$600,000 Sunshine Millions At Gulfstream Park Saturday

TVG's Emily Shields previews the $600,000 Sunshine Millions this Saturday
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The annual Sunshine Millions event, worth $600,000 in purses, takes place at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, January 18. The series is made up of four races for horses bred in Florida, starting with the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf as Race 8 on the card.

The 1 1/16-mile contest drew 11 runners, led by top Canadian mare and two-time defending champion Starship Jubilee. The seven-year-old was a grade 1 winner two starts back, taking the EP Taylor over an international field, and has won eight of 15 starts on this turf course. Kevin Attard trains, Javier Castellano will ride for the first time. This $1.1 million earner looms as a heavy favorite, with three-time winner Beautiful Lover worth a look for Chad Brown and Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Race 9 is the $100,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint over six furlongs on the dirt. The Brendan Walsh-trained Extravagant Kid was a stakes winner here over five furlongs on December 28 after finishing second behind top runner Pink Lloyd in a grade 2 at Woodbine two starts back. He has won half his 10 tries at the distance. The mare Lady’s Island has won five starts in a row, including the grade 3 Sugar Swirl here December 14, and is six for eight here overall.

The $150,000 Sunshine Millions Turf comes next. The 1 1/16-mile contest for older males includes the Mark Casse-trained Curlin’s Honor, who makes his Gulfstream debut after winning the Artie Schiller at Aqueduct last out. He was graded stakes placed five times in 2019. He is a stablemate of March to the Arch, who breaks from post nine at 7-2 morning line and is coming off a fifth-place effort in the grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland in October. That day he was beaten just a length at 21-1 odds.

The $200,000 Sunshine Millions Classic rounds out the stakes action. The 1 1/8-mile dirt race drew seven runners, and all seem to have a shot here. Red Crescent was a sharp stakes winner across town at Gulfstream Park West in November. Ortiz, Jr. rides. Salute With Honor has been top three in three of four tries here for Casse, Tyler Gaffalione will be up and he has won two of his last three. Jay’s Way is 12-1 morning line but was second in this race last year, beaten just a half-length. He comes in off a lengthy layoff since June of last year. Tap the Mojo was a four-length winner here December 29 over a mile, but loses Gaffalione for Luis Saez. Noble Drama and Super Dude round out the field.

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