaughlin4/1
55Markitoff (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateLuis Saez117Michael J. Maker20/1
66Gold Shield (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateIrad Ortiz, Jr.119Claude R. McGaughey III6/1
77Bernay (IRE)Tyler Gaffalione119Chad C. Brown10/1
88Patterson Cross (KY)Jose Lezcano117William I. Mott8/1
99Nessy (KY)Javier Castellano117Ian R. Wilkes10/1
1010Run Time (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoel Rosario121Michael J. Maker12/1
1111Big Bend (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduatePaco Lopez123Thomas F. Proctor30/1
1212Oscar Nominated (KY)Jose L. Ortiz123Michael J. Maker5/1

Entries: The Very One S. (G3T)

Gulfstream Park, Saturday, March 03, 2018, Race 4

  • Grade IIIT
  • 1 3/16m
  • Turf
  • $150,000
  • 4 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 1:00 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Palinodie (FR)Joel Rosario117Christophe Clement12/1
22Westit (GB)John R. Velazquez117H. Graham Motion9/2
33Daring Duchess (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose L. Ortiz121Michael J. Maker8/5
44Holy Helena (ON)Irad Ortiz, Jr.119James A. Jerkens7/2
55Empressof the Nile (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoe Bravo117H. James Bond12/1
66Summersault (NY)Javier Castellano119Mark A. Hennig5/2
77Shezaprado (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduatePaco Lopez117Michael J. Maker30/1