American Sanctuary Not Looking for Trouble in Hutcheson
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Lael Stables’ Arrest Me Red, who concluded his 3-year-old campaign with three straight stakes victories, is set for his 2022 debut in Saturday’s $100,000 Silks Run at Gulfstream Park.
“He’s training great. We never really gave him any time off after his last win at Aqueduct,” trainer Wesley Ward said. “We took him back to Kentucky, where he didn’t have any fast works. We just kept him jogging and galloping. We took him to Payson and he’s been working each and every week.”
The Silks Run, a five-furlong turf stakes for 4-year-olds and up, will be featured in Saturday’s program with the $100,000 Hutcheson, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds, and the $100,000 Any Limit, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies.
Arrest Me Red is coming off a front-running victory in the Nov. 27 Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship. The 4-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile and a Medaglia d’Oro mare had previously won the Oct. 2 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational (G3). Both turf sprints were run at six furlongs. The homebred colt won the 5 ½-furlong Mahoney Stakes at Saratoga in August.
Arrest Me Red has won five of seven career starts, including four wins from five turf races, but has yet to run a distance shorter than 5 ½ furlongs.
“He should love it. I’d say he’d be better. He’s a very fast horse,” Ward said. “He looks like a quarter horse. He’s a beautiful horse too.”
Arrest Me Red has won coming off the pace, but his last two wins were achieved in front-running fashion.
“When you got speed, you go to the lead, right?” Ward said. “We’ll leave it up to Irad.”
Irad Ortiz Jr., who was aboard for Arrest Me Red’s victory in the Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational, has the mount Saturday.
Golden Kernel Racing Stable’s Yes I Am Free is scheduled to seek his second straight graded-stakes victory in the Silks Run after scoring by 3 ¼ lengths in the Feb. 12 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint (G3). The 6-year-old gelded son of Uncaptured, who also won an overnight handicap during Gulfstream’s Fall Meet, is 8-for-15 lifetime at five-furlongs on turf.
Emisael Jaramillo has the return call aboard the Lara Cazares-trained gelding.
Peace Sign Stables’ Belgrano, who finished third behind Yes I Am Free in the Gulfstream Turf Sprint, will seek his third-straight graded-stakes placing in the Silks Run. The Frank Russo-trained 8-year-old gelding vied for the early lead before weakening to finish third in the mile Tropical Turf (G3) in his prior start.
Jose Ortiz has the call aboard Belgrano, a son of War Front who has won eight of 31 career turf starts.
Chess Master, who is owned and trained by Kerri Raven, is slated to seek his fifth victory in his last six starts in the Silks Run. The 6-year-old Overdriven gelding’s only loss in his last five starts came in a third-place finish in a six-furlong dirt sprint two starts back at Tampa Bay Downs. Chess Master is coming off a 2 ½-length victory in the five-furlong Turf Dash Feb. 19 at Tampa.
Hall of Famer Javier Castellano is scheduled to ride Chess Master for the first time Saturday.
Silverton Hill LLC’s High Crime, Just For Fun Stable’s Warrior’s Pride and Live Oak Plantation’s Old Chestnut, are among other notable entrants in the Silks Run. High Crime came within a neck of winning last season’s Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint; Warrior’s Pride won the five-furlong Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint during the Summer Meet; and Old Chestnut is making his first start since finishing seventh in the Highlander (G1) at Woodbine last September.
Susan and Jim Hill’s Cool Quest, George Sharp’s Hello Hot Rod, and trainer Mohammed Jehaludi and Bibi Jehaludi’s Omaha City round out the field.
Dare to Dream Stable LLC’s American Sanctuary has had troubled runs – sometimes of his own doing – in his last four races, most recently in the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Del Mar.
“He had some time trouble last year, unfortunately, in a bunch of his races. Starting with his first stake in Iowa right up to the Breeders Cup,” Davis said. “He’s had some tough goes.”
The Hutcheson, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds, is featured on Saturday’s program along with the $100,000 Any Limit, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies, and the $100,000 Silks Run, a five-furlong turf dash for older horses.
American Sanctuary graduated in his second career start at Prairie Meadows last July following a fourth-place finish in his debut over Arlington Park’s all-weather surface. He hasn’t had a clear run since. Making his stakes debut at six furlongs in his third start, American Sanctuary finished second after being bumped at the start and was forced to race three-wide. In the mile Sapling at Monmouth, he was herded four-wide in the stretch before finishing second. In the 1 1/16-mile Breeders’ Futurity, he closed to finish a creditable fourth after stumbling at the start and twice racing in traffic.
“He stumbled out of the gate and was last in the Breeders’ Futurity. He made a huge run up the rail and took all the dirt,” Davis said. “He came running. It’s just hard to get home when you’re 17 lengths back in a Grade 1.”
A slow start resulted in a seventh-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
“He was second in two stakes with troubled trips, and he finished fourth in a Grade 1 with an extremely troubled trip. I think he’s right there with any of these horses,” Davis said. “Obviously, he’s going to have to step up. Hopefully, he matured, like I think he has.”
American Sanctuary has pleased his trainer with his training and physical growth since his juvenile finale.
“He’s come back better than he was last year. He’s bigger, stronger. He seems like he’s going in the right direction,” Davis said. “The Hutcheson might be a touch short for him. He’s won going short, but against mediocre 2-year-olds. The ultimate game with him I think is the farther the better. We’ll run in this race to get the year started and then point to bigger and better things.”
Jose Ortiz is slated to ride American Sanctuary for the first time.
Spendthrift Farm LLC and MyRacehorse’s Provocateur is set to make his first start at Gulfstream in the Hutcheson following a pair of solid efforts at Tampa Bay Downs, where he broke his maiden and finished second in the seven-furlong Pasco.
Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher gave the call aboard to son of Into Mischief to Irad Ortiz Jr.
William and Corinne Heiligbrodt and Spendthrift Farm LLC’s Cattin enters the Hutcheson off a third-place finish in the Pasco. The Ralph Nicks-trained son of Neolithic had previously won the six-furlong Inaugural at Tampa Bay Downs.
R. A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Spedale Family Racing LLC’s Nitrous Channel is set to make his anxiously awaited return from an eye-catching debut score at Gulfstream Park Feb. 5. The George Weaver-trained son of Nyquist romped to a 2 ¼-length victory at six-furlongs under Tyler Gaffalione, who has the return mount Saturday.
R. T. Racing Stable’s Golden Juan, who finished third in the Feb. 18 Armed Forces over the Tapeta surface, is set for a return to the Gulfstream main track, over which he won his first two starts.
Inoel Beato, a Mid-Atlantic-based jockey, has been named to ride the son of Fed Biz.
Peacock Stable’s Sport Pepper and Daniel Pita’s Desert Ruler round out the field.
Gulfstream Park Press Release
Photo: Arrest Me Red winning the Aqueduct Turf Sprint (NYRA/Coglianese)