Sunshine Meet Gets Under Way Friday at Gulfstream Park
Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ Princess Rooney Set for Oct. 7
FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Series Kicks off Sept. 9
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The Sunshine Meet will get under way with an eight-race program Friday at Gulfstream Park.
The Sunshine Meet, which runs through Nov. 26 leading up to the Dec. 1 Championship Meet opener, will be highlighted by the $200,000 Princess Rooney Invitational (G3) Oct. 7. The seven-furlong sprint for fillies and mares is a ‘Win and You’re in’ Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series event that offers the winner a fees-paid berth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
The first two legs of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes series will be featured on Sept. 9 and Oct. 21. The $100,000 Dr. Fager and the $100,000 Desert Vixen will kick off the annual series for 2-year-olds sired by accredited stallions standing in Florida Sept. 9. The two six-furlong events will be followed on Oct. 21 with the $200,000 Affirmed and the $200,000 Susan’s Girl, both at seven furlongs. (The final leg of the series will be contested Dec. 2 on the first weekend of the Championship Meet with the running of the $300,000 In Reality and the $300,000 My Dear Girl, both at 1 1 /16 miles.)
Jockey Leonel Reyes, who claimed his first riding title since venturing from Venezuela in 2016 during the recently concluded Royal Palm Meet, will seek to capture back-to-back championships at the Sunshine Meet while competing against a strong veteran jockey colony that includes Edgard Zayas, Edwin Gonzalez, Emisael Jaramillo, and Miguel Vasquez.
Saffie Joseph Jr., fresh off clinching the Royal Palm Meet championship, will seek his eighth South Florida title in a row at the Sunshine Meet.
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 gross jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $75,000 Friday after the popular multi-race wager went unsolved Sunday for the fourth consecutive racing day following a mandatory payout. The Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 3-8, featuring a first-level optional claiming allowance for 2-year-olds going 5 ½ furlongs on Tapeta. Victor Barboza Jr.-trained Grand Mo the First, a son of Uncle Mo, returns after graduating at first asking by 2 ¼ lengths on Tapeta. Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained Big Effect, who finished off the board in the Proud Man on the main track last time out, is also entered. The son of The Big Beast lost a photo finish to highly regarded Bentornato in his debut on Tapeta before graduating by nearly seven lengths on dirt.
First-race post time is set for 12:50 p.m.