HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Apogee Bloodstock and Mike Anderson Racing’s Abscond brings Grade 1 credentials to Gulfstream Park with the chance to give trainer Eddie Kenneally a second straight win in Saturday’s $100,000 Ginger Brew.
The ninth running of the 7 ½-furlong Ginger Brew for newly turned 3-year-old fillies is among five stakes worth $450,000 in purses led by the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man for 3-year-olds on dirt and $100,000 Kitten’s Joy (G3) on turf, promoted to graded status for the first time in 2020.
Post time for the first of 11 races is noon.
Kenneally captured the 2019 Ginger Brew with William Pape’s Boxwood in what was the filly’s stakes debut. This year, he brings a horse exiting three previous stakes efforts including back-to-back Grade 1 races, the most recent coming when fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.
“She’s doing really, really good. I’m very happy with her,” Kenneally. “She’s done really well at Palm Meadows and hasn’t missed a beat since the Breeders’ Cup. She ran well, actually, in the Breeders’ Cup and didn’t get beat terribly far. She got hooked up in a little bit of a speed duel in the early part of the race but still finished OK. We’re on track for the Ginger Brew; of course, we won it last year. I think it’s a good place for the filly to start.”
Abscond has breezed four times since early December at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County. She wound up 4 ½ lengths behind Sharing in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, contested at one mile.
“She was beaten less than five lengths after just getting surrounded by some other horses going into that first turn and she got very competitive with them and ran with them early, and kept running,” Kenneally said. “It was a good effort, and we’re delighted with her.”
Abscond earned her way to the Breeders’ Cup with a hard-fought nose triumph in the one-mile Natalma (G1) Sept. 15 over a yielding turf course at Woodbine. She retains the services of reigning Eclipse Award winner Irad Ortiz Jr., aboard for each of the past two starts, from Post 4 of 12 at co-topweight of 122 pounds.
“She’s just a battler, a tough filly. She gutted it out really hard that day and got a fantastic ride from Irad Ortiz. He’s staying on her and he rides her with plenty of confidence,” Kenneally said. “I think she’s pretty versatile. She’s turf. Her action is much different on turf. She works well on dirt but she’s a superior turf horse.”
Andrew Stone’s Bredenbury was also bred in Ireland and has one stateside start to her credit, running sixth after being bumped slightly at the start of the one-mile Chelsea Flower Stakes Nov. 3 over an Aqueduct turf course rated good.
“I thought she’d run better than she did that day,” trainer Graham Motion said. “I was a little disappointed with her effort. I’m not quite sure how far this filly wants to go. The fact that this race was a little shorter was appealing to me. She’s doing well. I’ve had her down in Florida for a month or so and she seems to have handled things well. I’m pleased to get her back to the races.”
Bredenbury raced exclusively at six furlongs in her first four starts, all in England, where she won an allowance second time out. She will carry 120 pounds including Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez from Post 11.
“I guess the question is going to be does she really want to go two turns. That’s going to be what we’re going to have to decide,” Motion said. “Unfortunately it’s very limiting over here if you’re going to sprint on the grass, because you really have to run five-eighths. That’s why I’m hoping that this will be sort of a happy medium for her.”
Also entered are stablemates American Giant and Our Little Jewel, 1-2 in the Juvenile Fillies Turf Nov. 9 at Gulfstream Park West; Cheermeister and Sunset Promise, the first two finishers in the Wait A While Stakes Nov. 30 at Gulfstream; High On Gin, a two-time stakes winner in Louisiana; Hear My Prayer and Queen of God, winners of two straight; Moral Reasoning, Runway Dreamer and She’s My Type.