Da Big Hoss, Goldy Espony & Stonetastic highlight Gulfstream stakes

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December 23rd, 2015

Female sprinters and turf routers are in the spotlight Saturday as Gulfstream Park will host a trio of graded stakes races.

The $100,000 Sugar Swirl (G3) kicks off the stakes action and Stonetastic figures to appreciate the class relief after finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup TwinSpires Filly & Mare Sprint (G1). A Grade 2 winner in 2014, the Kelly Breen-trained filly made a belated 4-year-old debut, finishing a neck second in the August 5 Shine Again at Saratoga before producing a 15-length tally over allowance foes two starts back that netted her a field-best 109 BRIS Speed rating.

A gray daughter of Mizzen Mast, Stonetastic will face six opponents in the 6-furlong Sugar Swirl and the front-runner retains the services of Paco Lopez.

Her rivals include Best Behavior, Dogwood Trail and You Bought Her.

The $100,000 W.L. McKnight H. (G3) also has a top contender exiting a Breeders’ Cup race, with Da Big Hoss finishing sixth versus a deep field in the Turf (G1). The 4-year-old colt proved to be a savvy claim for $50,000 in June, winning the John’s Call at Saratoga two starts later before a convincing two-length score in the lucrative Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) at Kentucky Downs on September 14.

Trained by Mike Maker, Da Big Hoss will attempt to overcome post 11 in the 1 ½-mile turf affair with new rider Javier Castellano.

Kaigun, a multiple Grade 2 winner and three-time Grade 1 runner-up, merits serious respect following a second in the November 14 Red Smith (G2) at Aqueduct. Joe Bravo will be up for a hot Mark Casse stable. Other runners of note include Charming Kitten, Manchurian High, Roman Approval and War Dancer.

The $100,000 La Prevoyante (G3) serves as the female counterpart to the McKnight and Goldy Espony is the one to beat in the long-distance turf affair. The Chad Brown trainee exits a wire-to-wire victory in the Long Island H. (G3) at Aqueduct and also posted front-running victories in the Waya (G3) at Saratoga and River Memories at Belmont Park this season.

A 4-year-old gray daughter of Vespone, Goldy Espony will start from the far outside post among 12 runners with Castellano.

Cay Dancer, Gotachancetodance, Rosalind, Trophee and Walk Close are the main challengers.

Photo of Stonetastic readying for the 2015 Breeders’ Cup courtesy of Lauren Pomeroy/