Trained by Aubrey Maragh, the 4-year-old son of Successful Appeal is set to seek back-to-back stakes successes and three wins in a row at the five-furlong distance of the Bonita.
Claimed for $20,000 out of a maiden-breaking performance at five furlongs April 30, Successful Native is scheduled to make his fourth start for his current connections while taking on nine rivals in the Bonita.
Assistant trainer Ricko Maragh recalled his first impression of his father’s stable’s new acquisition.
“I thought, ‘We’ve got a nice horse. This could be a runner,’” Maragh said. “His body, his legs, his structure, the way he handles himself, he’s just classy.”
Successful Native finished a late-closing second in his first start for his new connections while stepping up into first-level allowance company on May 23. Equipped with blinkers for the first time on June 7, he surged through the stretch to win an optional claiming allowance by 3 ½ lengths. Making his stakes debut in the $75,000 Bob Humphrey Turf Sprint on July 5, he chased pacesetter Noble Bird into the stretch before prevailing by a neck under jockey Juan Leyva.
“Since we put the blinkers on, nobody’s been able to beat him,” said the 23-year-old Maragh, a Miramar resident who was born in Jamaica and moved to the U.S. with his father, mother and two sisters when he was 6.
A long-range goal for Successful Native is the $110,000 Claiming Crown Canterbury, a five-furlong turf race for horses that have raced for a claiming price of $25,000 or less, Dec. 5 at Gulfstream.
Another possible candidate for the Canterbury, Noble Prince, is set to return for a third straight battle with Successful Native in the Bonita. Claimed by Averill Racing for $25,000 out of a third-place finish behind Successful Native June 7, the 5-year-old son of Chapel Royal held gamely after setting the pace in the Humphrey Turf Sprint.
Trained by Sally Mitchelhill, Noble Prince is scheduled to be ridden by Jesus Rios.
Graded-stakes winner Singanothersong is scheduled to make his second career start on turf and first appearance on grass since he finished second in an entry-level allowance on Nov. 21, 2012 at Gulfstream Park West. The 5-year-old son of Songandaprayer returned to dirt racing after his turf debut and became a prominent sprinter in 2013, finishing second in the Grade 3 Swale and winning the Mr. Prospector (G3).
The Ron Pellegrini-trained sprinter is winless in seven starts since his graded-stakes win but showed improved form in a recent third-place finish in an optional claiming allowance July 18. Venezuelan star jockey Emisael Jaramillo has the mount aboard Herman Van Den Broeck’s homebred.
Frank Calabrese’s Dreaming of Neno, who finished second ahead of Singanothersong last time out, is slated to make only his second start on turf in the Bonita for trainer Michael Petro.
Rontos Racing Stable Corp.’s Breitling Flyer, a veteran turf stakes performer, is set to start in the Bonita after finishing third in the Humphrey. Lael Stables and partners’ Anyriderill Do is scheduled to make his second local start after coming up short in a fourth-place Humphrey finish in his 2015 debut.
El Botas, Running Cat, Rockemagain, Do the Roar and Hold On Smokey round out the field.