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Gulfstream Park Preview | Wait A While Stakes 2023: Buttercream Babe Back From Breeders’ Cup
Buttercream Babe (Carolyn Simancik/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup)

Gulfstream Park Preview | Wait A While Stakes 2023: Buttercream Babe Back From Breeders’ Cup

Three Diamonds Farm’s Buttercream Babe is entered to make a quick return from a start in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) in Saturday’s $100,000 Wait A While at Gulfstream Park.

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The connections of the graded stakes-placed daughter of Twirling Candy are just hoping that she will actually get to run in the 7 ½-furlong turf stakes for 2-year-old fillies that will co-headline Saturday’s program with the $100,000 Pulpit.

That was not the case in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, in which the Michael Maker-trained filly broke a step slowly from her rail post position and was denied running room in a field of 14 throughout the mile stakes at Santa Anita Nov. 3.

“It was a tough draw and not an ideal break. She got pretty much crushed going into the first turn,” said assistant trainer Nolan Ramsey of Buttercream Babe’s trip that resulted in a last-place finish. “I’d liked to have seen her pick up her feet a little bit more coming down the lane, but when all is said and done, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference.”

Buttercream Babe has been training forwardly after returning to Maker’s stable in Kentucky, showing no negative signs from her Breeders’ Cup journey.

“She came back great. It was just an unfortunate draw and an even more unfortunate trip,” Ramsey said.  “She’s handled everything good since. Hopefully, she can rebound Saturday.”

Buttercream Babe entered the Breeders’ Cup off a troubled second-place finish at Santa Anita in the Surfer Girl (G3), in which he vied for the lead throughout the mile turf stakes only to be beaten by a neck after experiencing bumping nearing the finish.

“She ran her race, especially being a quick turnaround and a big ship,” Ramsey said. “We were asking a lot of her, and she really showed up,” Ramsey said. “I’m not so sure she shouldn’t have been put up in that race. Going into the Breeders’ Cup, we thought we had a shot until the post-position draw. As soon as the gates opened, the race was over.”

Prior to shipping to the West Coast, Buttercream Babe won at first asking and finished third in the Untapable Stakes at Kentucky Downs.

Hector Diaz Jr. is scheduled to ride the Kentucky-bred filly for the first time Saturday.

Qatar Racing LLC’s Milliat is scheduled to make her U.S. debut in the Wait A While for trainer Jack Sisterson. The Irish-bred daughter of Kodiac won her debut in a seven-furlong all-weather maiden race at Dundalk in Ireland Sept. 23.

“She’s a really nice filly. We were second in the race last year with Malleymoo. We kind of know the types that can handle American racing,” Sisterson said. “They have to have a good mind and a bit of speed, and she has all the above and more.”

Luis Saez, a three-time Championship Meet titlist, has the call on Milliat, who isn’t at all likely to cast a huge shadow on Gulfstream’s new turf course.

“She’s a typical European – a bit on the smaller side. She’s very athletic,” said Sisterson, who saddled Seminole Chief for a victory in last weekend’s $300,000 In Reality. “She has a great mind. Some of the Europeans, you stand them up against a big dirt horse, and they’re like Mini-Mes.”

Trainer Christophe Clement is represented in the 10-horse field by Cheyenne Stable LLC’s Ozara and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Steven Rocco’s Beach Cruiser.

Ozara, an Irish-bred daughter of Lupe de Vega is coming off a second-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Chelsea Flower on turf at Aqueduct. Previously, she won her debut at Saratoga over a pair of next-out winners and finished fourth in the Natalma (G1) at Woodbine.

Beach Cruiser, a daughter of Catalina Cruiser, is coming off a maiden score in a six-furlong New York-bred race on turf at Aqueduct.

Irad Ortiz Jr. will ride Ozara for the first time Saturday, while Edgard Zayas has the call on Beach Cruiser.

Six Column Stables LLC and partners’ Cairo Street, Starry Night Racing’s Done Enough, AMO Racing USA’s Madame Mischief, Anne-33 LLC’s Good Bright Flames, Orlyana Farm’s Great Venezuela, and Arindel’s Mist round out the field.