General Jim Bypasses Holy Bull for G3 Swale

February 2, 2023

General Jim (#8) breaks his maiden second time out under Luis Saez beating Flying Right by a neck at Saratoga Aug. 13, 2022. (NYRA/Coglianese)

Yes I Am Free, Miss Auramet Top Feb. 11 Stakes Noms

David Joseph/Gulfstream Park Notes & News

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla.— Courtlandt Farms’ General Jim will bypass the $250,000 Holy Bull (G3) for the $125,000 Claiborne Farm Swale (G3) Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

The son of Into Mischief is coming off a fourth-place finish as the 2-1 favorite in the mile Mucho Macho Man, in which he lacked running room during the stretch run.

“I was disappointed. I thought we ran the best horse,” Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey said. “He didn’t end up being that.”

General Jim will break from the No. 1 post position in the seven-furlong Swale, the first of five graded-stakes for 3-year-olds on Saturday’s card that will be headlined by the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull.

“I thought they’d be speed and he could lay right behind them and finish up good,” McGaughey said “We’ll make up our minds from there.”

Jorge Delgado-trained Super Chow, a front-running winner of three stakes in a row, is the 6-5 morning-line favorite. General Jim is rated second at 5-2.

“I’m looking forward to running him Saturday. He had two nice works here,” McGaughey said. “He’s got enough speed to lay right behind them and maybe make him finish a little bit.”

Luis Saez has the call on General Jim, a $850,000 purchase by Courtlandt Farm’s Donald Adam at the 2021 Keeneland September sale.        

Prior to running in the Mucho Macho Man, General Jim ran three times on turf, winning his first two starts before finishing third in the Central Park Stakes at Aqueduct.

“I think maybe in the long run maybe the grass, but after the fall Mr. Adam was anxious to try him back on the dirt, which I had no problem with,” McGaughey said. “He’ll probably stay on the dirt for a while.”

Yes I Am Free, Miss Auramet Top Feb. 11 Stakes Noms

Yes I Am Free winning the 2022 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint. (Lauren King)

Defending champion Yes I Am Free, fellow Grade 3 winner The Critical Way and Grade 1-placed Shekky Shebaz are among 17 horses nominated to the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint (G3) Saturday, Feb. 11.

Golden Kernel Racing Stable’s Yes I Am Free, trained by Laura Cazares, is a 10-time career winner who drew off for a 3 ¼-length triumph in last year’s Turf Sprint, following up with a hard-fought neck victory in the five-furlong Silks Run. He returned from six months between starts to capture a Jan. 19 optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream, also at five furlongs.

Monster Racing Stables’ The Critical Way won the 5 ½-furlong Wolf Hill and five-furlong Parx Dash (G3) in back-to-back starts in 2021, making his 2022 debut last May by winning the Get Serious at Monmouth Park. The Jorge Delgado trainee, also with 10 career wins, has not raced since finishing sixth after setting the pace in the Sept. 2 Lucky Coin at Saratoga.

TEC Racing’s Shekky Shebaz has had two seconds and two thirds from six starts since being claimed by trainer Marty Drexler for $80,000 in August 2021 at Saratoga. The 8-year-old was third in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) and second in the 2020 Troy (G3) has placed nine times in 14 races since winning the 2019 Claiming Crown Canterbury at Gulfstream.

Also prominent among nominees are multiple stakes winners Belgrano and Carotari; stakes winners Classicstateofmind and Smokin’ Jay; My Pal Mattie, riding a two-race win streak; and Full Disclosure, a winner of three of six starts since being claimed for $35,000 last summer by trainer and co-owner Elizabeth Dobles.

Joining the Turf Sprint on the Feb. 11 program is the $100,000 Ladies’ Turf Sprint, also at five furlongs, for fillies and mares 4 and up which drew 15 nominations including the top seven finishers from the Dec. 24 Abundantia at Gulfstream – Miss J McKay, Imagery, Stony Point, Mamba Wamba, Miss Auramet, Spun Glass and Poseidon’s Passion.

Miss Auramet is a 12-time winner who is 16-for-22 in the money on the Gulfstream turf with six wins including a 1 ¾-length victory in last year’s Ladies’ Turf Sprint for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. Gary Barber’s Imagery, claimed for $50,000 two starts back, was third in the Ontario Fashion (G3) last fall on Woodbine’s all-weather surface.

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