City of Weston, Dad'z Laugh Meet in $75,000 Big Drama
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Holiday Magic has run at four different tracks and at six different distances while placing first, second or third in seven of nine career starts.
So what hasn't she done? Run on turf, and that will be crossed off the list Saturday afternoon when she meets a dozen other 3-year-old fillies in the $75,000 Honey Ryder at Gulfstream Park.
Trained by Bill Kaplan and owned by Pinnacle Racing Stables, H. Jack Hendricks and Roger Justice, Holiday Magic will attempt to win her second consecutive stakes race on a nine-race program that also includes the $75,000 Big Drama, a 6 1/2 furlong test for 3-year-olds and up that has drawn Gulfstream Park Sprint Stakes (G3) runner-up Narvaez, 2013 Gallant Bob (G3) winner City of Weston, and multiple-stakes placed Dad'z Laugh.
First race post time is 1:25 p.m.
Holiday Magic has been a model of consistency for Kaplan. The daughter of Congrats comes into the Honey Ryder off a victory April 5 in the Stonehedge Farm South Sophomore Stakes at seven furlongs at Tampa Bay Downs. Along with winning the Brave Raj last year at Calder, Holiday Magic hit the board in all three Florida Stallion Stakes as a juvenile. She was second in the Desert Vixen at six furlongs, third in the Susan’s Girl at seven furlongs and third in the My Dear Girl at 1 1/16 miles.
After kicking off her 3-year-old year with a third-place finish in the OBS Championship in Ocala, Holiday Magic finished eighth in the Davona Dale (G2), one of the few poor performances on her resume. “She was running against top fillies that day (Onlyforyou and House Rules) and she had trouble leaving the gate,” Kaplan said.
While Kaplan said he thought of keeping Holiday Magic sprinting on the dirt, he’s open to trying his filly on the turf. Three years ago Kaplan made the decision to run his 4-year-old filly Musical Romance exclusively in sprints. The filly wound up winning the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) and being named champion female sprinter.
“We’ve wanted to try grass with her,” he said. “I always thought she was a distance filly on dirt, but she did so well on the dirt sprinting in Tampa I was thinking of sprinting her. Now this race has come up and we want to give it a try. It comes up at the right time for her and we believe she’s a multifaceted filly. She should transition to the turf.”
Holiday Magic’s opposition Saturday will include Daring Kathy, a winner in her only start at Gulfstream and victorious across the turf last time out in an optional allowance claimer, Little Michelle, who won and finished third twice in her three turf races, and Florida Sun, second last time out in the Calder Oaks.
In the $75,000 Big Drama, to be contested at 6 ½ furlongs on the main track, City of Weston and Dad'z Laugh will likely be two of the betting favorites.
City of Weston, trained by Antonio Sano, had an eventful 3-year-old season, winning the Gallant Bob at Parx, finishing second in both the Hard Spun Stakes at Delaware and Spectacular Bid at Gulfstream, and finishing third in the City of Laurel in Maryland. The son of Holy Bull kicked off his 4-year-old campaign April 5 at Tampa when finishing second in the $75,000 Sprint Stakes.
Dad'z Laugh, the 5-2 favorite ridden by Elvis Trujillo, comes into the Big Drama off a second-place finish Florida Derby Day in the Sir Shackleton. The 4-year-old son of Black Mambo previously finished second to Ribo Bobo in the Caixa Eletronica. Trained by Dubis Chaparro, Dad'z Laugh will break from the rail.
Trainer Marty Wolfson will saddle Majestic Cause, a lightly-raced son of Majestic Warrior who has placed in all four of his starts at Gulfstream.