Lovely Luvy, Sugar Fix Double Trouble in Ginger Punch
Mandatory Rainbow 6 Payout Set for Sunday
Joseph, Maker Duos Set for Clash in Solder’s Dancer
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Sonata Stable’s Lovely Luvy and Big Frank Stable and Mad Dog Racing Stable’s Sugar Fix give trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. a double threat in Sunday’s $65,000 Ginger Punch at Gulfstream Park.
The Ginger Punch, a 7 ½-furlong stakes for Florida-bred fillies and mares on turf, will co-headline a 14-race program with the $65,000 Soldier’s Dancer, a 7 ½-furlong stakes on turf for Florida-bred 3-year-olds and up.
The Soldier’s Dancer is carded as Race 13 and will headline the Rainbow 6 sequence (Races 9-14) on Mandatory Payout Day. Should the popular multi-race wager go unsolved through Saturday, the Rainbow 6 jackpot pool is expected to approach $3.5 million.
Lovely Luvy and Sugar Fix finished 1-2, respectively, when they competed against each other in the Jan. 22 Sunshine Filly and Mare Turf at Gulfstream. Sugar Fix, a 5-year-old daughter of Treasure Beach, took the lead into the stretch of the mile-and-70-yard stakes that had been transferred to the Tapeta surface, only to be caught by Lovely Luvy, a 6-year-old daughter of He’s Had Enough.
“They’re two different horses in style. Sugar Fix is more forwardly placed with a good turn of foot,” Joseph said. “Lovely Luvy comes from behind. She’s kind of a one-paced filly who comes from behind.”
Recent rainy weather in South Florida leaves open the distinct possibility that the Ginger Punch, which is carded as Race 6, may be transferred from turf to Tapeta.
“Sugar Fix is probably better on the grass, but she ran OK the last time [she ran on Tapeta],” Joseph said. ‘Lovely Luvy is a bit better in that aspect.”
Prior to her runner-up finish in the Sunshine Filly and Mare Turf, Sugar Fix captured the Claiming Crown Tiara on turf. Most recently she finished fourth in the Honey Fox (G3) and fifth in the Sand Springs while taking on open company.
Lovely Luvy, who was never a factor in the Honey Fox the last time she joined Sugar Fix in the starting gate, most recently finished fifth in an open optional claiming allowance.
Junior Alvarado has the call on Lovely Luvy, while Edwin Gonzalez has the mount on Sugar Fix.
Robert Amendola’s Una Luna, a 7-year-old daughter of Dunkirk who has finished first or second in 17 of 32 career starts on turf; Robert Cotran’s Tracy Ann’s Legacy, a 6-year-old daughter of Shackleford who has won 7 of 23 turf races; and Imaginary Stables’ Passion Pluss, a 7-year-old daughter of Passion for Gold who beat weaker on Tapeta two races back; Rore Champion Racing LLC’s Lookinlikeaqueen, the winner of a Florida-bred optional claiming allowance last time out; and Rolling Meadows Farm’s Promise Me; round out the field.
Joseph will also be represented by a pair of contenders for the Soldier’s Dancer – Ten Twenty Racing’s Max K.O. and Mercy Man Racing’s Freedom Matters.
Max K.O. will seek to break a six-race losing streak since capturing a Kentucky Downs’ starter allowance last fall. The 6-year-old son of J. P.’s Gusto returns to Gulfstream after finishing second in the Turf Classic for state-breds at Tampa and sixth in the Opening Verse at Churchill Downs.
Freedom Matters, who finished fifth in the Turf Classic after winning back-to-back races, is coming off a narrow loss in a optional claiming allowance.
Junior Alvarado has the call on Max K. O. while Edwin Gonzalez has the return mount on Freedom Matters.
Trainer Michael Maker also has strong representation in the Soldier’s Dancer in Randall Russell’s Alabama Slammer and Me and Mr. C.
Alabama Slammer is scheduled to make his first start for Maker while coming off an allowance score at Tampa Bay Downs. Me and Mr. C looms as the horse to beat after capturing the Mr. Steele at Gulfstream.
Should the Soldier’s Dancer be transferred to the Tapeta course, Maurice Miller LLC’s Uno Tiger is sure to get plenty of attention from bettors. The Kathleen O’Connell-trained 5-year-old gelding has won four of his five starts on the all-weather surface, including his three most recent starts.
PVC Stables LLC and Allen Iwinski LLC’s Dominate Themoment, Palm Beach Racing Partnership’s Hot Blooded, Jacks Or Better Farm Inc.’s Shivaree, and Imaginary Stable and trainer Elizabeth Dobles’ Cuy round out the field.