The $1 million Summit of Speed, highlighted by the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2), the $250,000 Smile Sprint (G3) and the Carry Back (G3), attracted 149 nominations for seven stakes to be run at Gulfstream Park July 1.
The Princess Rooney, a seven-furlong sprint for fillies and mares, and the Smile Sprint, a six-furlong dash, are designated Breeders' Cup 'Win & You're In' events.
Grade 1 winner Birdatthewire is among the most notable of 26 nominees for the seven-furlong Princess Rooney, in which an automatic fees-paid berth in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) at Del Mar Nov. 4 is at stake. Forum Racing IV's Birdatthewire, who captured the La Brea (G1) at Santa Anita in December 2015, has excelled at Gulfstream, where she captured the 2015 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) and finished third in the 2016 Princess Rooney. Formerly trained by Dale Romans, the 5-year-old daughter of Summer Bird finished second in her first start for trainer Tom Proctor and her first start of the year in a Presque Isle Downs allowance.
Grade 2 stakes winners Lightstream, who finished third in the Bed O Roses (G3) on the Belmont Stakes undercard, Distinta, who won the Inside Information (G2) at Gulfstream March 18, and Curlin's Approval, the Royal Delta (G2) winner during the Championship Meet who breezed five-furlongs Tuesday at Gulfstream in 57.74 seconds, are among prominent Princess Rooney nominees, along with Dearest, I'm a Looker, Kinsley Kisses and Mia Torri.
The nominations list for the six-furlong Smile Sprint is topped by Mind Your Biscuits, who finished second in the Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3) Feb. 25 in between Grade 1 triumphs in the Malibu (G1) and Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1). Owned by J Stables and partners, the 4-year-old son of Posse gave Chad Summers the first victory of his training career in the Golden Shaheen.
A fees-paid berth in the $1.5 million Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) at Del Mar Nov. 4 awaits the Smile Sprint winner.
Monster Racing Stable's Delta Bluesman, who captured the 2016 Sprint by 3 ¾ lengths, Jacks or Better Farm's Awesome Banner, a multiple graded-stakes winner at Gulfstream Park, Brittlyn Stable's Clearly Now, a multiple graded-stakes veteran who won the 2013 Swale (G3) and a recent allowance at Gulfstream, Raymond Mannone's Imperial Hut, the winner of the General George (G3) at Laurel last time out, and Limestone Thoroughbreds' Requite, a winner of three of four starts at Gulfstream, are also among the more prominent of the 26 Smile Sprint nominees.
The Carry Back, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds, also attracted 26 nominations, including Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Girvin, who hasn't started since finishing a very troubled 13th in the Kentucky Derby (G1) May 1. Brad Grady's son of Tale of Ekati, who debuted with a six-furlong score, won the Risen Star (G2) as well as the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds this year. Trainer Joe Sharp also nominated multiple-stakes winner Cool Arrow and Phat Man for Grad, along with Joni and Barry Butzow's multiple stakes-winning Line Judge.
Three Rules, who swept the Florida Sire Stakes Series while inning his first five starts last year at Gulfstream Park, has been nominated to the Carry Back, as well as the Smile, for Shade Tree Thoroughbreds, Tom Fitzgerald and Geoff Roy. Trained by Jose Pinchin, the son of Gone Astray finished second in the Swale (G2), third in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and fifth in the Florida Derby (G1) during the Championship Meet before finishing a troubled third in the Chick Lang Stakes on the Preakness Stakes undercard.
Trainer Todd Pletcher nominated WinStar Farm and partners' Benefactor, the Ocala Flame Stakes runner-up who graduated at Gulfstream May 13, and Gainesway Stable's Blind Ambition, and easy winner in his two most recent starts, one on the main track and the other on the turf course at Gulfstream.
MK Racing's Impressive Edge, who finished third in the Peter Pan (G3) at Belmont Park last time out, is another notable Carry Back nominee, having won twice and having finished fourth in the Florida Derby (G1) during Gulfstream's Championship Meet for trainer Dale Romans.
Pletcher, currently leading trainer during Gulfstream's Spring Meet, nominated six horses to a pair of 5 ½-furlong stakes for 2-year-olds on the Summit of Speed card, including four for the $100,000 Kiss a Native, which drew 14 nominations. Red Oak Stable's Bal Harbor, Robert LaPenta's Dial One, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Earth and Siena Farm's Admiral Jimmy have all broken their maidens for Pletcher during the Spring Meet.
Pletcher nominated Siena Farm's debut winner Classy Dancer and Sumaya U.S. Stable's Sugar Queen to the $100,000 Brave Raj, a race for juvenile fillies that attracted 16 nominations. Trainer Wesley Ward also nominated a pair to the Brave Raj, including The Elkstone Group's Drunk Philosophy, an easy winner in her recent debut at Belmont, and Brian's Kahn's Lounge Act, who captured a maiden turf race at Gulfstream last time out.
The $75,000 Azalea, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies, received 17 nominations, while the $75,000 Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint, a five-furlong dash, attracted 20 nominations.
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