Midwest Thoroughbreds’ homebred gelding, who posted a half-length victory in the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita last November, is scheduled to compete in the $250,000 Smile Sprint (G2), a six-furlong sprint that attracted 29 nominations. The Smile, along with the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2), has been designated as a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re in’ events.
The Roger Brueggemann-trained Work All Week finished a troubled second in his 2015 debut in the Aristides (G3) at Churchill Downs on May 30. Alsvid, who prevailed over the Eclipse champion by two lengths in the Aristides, is also scheduled to ship from Kentucky to Gulfstream for the Smile, which attracted 29 nominations. Other notable nominees include Grade 1 stakes winner Private Zone, multiple graded-stakes winner Salutos Amigos, 2014 Fountain of Youth (G2) winner and Florida Derby (G1) runner-up Wildcat Red, as well as prominent local sprinters Grande Shores and City of Weston.
Victor Espinoza, who rode American Pharoah for a sweep of the 2015 Triple Crown, is scheduled to ride City of Weston, among other mounts on the Summit of Speed program. The three-time Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes-winning jockey is slated to sign autographs prior to the program.
The Princess Rooney, a six-furlong stakes for fillies and mares, attracted 25 nominations, including multiple graded-stakes winner Merry Meadow, who is slated to ship from New York back to Gulfstream, where she captured the Sugar Swirl (G3) and Hurricane Bertie (G3) during the Championship Meet. Gulfstream Park-based R Free Roll, who captured the Honorable Miss (G2) at Saratoga last season, is expected to seek her third straight stakes victory at Gulfstream.
The Smile and Princess Rooney will be supported by the $150,000 Carry Back (G3) and the $150,000 Azalea (G3), as well as five other stakes.
Trainer Todd Pletcher, the 12-time Championship Meet champion conditioner, nominated nine horses for the Carry Back, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds that attracted 33 nominations. Starlight Stables’ Two Weeks Off, who finished third in the Peter Pan (G2), is the most likely nominee to make the journey to Gulfstream for the defending Eclipse Award-winning trainer.
Barbados, who captured the Spectacular Bid and the Hutcheson (G2) during the Championship Meet before being sidelined; and Bluegrass Singer, who won the Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream in January, have also been nominated for the Carry Back.
The Azalea, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies, drew 19 nominees, including Huasca, whose second-place finish in the Miss Preakness (G3) was sandwiched between a pair of winning efforts at Gulfstream Park. The Bill Kaplan-trained pair of stakes competitors, Naval Command and Moment of Delight; Warriorscmoutoplay, who has won three straight, including the Jostle Stakes at Parx last time out; trainer Pat Dupuy-trained I’m a Looker and Classy Corinthian, a pair of Churchill Downs allowance winners; as well as the Pletcher-trained Enchantress and the Dale Romans-trained Sweet Swinging; were also nominated to the Azalea.
The $75,000 Birdonthewire, a 5 ½-furlong stakes for 2-year-olds, and the $75,000 Cassidy, a 5 ½-furlong stakes for 2-year-old fillies, attracted 29 and 21 nominations, respectively.
The $75,000 Bob Humphrey Turf Sprint, a five-furlong test on grass that attracted 24 nominations; the $75,000 Spook Express, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for fillies and mares that drew 27 nominations; and the $75,000 Miesque’s Approval, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes that drew 25 nominations; will also be contested on the July 5 program.