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Sophie Doyle Set for Double Stakes Action

Dec 13, 2019
Up the Ante Looks to Make the Grade in Fort Lauderdale (G2)
Millionaires Imperial Hint, X Y Jet Top Nominees to Mr. Prospector (G3)

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Sophie Doyle has a pair of mounts on Saturday’s card at Gulfstream Park, where trainer John Ortiz will give the 33-year-old British-born jockey a leg up on Cairenn for the $100,000 Rampart (G3) and Pretty Greeley for the $100,000 Sugar Swirl (G3).

Ortiz will have supreme confidence in the abilities of prominent British rider James Doyle’s sister when he gives her a leg up on Cairenn and Pretty Greeley for their stakes – two of five stakes scheduled for an 11-race card that will feature the $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday (G3) and the $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2), preps for the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series at Gulfstream Jan. 25.

“She’s a fantastic rider. She’s very tactical. She understands horsemanship,” Ortiz said. “I think that what’s gotten her very far in the business.”

Doyle, who has been riding regularly in the U.S. since 2014, is enjoying a career season in 2019, during which she notched a Grade 1 win in the Cotillion at Parx aboard Street Band, whom she also guided to victory in the Fair Ground Oaks (G2) and Indiana Oaks (G3).

Following a successful apprenticeship in England, Doyle worked as an exercise rider in the U.S. for two years before resuming her jockey career. After riding nine horses in Southern California, Doyle switched her tack to the Midwest, where she has made steady inroads into demonstrating her savvy horsemanship.

“Her personality, in general, is optimistic. She’s always thinking ahead, always trying to figure out what she or the team can improve on the horse,” Ortiz said. “She’s knows it takes a whole team effort to win a race. I think her racing mind is one of the biggest assets for a jockey.”

Up the Ante Looks to Make the Grade in Fort Lauderdale (G2)

Castleton Lyons’ Up the Ante, a hard-luck fourth in his last try against graded company, finds himself in another competitive spot for his first start back in Saturday’s $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2).

The 1 1/8-mile Fort Lauderdale for 3-year-olds and up on the grass is the richest of five stakes, four graded, worth $600,000 in purses on an 11-race program that kicks off at noon.

Trained by Christophe Clement, Up the Ante drew Post 6 in a field of nine with jockey Paco Lopez and is listed at 6-1 on the morning line. Grade 2 winner Channel Cat, who will break alongside from Post 5, is the 3-1 program favorite.

“He’s been very consistent. He tries hard all the time. He deserves one of these bigger races, to be honest with you,” Clement’s son and assistant, Miguel, said. “I believe Gulfstream will suit him because he does have tactical speed, and we’re looking forward to his performance.”

Up the Ante, a 4-year-old chestnut son of Grade 1 winner Smart Strike, has been first or second in seven of 11 career starts with four wins, the most recent coming by a nose in front-running fashion Aug. 16 going 1 1/16 miles over the Saratoga turf.

In 2018, Up the Ante won the one-mile Manila Stakes at Belmont Park and ran second, beaten 1 ¼ lengths, after leading most of the way in the Saranac (G3) at Saratoga. Most recently, he lacked room to rally but wound up three-quarters of a length behind record-setting winner Caribou Club in the Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup (G3) Sept. 21 over Laurel Park’s world-class turf course, ridden by Manny Franco.

“He got stuck on the inside that day. The horse kind of hesitated and he didn’t get the clearest of stretch runs. I don’t blame Manny; he had a gap on the inside so he took it and it was just maybe a bit crowded and intimidated him,” Clement said. “He never caught a break in that race, to be honest, which is unfortunate. They went a quick pace and he was also doing all the ugly dirty work. He passed horses in front him and got denied by the three closers that came on the outside of us. But it happens.”

Up the Ante has raced once before at Gulfstream, running second in a one-mile optional claimer April 27 in his seasonal debut. The Fort Lauderdale will be just his fifth start this year.

“The weather up north took away some racing options. He needs firm turf and with the weather forecast in October and November we never caught a break, so we brought him down to Florida,” Clement said. “This has been the plan since about a month ago.”

Millionaires Imperial Hint, X Y Jet Top Nominees to Mr. Prospector (G3)

Raymond Mamone’s Grade 1 winner Imperial Hint and fellow multi-millionaire X Y Jet are prominent among 21 horses nominated to the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Saturday, Dec. 21 at Gulfstream Park.

The 65th running of the seven-furlong Mr. Prospector for 3-year-olds and up will be the first race for Imperial Hint since the 6-year-old captured the six-furlong Vosburgh (G1) by a nose Sept. 28 at Belmont Park.

Imperial Hint is 14-for-23 lifetime with a $2,199,155 bankroll and four career Grade 1 wins, taking the Alfred G. Vanderbilt at Saratoga and Vosburgh in back-to-back starts in 2018 and 2019. Overall he owns seven graded-stakes victories, his first coming in the 2017 General George (G3) at Laurel Park. In his lone race at Gulfstream, he won the six-furlong Smile Sprint (G2) in 2017.

Rockingham Ranch and Gelfenstein Farm’s X Y Jet owns 12 wins from 25 lifetime starts with $3,095,513 in purse earnings, not having raced since beating Imperial Hint and eight others in the $2.5 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) March 30.

Working regularly at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, X Y Jet has been third or better in 12 of 14 career races over Gulfstream’s main track, seven of them wins, including the 2018 Smile Sprint (G3).

Also among Mr. Prospector nominees are Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) runner-up and Amsterdam (G2) winner Shancelot and Grade 1-placed Jalen Journey, like X Y Jet trained by Jorge Navarro; 2019 Smile Sprint winner Diamond Oops; Art G Is Back, a multiple stakes winner at Gulfstream this summer; He Hate Me, third in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) Sept. 21 at Laurel; 2018 H. Allen Jerkens (G1) runner-up Seven Trumpets; and 2018 Wood Memorial (G3) show finisher Restoring Hope.

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