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Hurricane Bertie Preview: Sound Machine Returns To Winning Distance
Sound Machine winning the Glitter Woman (Credit: Coglianese Photos / Ryan Thompson)

Hurricane Bertie Preview: Sound Machine Returns To Winning Distance

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – e Five Racing Thoroughbreds’ Sound Machine returns to a distance where she last won a race for Saturday’s $100,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

The Hurricane Bertie is a 6 1/2-furlong dirt sprint open to fillies and mares ages 4 and up. This year’s edition is the 10th event on a 12-race card and has a local post time of 4:48 PM.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Hurricane Bertie:

1. Saguaro Row 7/2 – She makes her first start for new connections after she was purchased for $500k a month ago and sent to current trainer Kent Sweezey, who hits at 14% when experienced runners debut for his barn. She won a pair of 7-furlong Aqueduct stakes in late 2019 and early 2020, but the January 2020 Interborough is the last time she crossed the wire first.

2. Royal Meghan 10/1 – This Florida native left the comforts of the state-bred ranks and defeated open company optional claimers going 6 furlongs over this course in late January and has worked well since, indicating that she’s held her form. While she loses jockey Tyler Gaffalione (who kept his regular mount on Sound Machine), she attracted the Hall of Fame riding services of Javier Castellano.

3. Reluctant Bride 15/1 – She returns to the races for the first time since finishing a well-beaten fifth in last August’s Escena Stakes while going a local one-turn mile. She won both non-stakes attempts but hasn’t finished better than fourth or within 3 1/2 lengths of the winner at the stakes level, and trainer Patrick Biancone’s barn has gone ice-cold lately, winning just once in the past 160 days (1 for 51).

4. Pacific Gale 2/1 – She ended a 27-month cold streak by upsetting the local 7-furlong Inside Information Stakes (G2) last time out for her first victory over this course in 6 tries. Trainer John Kimmel repeats at a 21% rate with last-out winners and will leg up Junior Alvarado aboard the veteran 6-year-old for the third time; they were third in the Vagrancy (G3) and second against Saratoga optional claimers.

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5. Cory Gal 5/1 – This speedy Florida-bred makes her second start back following a nearly four-month layoff and nearly won her return, a local 6-furlong sprint against optional claimers that she tried taking gate to wire before getting caught late. She earned her first win beyond 6 furlongs 3 starts back when she was an 8 1/2-length winner over a sloppy edition of this course and distance.

6. Sonar 12/1 – She rallied past Cory Gal in the stretch last time out in her first start for new trainer Carlos David, who repeats at a 21% clip with last-out winners. She reunites with jockey Emisael Jaramillo, aboard for her maiden-breaking effort going 5 furlongs here on May 2019, and while she’s won 4 of 10 starts over this course, she’s also 0-for-2 lifetime when running farther than 6 furlongs.

7. Sound Machine 8/1 – She stretches out slightly after finishing third behind Sonar and Cory Gal in the aforementioned 6-furlong local sprint against optional claimers. She’s hit the board in 7 of 11 starts, both wins came on this course, and she won her only 6 1/2-furlong attempt in the January 2020 Glitter Woman Stakes with Gaffalione in the saddle, but she’s 0-for-7 since.

“She had a good work with (Florida Derby [G1]-bound stablemate) Collaborate the other day,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said. “Going into this race, we think we have a chance. Obviously, John Kimmel’s horse will be the favorite. We’re hoping to get her to run a big race. We’d like to get a graded stakes win out of her. This looks like a good opportunity to get it done.”

8. Slam Dunk 4/1 – She was a game winner in her first start for trainer Shug McGaughey, holding off optional claimers by a head while traveling over this course and distance in mid-February. That was her first start since she finished behind her four rivals in Keeneland’s Beaumont Stakes (G3) last July and she earned a career-best 82 Beyer Speed Figure; any improvement here makes her tough to stop.

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