HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – A total of 139 nominations were received for the nine stakes slated for the $1.125 million Summit of Speed card July 2 at Gulfstream Park, highlighted by the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2) and the $250,000 Smile Sprint (G2), a pair of Breeders’ Cup ‘Win & You’re In’ events.
The Princess Rooney and Smile Sprint winners will earn fees-paid berths in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) and the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), respectively, at Santa Anita Nov. 5.
Forum Racing’s Birdatthewire and Harold Queen’s Sheer Drama top a list of 20 fillies and mares nominated for the seven-furlong Princess Rooney. The Dale Romans-trained Birdatthewire, who captured the 2015 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), earned Grade 1 credentials with a victory in the LaBrea Stakes at Santa Anita Dec. 26. The David Fawkes-trained Sheer Drama, a multiple Grade 1-stakes winner last year, captured the seven-furlong Madison (G1) at Keeneland in April.
Grade 1 stakes-placed Kiss to Remember, who finished third in the 2015 Princess Rooney, and Grade 3 winner Best Behavior were nominated by Miller Racing and trainer Marty Wolfson. Wolfson also nominated WinStar Farm’s Cali Star, who captured the Rampart (G3) at Gulfstream in December. Glenmare Farm’s I’m a Looker and Seajay Racing’s Spelling Again, who finished first and third, respectively, in the Winning Colors (G3) at Churchill Downs June 11, were also nominated.
Good Friends Stable’s Private Zone, a multiple Grade 1 stakes winner, is most prominent on the list of 17 nominations for the six-furlong Smile. Katherine Ball’s Limousine Liberal, runner-up to Runhappy in the King’s Bishop (G1) at Saratoga last summer, lost a photo finish in a second-place finish in the Aristides (G3) at Churchill Downs last time out.
Jacks or Better Farm’s Awesome Banner, who captured the Swale (G2) at Gulfstream during the Championship Meet, was nominated to the Smile, as well as the $150,000 Carry Back (G3), a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds on the Summit of Speed card. The Mark Casse-trained 3-year-old son of Awesome of Course returned to sprinting with a 2 ¾-length triumph in the Big Cypress at Gulfstream last time out after unsuccessfully stretching out in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and Tampa Bay Derby (G2).
Gelfenstein Farm’s Dearest, who captured the Royal Palms Stakes at Gulfstream Park June 4 by six lengths in her return from a third-place finish in the Davona Dale (G2), tops a list of 3-year-old fillies nominated to the $100,000 Azalea. The Gilberto Zerpa-trained daughter of Midshipman, who was also nominated for the Princess Rooney, has won three of four starts.
Other Summit of Speed stakes include the $75,000 Birdonthewire, a 5 ½-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds (18 nominations); the $75,000 Cassidy, a 5 ½-furlong sprint for juvenile fillies (17 nominations); the $75,000 Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint, a five-furlong dash for 3-year-olds and up (14 nominations); the $75,000 Miesque’s Approval, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds and up (17 nominations); and the $75,000 Spook Express, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for fillies and mares (20 nominations).