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2023 Joseph Gimma Stakes Preview | Caldwell Luvs Gold Puts Unblemished Record On The Line

2023 Joseph Gimma Stakes Preview | Caldwell Luvs Gold Puts Unblemished Record On The Line

Dicke Racing’s undefeated stakes-winner Caldwell Luvs Gold will vie to double up on stakes score while maintaining an unblemished record in Sunday’s $125,000 Joseph A. Gimma, a seven-furlong sprint for New York-bred juvenile fillies, at Belmont at the Big A.

The Joseph A. Gimma is slated as Race 2 on Sunday’s nine-race card, which co-features the $125,000 Bertram F. Bongard in Race 8. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern. 

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Trained by two-time Eclipse Award-winner Brad Cox, Caldwell Luvs Gold was last seen scoring a determined half-length victory in the state-bred $200,000 Seeking the Ante on August 27 at Saratoga Race Course, overcoming a slow start to rally from last-of-6 and edge clear of Stellamaris in deep stretch of the six-furlong sprint. The effort was awarded a field-best 80 Beyer Speed Figure.

“She’s always been a bit sluggish out of the gate, even in the mornings before her first outing,” said Dustin Dugas, Cox’s Belmont-based assistant. “She jumps right away, but just wasn’t as quick as the others into her stride. But she’s made it work for her and has come up with her own running style.”

The daughter of Goldencents, bred by Jeremiah Desmond and Drumkenny Farm, graduated in her July 27 debut also traveling six furlongs at the Spa, pouncing from 8 1/2 lengths off the pace to kick clear to a 2 3/4-length score. Dugas said he expects the bay will appreciate an extra furlong for the first time in the Gimma.

“I love that, and both Brad and I think the further the better,” said Dugas. “I don’t know how far she wants to go, but definitely a little further than six furlongs. We’re excited about the seven.”

Caldwell Luvs Gold has breezed back twice over the Belmont Park training track since her Seeking the Ante win, most recently covering a half-mile in 49.29 seconds on September 17 in company with impressive debut maiden winner Gold Lightning. 

“It was a good breeze in company,” said Dugas. “It was really solid and she’s easy to ride and easy to please. She loves her job and is a simple filly on and off the track.”

Florent Geroux, the pilot in both of Caldwell Luvs Gold’s outings, retains the mount from post 3.

William Butler’s homebred My Mane Squeeze [post 5, Manny Franco] makes her stakes debut for trainer Mike Maker off an impressive second-out maiden victory on September 1 at Saratoga.

The Audible dark bay improved from a third in her August 10 debut with a change in tactics, challenging for the early lead instead of pouncing from off the pace as she did in her first start. My Mane Squeeze made easy work of her eight rivals, drawing clear at the top of the lane to score by 4 1/2 lengths and garner a 78 Beyer.

Out of the winning Speightstown mare In Spite of Mama, My Main Squeeze is a half-sister to the Maker-trained Rotknee, a multiple stakes-winning homebred for Butler.

Shea D Boy’s Stable’s My Shea D Lady [post 2, Junior Alvarado], who races with blinkers on, vies to turn the tables on Caldwell Luvs Gold after finishing a closing third in the Seeking the Ante for trainer Carlos David.

The dark bay daughter of Solomini graduated against open company when sprinting five furlongs in July at Gulfstream Park and stretched out for the Seeking the Ante to give her sire his first black type-placed runner.

My Shea D Lady, bred by McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds and purchased for $100,000 at the OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training, is the first foal produced from the Teuflesberg mare Ladyberg, a half-sister to multiple stakes-winner Hoosick Falls.

Last-out maiden-winner Nicky Jolene will try dirt for the first time after making her first two outings on grass for trainer Robert Falcone, Jr., who co-owns the daughter of Solomini with John Grossi’s Racing Corp.

Nicky Jolene has made both of her starts sprinting five furlongs, including her win on July 9 at Belmont by four lengths in gate-to-wire fashion. A $45,000 purchase at the OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training, Nicky Jolene is out of the graded stakes-winning More Than Ready mare More Than Love, who won Hollywood Park’s Grade 3 Miesque going one-mile over the grass in 2011.

Nicky Jolene, bred by Hidden Lake Farm and 3C Stables, will emerge from post 4 in rein to Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Completing the field is Richard Greeley’s Cara’s Time [post 1, Dylan Davis], who finished a distant fifth in the Seeking the Ante last out for trainer Mitchell Friedman.

Bred by Stephen Crestani, Jr., the daughter of Not This Time was a neck winner on debut in a five-furlong state-bred maiden tilt in June at Belmont. Cara’s Time will race with blinkers off.