Cairo Consort Chases Third Straight in Herecomesthebride (G3)
Dramatic Sweetest Chant (G3) Winner One of Two from Pletcher
Among Nine Stakes, Eight Graded, Worth $1.85 Million Saturday
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Town and Country Racing and Repole Stable’s multiple stakes winner Cairo Consort, who earned graded credentials in dramatic fashion last time out, returns Saturday seeking her third straight victory in the $200,000 Herecomesthebride (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
The one-mile Herecomesthebride for 3-year-old fillies on the grass is the fourth of nine stakes, eight graded, worth $1.85 million in purses on a blockbuster 14-race card anchored by the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) for 3-year-olds on the road to the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1).
Post time is 11 a.m. EST. The Herecomesthebride is carded as Race 9 with a post time of 3:01 p.m. EST.
Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, who previously won the Herecomesthebride with Pico Teneriffe in 1999 and Con Lima in 2021, has rarely had a more astonishing victory than that of Cairo Consort in the 1 1/16-mile Sweetest Chant (G3) Feb. 4 at Gulfstream. The Cairo Price filly threw her head in the air as the gates opened, spotted her rivals several lengths and trailed the field before uncorking a steady run through the stretch to win by three-quarters of a length.
“I thought it was a remarkable effort last time, when she got away the way she did, for her to be able to overcome that and do what she did and get up and win,” Pletcher said. “I think we learned a little bit about her and how she wants to be ridden. Obviously, we’d like to break with the field but then let her settle and make a run like she did that day.”
The Sweetest Chant was just the second start for Cairo Consort – winner of the 6 ½-furlong Catch a Glimpse last summer at Woodbine – since being purchased for $875,000 in November following her third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). She won the one-mile Ginger Brew Jan. 7 at Gulfstream first time for her new connections.
Irad Ortiz Jr. was aboard for each of the last two starts, and gets the return call from Post 7 in a field of 12. Pletcher credited Ortiz – both recently named Eclipse Award champions for 2022 – for his ride in the Sweetest Chant.
“It was just horrible timing. She turned her head right when they sprung the latch. But, Irad rode an intelligent race. A lot of times riders will try to make up those lost lengths right away, where he just took his time and patience paid off,” Pletcher said.
“I think she’s really putting it all together. Irad had commented in the previous race that when she made the lead she kind of idled a bit so he thought there was more in the tank that day,” he added. “I’d say after the last race that he was right.”
Pletcher will also be represented by Three Diamonds Farm’s Tituba, a daughter of multiple Grade 1 winner Good Magic that will be making her turf and stakes debut out of a front-running neck triumph in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight Jan. 29 at Gulfstream, her second career start.
“It’s a big step for her,” Pletcher said. “Just sort of looking at our options we felt like she’s got some turf in her pedigree. She’ll need to make a move forward, but we felt like it was worth a try.”
Julien Leparoux has the call on Tituba from Post 11.
Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse won back-to-back editions of the Herecomesthebride with Catch a Glimpse in 2016 and Dream Dancing in 2017. He returns this year with D.J. Stable, Medallion Racing, Barry Fowler and Parkland Thoroughbreds’ Papilio, bred in Ireland and entered to make her U.S. debut. She won two of five races at home last year and was sixth in a pair of group stakes, her most recent start coming in the seven-furlong Moyglare Stud (G1) Sept. 11.
Trainer Chad Brown is also a two-time winner of the Herecomesthebride, finishing first with Cambier Parc in 2019 and Dayatthespa in 2012, and entered the French-bred duo of Anna Karenine and Revalita to make their North American debut. Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, Seventh Sense Stable and e5 Racing Thoroughbreds’ Anna Karenine posted two wins from five starts in France, where Revalita went two-for-three.
C2 Racing Stable and Stefania Farms’ Blind Spot returns to South Florida for her sophomore debut after running ninth in the 1 1/16-mile Jessamine (G2) last fall at Keeneland in her first try on turf. She won two of her first three starts, each at Gulfstream, including back-to-back victories capped by the Our Dear Peggy going a mile and 70 yards on the Tapeta.
“She ran OK in the race at Keeneland,” Championship Meet leading trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said. “Her training has been good. She’s not an overzealous work horse and we need to get her back started. So, this is a good spot to get her back started and see where we are.”
Regular rider Edgard Zayas will get a leg up again from Post 5.
“It’s a good draw. Hopefully she can tuck over and save some ground and Edgard can ride his race from there,” Joseph said. “It’s a very competitive race and she’ll have to improve a lot to get a piece of it, but we want to give her a chance.”
Also entered are American Rockette, fourth in the Spinaway (G1) and Frizette (G1) last year and yet to race on turf; 2022 Untapable winner Danse Macabre, third last out in the Oct. 8 Matron (G3) at Aqueduct; Malleymoo and 2022 Tepin winner Sweetlou’sgotaces, respectively sixth and ninth in the Sweetest Chant; Moonage Daydream, last out winner of the Stewart Manor against New York-breds in November; and Riding Pretty, an optional claiming allowance winner sprinting 7 ½ furlongs Jan. 12 at Gulfstream.