Castellano to Ride Kiss to Remember in Filly & Mare Sprint (G1)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - Before shipping Miller Racing's Ballerina (G1) runner-up Kiss to Remember to Kentucky Sunday for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1), trainer Marty Wolfson will send out a trio in Saturday’s $75,000 Little Miss Magic Stakes at Gulfstream Park West.
Prayed For and Lori’s Store each won stakes for Wolfson during Gulfstream’s summer race meet, while In My Time was stakes-placed in her debut for the Wolfson barn last month. All three will be making their first starts over Gulfstream Park West’s turf oval for the 1 1/8-mile contest.
Ben P. Walden, Jr.’s Prayed For, a 4-year-old daughter of Dynaformer, was the most recent Wolfson trainee to notch a stakes triumph. After finishing eighth in the off-the-turf Wasted Tears on Sept. 5, the Kentucky-bred came alive when reintroduced to the turf in Gulfstream’s Panama City Sept. 26, producing an eye-opening move around the far turn before drawing off to a 1 ¼-length victory.
“They’re all doing good,” Wolfson said of his trio. “[Prayed For], I’m just trying to let her relax because she used to go to the front. In [the Panama City] she dropped back to last. That’s where I want her to run from.”
Miller Racing’s In My Time was third in the Panama City in what was her first start for Wolfson. The effort left the Gulfstream-based conditioner impressed, considering the 4-year-old had only arrived in South Florida days earlier. By Scat Daddy, In My Time had previously run second in the Opelousas Stakes at Evangeline Downs July 25.
“She had just shipped in and hadn’t worked for a month,” Wolfson said. “We bought her up there, and [her previous connections] didn’t work her; they just sent her down. She didn’t work for a month and ran like that, so I think she’s probably the sharpest coming into [this race].”
Lori’s Store, the longest-standing member of the Wolfson’s shed row, having been purchased by Miller Racing at the beginning of the year, may boast the biggest credentials. The 5-year-old grey daughter of El Prado rallied to back-to-back stakes wins at Gulfstream this summer, taking the Spook Express and Soaring Softly in July and August, respectively. Most recently, the Florida-bred shipped to Kentucky for the Fasig-Tipton Ladies Turf Stakes at Kentucky Downs, where she finished seventh when forced seven-wide over the European-style turf course.
“She didn’t like the course,” Wolfson said. “It’s up and down, and it was terrible for her.”
The Wolfson contingent is strong in size and stature, but they will still be met by formidable challengers in the Little Miss Magic, including multiple graded stakes winner Kitten’s Dumplings. The Mike Maker trainee won the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) as a 3-year-old in 2013 but then did not race again until January of 2015. The Kitten’s Joy mare has made four starts this year, most recently checking in fifth in the Glen Hill One Dreamer Stakes at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 19.
Zloty, trained by Todd Pletcher, seeks her first stakes victory in the Little Miss Magic. The 4-year-old Exchange Rate filly was fourth in the Wasted Tears after hitting the board in a trio of allowances at Monmouth Park this summer, including a win three starts back on June 21. Stakes-placed Latique and Weekend Appeal, in addition to maiden winner Tis Duet, complete the field.
Meanwhile, Wolfson reported Kiss to Remember, winner of Gulfstream's Monroe Handicap in July, will ship to Keeneland from his base at Gulfstream Park on Sunday to prepare for the Breeders' Cup.
A 4-year-old daughter of Big Brown, Kiss to Remember joined the Wolfson stable in June, after Miller Racing purchased her privately following a fourth-place finish in the Minnesota H.B.P.A. Distaff Stakes at Canterbury Park. Since arriving in South Florida, the chestnut filly has done little wrong, finishing third in the ‘Win and You’re In’ Princess Rooney (G2) in July and running off with the Monroe by 6 ¾ lengths before shipping to Saratoga and finishing a troubled second in the Ballerina (G1). That legitimized Wolfson’s belief in her, as he prepped the Maryland bred for the Breeders’ Cup with a runner-up finish behind Jerry Bozzo’s multiple stakes winner Flutterby in the Added Elegance Stakes on Sept. 27.
Kiss to Remember most recently breezed a half-mile in 49.12 seconds at Gulfstream Oct. 17, her second work since the Added Elegance, and will record one more breeze before departing for Lexington, where she will gallop over the track until breaking from the gate on Championship Weekend.
“She’s doing good,” Wolfson said. “She’s leaving Sunday and working here Saturday.”
Wolfson also reported that Javier Castellano, the nation’s leading rider with more than $22.5 million in earnings this year from 278 victories, will ride Kiss to Remember in the Breeders’ Cup.
“I’m glad about that,” Wolfson said.