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Andreya’s Reward Trying Dirt in $75,000 Hut Hut

Nov 25, 2015
127 Entries for Saturday Program
Stakes-Winning Filly Exits Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1)
Rival Silent Prayer One of Four Stanley Gold-Trained Horses in Saturday’s Dirt Stakes

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – After four starts on grass to open her career, N.T.S. Stable, Inc. and Kathryn Davey’s Andreya’s Reward will try dirt for the first time in Saturday’s $75,000 Hut Hut Stakes at Gulfstream Park West.

The one-mile Hut Hut is one of six $75,000 stakes showcasing juveniles on the 11-race program which closes the two-month Fall Turf Festival meet. The Hut Hut and six-furlong House Party, both for females, and the one-mile Smooth Air and six-furlong Buffalo Man for males will all be run over the main track.

A total of 127 horses have been entered.

A bay daughter of Grade 1 winner Warrior’s Reward, Andreya’s Reward won twice in three tries at the one-mile distance, cruising by four lengths in her Aug. 15 unveiling and coming back a two-length winner as the favorite in the Our Dear Peggy Stakes Oct. 3, both at Gulfstream Park.

Four weeks later, Andreya’s Reward was compromised by the yielding turf at Keeneland when she finished last of 14 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) Oct. 30. Not wanting to risk meeting a similarly soft course on Saturday, trainer Milt Wolfson felt the time was right to see how his filly would fare on dirt.

“My filly has never run on the dirt because all three times that the dirt races weren’t filling and we ran on the grass, she liked the grass. But, she trains well on the dirt and I don’t think there’s any question that quality-wise the dirt race is probably the easier race,” Wolfson said. “For all I know, she may be even better on the dirt. We just let her blow out three-eighths of a mile the other day and she went in 34 [seconds] and galloped out strong. Paco Lopez was on her and he could barely pull her up.”

Originally purchased for $40,000 out of Keeneland’s November 2013 Breeders’ Stock Sale, Andreya’s Reward brought $15,000 as a 2-year-old in training this June in Ocala. Lopez will ride for the first time in the Hut Hut.

“I loved the way she moved at the sale. I couldn’t believe I got her for what I got her for,” Wolfson said. “She’s a big, grand-looking filly. When we got to training her, she’s a big, grand-moving filly. She covers a world of ground. It looks like she’ll definitely go farther than a mile. We’ll see how it plays out. So far, so good. It should be interesting.”

Already with seven starts this year including her debut victory May 6 at Gulfstream, Silent Prayer placed in four consecutive stakes from July to October, finishing second in the Desert Vixen and Susan’s Girl and third in the My Dear Girl and Birdonthewire.

Her last two races have come at Gulfstream Park West, running fourth in a one-mile optional claiming allowance Oct. 22 and second to Brandy’s Girl in the Juvenile Fillies Sprint Nov. 7. Jacks or Better Farm’s homebred daughter of Brooks ‘n Down is one of four Stanley Gold-trained horses running in Saturday’s dirt stakes.

“Rather than run her [and Ballet Diva] against each other I’m going to run her in the [Hut Hut],” Gold said. “She seemed to handle the two turns OK and she handled the track over there OK, so we’ll give her another chance.”

Carded as race 10, the Hut Hut has also drawn stakes-placed Bella Flor and Rontos Lily, recent maiden winners Baby I’m Worth It, Be Sure Lisa, Bonita and Little Priscilla, as well as Chief Attraction, Royal Story, Raisedtobeawarrior and Virgen Morena.

Gold will also send out multiple stakes winner Ballet Diva to meet Brandy’s Girl in the House Party to kick off the stakes action in the second race of the afternoon. Unraced since coming up empty as the favorite in the My Dear Girl, Ballet Diva cuts back from 1 1/16 miles after opening her career with four Gulfstream sprints including victories in the Susan’s Girl and Cassidy Stakes.

“I don’t think Ballet Diva wants two turns. I think she would probably be good at any sprints up to a mile but the closer you get to the mile, the more diminished my expectations are. I don’t think six furlongs is any problem,” Gold said. “The northern people are trickling down more and more by the day and the company in these races might be a whole lot better than what we’ve been running against in the summer. It’ll be a way better test to see how they’ll fare during the Championship Meet, so we’ll find out.”

Brandy’s Girl won the Juvenile Fillies Sprint, her third career start, in front-running fashion similar to her maiden victory Sept. 26 at Monmouth Park for owner-trainer Eddie Broome. Also entered are Dad’s Kiddo, Fabulous Dream, Skip the Romance, Thatta Boy Girl and Villainy, all coming off maiden wins.

The Smooth Air attracted a field of eight led by Gold-trained In Reality Stakes winner Fellowship, the Birdonthewire runner-up who also ran second as the favorite in the Juvenile Sprint Stakes Nov. 7, his Gulfstream Park West debut. The other two-time winner in the field is Golden Legacy Stable’s El Charro, who romped by 8 ¼ lengths in a one-mile optional claiming allowance over the track Oct. 23.

Rounding out the Smooth Air field are recent maiden winners American Phantom, Asterisk, Half Ton of Fun and Sumpter, along with Rafting, who broke his maiden going seven furlongs Sept. 5 at Saratoga for trainer Graham Motion, and maiden Little Sky. It will go off as race 4.

Stakes winners Bullet Gone Astray, Formal Summation and Full Salute headline the Buffalo Man for sprinters, carded as race 8. Bullet Gone Astray won the Mountaineer Juvenile in his second start Aug. 1 and, after finishing off the board in the Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga and the Armed Forces Stakes on turf, returned to dirt and closed to be third, a length behind Fellowship, in the Juvenile Sprint Stakes.

Trained by Kathleen O’Connell, Formal Summation was an impressive Gulfstream maiden winner July 12 who won the 5 ½-furlong Laurel Futurity Sept. 12 after the race was moved to a sloppy and sealed main track. Most recently, he tired to fourth after setting the pace in the Hall of Fame Stakes Sept. 26 at Parx, 7 ¾ lengths behind Full Salute.

Gold’s stakes-placed Brighton Lane, a full brother to multiple graded stakes winner Jackson Bend; recent maiden winners Drama Club, Flipshot and Pirellone; Cat Tree, unraced since finishing fourth the June 5 Tremont Stakes, and Dane Kobiskie-trained stablemate Fast Karma; and Danbury round out the field.

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