Seven stakes, including four graded stakes, worth $1.225 million in purses will support the $16 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 27.
The $200,000 W. L. McKnight (G3), the $200,000 La Prevoyante (G3), the $175,000 Fred W. Hooper (G3), the $175,000 Hurricane Bertie presented by Fasig-Tipton (G3), the $175,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint, the $175,000 Ladies’ Turf Sprint and $125,000 South Beach attracted a total of 157 nominations.
Grade 1 stakes winners Sadler’s Joy, Bullard’s Alley and Bigger Picture top the list of 27 nominations for the McKnight, a 1 ½-mile turf stakes for older horses.
Woodslane Farm’s Sadler’s Joy won the McKnight, as well as the Pan American Turf (G2), at Gulfstream last year before going on to win the Sword Dancer (G1) at Saratoga for trainer Tom Albertrani. Wayne Spalding and Faron McCubbins’ Bullard’s Alley, who was saddled for a victory in the Canadian International (G1) by Tim Glyshaw at Woodbine in October, is set for a return to Gulfstream after losing a win-photo in the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes Dec. 30. Three Diamonds Farm’s Bigger won the United Nations (G1) at Monmouth in July after capturing the Mac Diarmida (G2) at Gulfstream in March for trainer Mike Maker.
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Richard Baltas-trained Midnight Crossing and Shug McGaughey-trained Apple Betty, who captured graded-stakes in their most recent starts, are prominent on the list of nominations for the La Prevoyante, a 1 ½- mile turf stakes for older fillies and mares. Santa Anita-based Midnight Crossing won the Robert J Frankel (G3) for Abbondanza Racing and Medallion Racing Dec. 30. Joseph Allen’s Apple Betty captured the Dowager (G3) at Keeneland in October.
Todd Pletcher-trained Tommy Macho, One Liner and You’re to Blame are on the list of 20 nominations for the Fred W. Hooper, a mile stakes for older horses. Tommy Macho, who won the 2016 Hooper, captured the Hal’s Hope (G3) at Gulfstream last year for Paul Pompa Jr. and J Stables. One Liner is undefeated in three starts, including a victory in the Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn for owners WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International and SF Racing. Bortolazzo Stable’s You’re To Blame is a graded stakes-placed 4-year-old who finished a head behind Jay’s Way and J Boys Echo in a recent optional claiming allowance.
Multiple Grade 2 winner Curlin’s Approval tops a list of 20 nominations for the Hurricane Bertie, a seven-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares. Owned by trainer Happy Alter and Bridlewood Farm, Curlin’s Approval won the Hurricane Bertie last year before going on to capture the Royal Delta (G2) and Princess Rooney (G2).
Ralph Ziadie-trained Pay Any Prince is prominent on the list of 22 nominations for the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint, a five-furlong turf dash for older horses. Owned by Averill Racing and Matties Racing Stable, the multiple-stakes winner is the Gulfstream turf course record holder for five furlongs.
Pretty Perfection and Morticia are notable on the list of 22 nominations for the Ladies’ Turf Sprint, a five-furlong turf dash for older fillies and mares. Trainer Kelly Breen saddled Stoneway Farm’s Pretty Perfection for a victory in last year’s Ladies’ Turf Sprint. G. Watts Humphrey Jr.-trained Morticia went on to win the Franklin County (G3) at Keeneland in October after breaking her maiden and winning the Melody of Colors Stakes at Gulfstream for trainer Rusty Arnold last year.
Multiple graded-stakes winner Starship Jubilee is among 29 nominations for the South Beach, a 7 ½-furlong turf stakes for older fillies and mares. Owned by trainer Kevin Attard and Soli Mehta, Starship Jubilee captured the Nassau (G2) and the Dance Smartly (G2) at Woodbine after being claimed for $16,000 at Gulfstream last winter.