SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer John Kimmel said Holly Hill Stables’ multiple graded-stakes winner Pacific Gale, who had been under consideration for Wednesday’s Grade 3 Honorable Miss, may instead point towards the Grade 1, $500,0000 Ketel One Ballerina on August 28, a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Grade 1, Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
“She’s doing great,” Kimmel said. “We’ll train her up and point her towards something else; maybe the Ballerina.”
The 6-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Flat Out posted consecutive graded stakes wins at Gulfstream over the winter, capturing the Grade 2 Inside Info in January with Hall of Famer John Velazquez up and the Grade 3 Hurricane Bertie in March under Junior Alvarado.
Last out, a sharp Pacific Gale made the lead at the half-mile call en route to finishing fifth in the Grade 2 Princess Rooney on July 3 at Gulfstream.
“She was too sharp last time. Her best races have been when she’s covered up and sits in the pocket and Johnny or Junior have a good hold of her and sit and wait,” Kimmel said. “When it’s time to run and they put her in the clear, she’ll give a good spurt. But when she’s on top and has no cover, she has a tendency to pull a little too much. In the Princess Rooney, they went three-quarters in 1:08 and 4. She just showed too much early pace and got a little tired.”
Kimmel said Flanagan Racing’s The Reds, who had been under consideration for the $120,000 Curlin on July 30, will instead regroup with an eye to a start at the end of the meet. Last out, the Tonalist chestnut finished seventh in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby on June 26 at Thistledown.
“He’s not come back real strong off his race in Indiana,” Kimmel said. “I thought he’d come around, but we might have to target something towards the end of the meet. That was a totally off-form performance last time. We’ll just have to do right by the horse.”
Bred in Kentucky by R.S. Evans, The Reds graduated in January at Aqueduct traveling nine-furlongs on the main track ahead of a fifth in the Grade 3 Gotham in March. He was elevated to fifth in the Federico Tesio at Pimlico in April before finishing a good second in the off-the-turf Grade 3 Pennine Ridge on May 29 at Belmont.
Kimmel said Chester and Mary Broman’s popular New York-bred Mr. Buff is on target for the $100,000 Evan Shipman Handicap, a nine-furlong test for state-breds 3-years-old and up on August 11.
Mr. Buff, who worked five furlongs in 1:02.45 under Junior Alvarado Friday on the Oklahoma dirt training track, captured the 2019 Evan Shipman.
“He’s doing fine. A two-turn mile and an eighth is his kind of race,” Kimmel said.
NYRA Press Office
Photo: Pacific Gales winning the Hurricane Bertie Stakes at Gulfstream Park March 20, 2021. (Coglianese/Lauren King)