Favorite Imposing Grace 120-pound Highweight
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Myron and Robert Miller’s Miller Racing LLC and trainer Marty Wolfson are usually very well represented in stakes for fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park, and Saturday’s $60,000 Alachua Handicap is no exception.
The owner-trainer combo has entered three horses in a field of seven fillies and mares for the 1 1/16-mile main-track feature: Onna Bugeisha, Phaniebdancing and Quiet Hour.
Miller Racing’s focus on acquiring fillies and mares with proven track records and sending them to Wolfson has resulted in abundant success, both on the racetrack and in the sales ring.
“We get them; then, we sell them in a year or two,” Wolfson said. “Last year, we sold six or seven for a lot of money.”
Myron Miller’s most impressive success came in a Chasing Tail Stables Partnership with Starship Truffles, whom Wolfson transformed from a former low-priced claimer to a Grade 1 stakes winner and who subsequently brought a $1 million winning bid at auction a few years ago.
Saturday, Miller Racing and Wolfson will seek to further the racing careers of Onna Bugeisha, Phaniebdancing and Quiet Hour in a quest to increase their respective values as future broodmares.
Onna Bugeisha, a stakes-placed 5-year-old daughter of First Samurai, was favored to win the first start for her new connections at Gulfstream but finished a close third after stalking the pace in the mile Sand Dollar on April 19.
“She just shipped in three days before the race from California. She got tired,” Wolfson said. “She just got beat by a length and she’s better going two turns. That was one turn.”
Phaniebdancing is set to make her first start for Miller Racing and Wolfson in the Alachua. The 4-year-old daughter of Congrats, who has been in the money in 11 of 16 starts in Illinois, was claimed for $50,000 out of a winning effort at Hawthorne last time out. Her versatility was of particular interest to her new connections.
“She can run short and long, that’s why we got her. She can do both,” Wolfson said. “I really like her. She’s training really well.”
Quiet Hour has raced 10 times for Wolfson with one victory, that coming in a second-level optional claiming allowance during the Championship Meet. Two starts back, she finished third behind graded-stakes winner R Free Roll in the Orange Blossom at Gulfstream.
“She’s a closer,” Wolfson side. “She might pick up a piece.”
The Wolfson-trained trio is expected to be joined in the starting gate by four capable rivals, including Imposing Grace, the 120-pound highweight who recently defeated Onna Bugeisha in the Sand Dollar. The Lars Becdelamotte-trained 6-year-old mare, who won the Arlington Matron (G3) in 2013, showed her back class in the Sand Dollar with a late-running charge to put Coffeepot Stables in the winner’s circle.
Right Time Racing’s Nice Number is expected to ship from Churchill Downs in search of black type, The Brad Cox-trained 4-year-old daughter of Pioneerof the Nile has won four of eight races, two on turf and two over wet main tracks.
Keith Plaisance’s Sweet Basil returned to trainer Ralph Nicks after a pair of turf efforts at Fair Grounds with an impressive going-away 2 ¾-length optional claiming allowance victory at Gulfstream on April 11. Monarch Stables’ B L’s Wagon enters the Alachua off three straight open-lengths victories in claiming and starter allowance company.
The Alachua is carded as the eighth-race on a 10-race program.