March 20, 2019

Unbeaten fillies add intrigue to well-matched Sweetest Chant

Regal Glory enters the Sweetest Chant (G3) two-for-two following an Aqueduct stakes win in November (c) Adam Coglianese Photography/Elsa Lorieul

A trio of unbeaten fillies add intrigue to the $100,000 Sweetest Chant (G3) at Gulfstream Park on Sunday.

Postponed to Sunday due to forecasted wet weather on Saturday, the one-mile turf test for three-year-old fillies has attracted two-time winners Regal Glory and Hard Legacy, and the debut winner Mission From Elle among a field of nine.

The Chad Brown-trained Regal Glory won twice over six furlongs in New York last fall, including the $100,000 Stewart Manor at Aqueduct. The Norm Casse-conditioned Hard Legacy won off by seven lengths at Keeneland on debut then followed up with an allowance win at Gulfstream, while Mission From Elle posted a 7-1 upset in her December 30 debut for Brendan Walsh.

“She won at the distance and she won over the course, and she’s done really well since then, or I’d be very concerned when it comes to these things especially with not much experience,” Walsh said. “She’s come back and she’s been working really good.

“I wasn’t surprised she won the first time, but I didn’t expect it. You never know first time, but she had done really well. The last two, three works before we ran her she jumped up and looked like a filly that was above average, so it was nice to see her run the way she did, and she was very professional about it, too. All that made up our minds for us. We’re going to give it a go and find out what we’ve got.”

A Bit Special, three-for-four with stakes wins in September and December at Gulfstream for Patrick Biancone, is the most accomplished of the Sweetest Chant entries.

“She has a huge acceleration and she relaxes during the races. So far she’s been fantastic to me,” Biancone said. “She is doing very good. We tried to space her races and give her a chance to mature, and she will be a very good filly this summer. We’re just trying to go step by step. We have no rush. She has a nearly perfect record, and we’ll go from there.”

There are two French imports making their U.S. debuts in the Sweetest Chant, including the Chad Brown-trained La Feve, third last out in the Prix d’Aumale (G3) at Longchamp.

Earlier in the card, Bourbon (G3) winner Current returns to the grass in the $100,000 Dania Beach over one mile. The son of Curlin finished seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) in his past two starts for Todd Pletcher.

Casa Creed and Royal Urn, separated by a half-length when first and third in the $100,000 Kitten’s Joy on January 5, and recent allowance winner A Thread of Blue also merit a look in the field of 11 three-year-olds.