Fawkes has two for Harlan's Holiday; Tackleberry to return
Trainer David Fawkes plans to run both Duke of Mischief and Cash Rules in the $100,000 Harlan's Holiday on December 16 at Gulfstream Park.
Duke of Mischief will be making his first start since finishing second behind Caixa Eletronica in the Grade 2, $1 million Charles Town Classic April 14. The son of Graeme Hall is a career winner of more than $1.9 million and bids to add to a resume that includes a victory in the 2011 edition of the rich Charles Town Classic.
"We stopped on him after the Charles Town race with some minor problems," said Fawkes Friday afternoon. "It was nothing serious. Then we did something a little different. We took him to Niall Brennan's place in Ocala for therapy where he exercised on a walking machine set underwater in a pool. They have to walk against the weight of the water. It obviously did him a lot of good as well as he's come back. This race is just a starting point for him."
Cash Rules will also get his share of attention in the Harlan's Holiday. The son of Peace Rules bids for a fifth consecutive stakes victory during a campaign that began at Gulfstream with a fifth-place finish in an allowance sprint on March 11. It was his first start in 15 months.
"He was out with a knee injury and it took a lot longer than we thought to get him back," Fawkes said. "He had shown ability early in his career and now he's living up to what we hoped he could become, improving steadily with each start."
Cash Rules won three of six starts at Calder to begin his career and was sent off the favorite in the first five before going to the sidelines. Jockey Luis Saez has ridden Cash Rules in all nine of his starts this year, including his first graded stakes score in the Grade 3 Spend a Buck Handicap on October 13 and the Carl G. Rose Classic last out on November 10.
As for expectations after the Harlan's Holiday if all goes well, Fawkes said, "We'll probably stay with Florida-breds for the Sunshine Million Classic (January 19) as the next step with the Charles Town Classic a possibility for both of them. You hate to run them against each other, but it's the best schedule for them."
The purse for Charles Town Classic has been raised to $1.5 million and will be run on April 20, 2013.
Another Harlan's Holiday contender, Grade 3 Durham Cup winner Delegation, sped five furlongs in a bullet :59 2/5 at Palm Meadows on Saturday. The three-year-old finished third in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile in his most recent start.
Meanwhile, trainer Luis Olivares reports that Tackleberry, one of the most popular horses to run in South Florida in recent years, is on the comeback trail.
"He's training on the farm in Ocala and he'll come back to me pretty soon. He pulled a muscle and needed some time," explained Olivares of a layoff since finishing fourth as the favorite last out in the Charles Town Classic.
A Florida-bred son of Montbrook, Tackleberry was last seen at Gulfstream finishing second to Mucho Macho Man in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap in March in his start before the Charles Town race. The year before, he swept to three consecutive stakes victories over the track in the Sunshine Millions Classic, Grade 2 Gulfstream Sprint Championship and Gulfstream Park Handicap.
Tackleberry will resume his career with a 16-8-3-0 record and earnings of $914,000.
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