Formerly known as the Sunshine Millions, the Sunshine Stakes Day program at Gulfstream Park will feature a quartet of $75,000 stakes for Florida-breds on Saturday.
Sunshine Classic – Race 9 (3:46 p.m. ET)
Noble Drama will make a title defense against six rivals in the Classic. A six-time winner over the track, the 6-year-old gelding prevailed by a head in the 1 1/8-mile race last year, and he also posted back-to-back restricted wins in the Benny the Bull S. and Wildcat Heir S. in September. David Fawkes trains, and Emisael Jaramillo will be up.
Top challengers include Last Judgement, Quenane, and Red Crescent.
Sunshine Sprint – Race 10 (4:19 p.m. ET)
Eight-time stakes victor Extravangant Kid will seek his second straight edition of the 6-furlong Sprint. A close fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) two back, the Brendan Walsh-trained gelding also posted good seconds in the Churchill Downs Turf Sprint (G2) and Woodford S. (G2) last fall. Tyler Gaffalione will be up on the expected favorite.
Souper Stonehenge merits respect following a runner-up in the Nov. 21 Kennedy Road (G2) at Woodbine, and Grade 3 winner Jackson is also part of the nine-horse field.
Sunshine Filly and Mare Turf – Race 8 (3:15 p.m. ET)
Nine distaffers, including a main-track only runner, will contest the Filly and Mare Turf over 8 1/2 furlongs. Sugar Fix, runner-up in the Dec. 5 Claiming Crown Tiara S. for Saffie Joseph Jr., will take some beating in this spot. Gulfstream stakes winner Kelsey’s Cross and Tropical Oaks fourth-placer Mo of the West are among the rivals.
Sunshine Turf – Race 11 (4:40 p.m. ET)
Galleon Mast, winner of the 2018 Sunshine Millions Turf and third last year, heads a field of nine in the 1 1/16-mile Turf. Fawkes trains the hard-hitting gray gelding – the 8-year-old has won or placed in 18 stakes – and Paco Lopez will be up on the late runner.
Fawkes will also send out Over the Channel, who was beaten only two lengths most recently in the Claiming Crown Emerald S. Shamrocket, third in the Dueling Grounds Derby two back, exits a nice score over the course for Todd Pletcher. Venezuelan Hug could be a player following a victory in the Nov. 21 Turf Preview S. at Gulfstream Park West.