July 16, 2024

Ce Ce tops Princess Rooney; Drain the Clock favored in Smile Sprint

Ce Ce, with Victor Espinoza riding, wins the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Del Mar Race Track (Photo by Horsephotos)

Princess Rooney (G2) – Race 10 (5:20 p.m. ET)

Saturday’s $300,000 Princess Rooney (G2) at Gulfstream Park serves as a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Keeneland in early November, and last year’s Filly & Mare Sprint winner Ce Ce heads a field of six distaffers entered in the seven-furlong test.

The reigning female sprint champion, Ce Ce has been installed as the 4-5 favorite on the morning line. The six-year-old mare will cut back to a sprint following a win in the Azeri (G2) and a third in the April 23 Apple Blossom (G1) over two turns at Oaklawn Park. Regular rider Victor Espinoza will be in to guide the daughter of Elusive Quality for Michael McCarthy.

Winner of the Barbara Fritchie (G3) and Distaff H. (G3) earlier this season, Glass Ceiling will try to rebound following a third in the June 10 Bed o’ Roses (G2) at Belmont Park. Edgard Zayas will be up for Charlton Baker on the early 7-2 second choice.

Spirit Wind, a convincing scorer in the Any Limit S. and restricted Musical Romance S. at Gulfstream in her last two outings, will bring a three-race win streak to her graded debut. The three-year-old filly is listed at 6-1 with Make Mischief, who ships in for Mark Casse following a four-length triumph in the May 30 Critical Eye S. at Belmont for New York-breds.

Smile Sprint (G3) – Race 7 (3:44 p.m. ET)

Grade 1 winner Drain the Clock, unraced since a seventh in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) in late March, will return against five foes in the $100,000 Smile Sprint (G3) earlier on the program. A four-time stakes victor for Saffie Joseph Jr. the four-year-old colt will pick up the services of Edwin Gonzalez, and Drain the Clock has been tabbed as the 6-5 choice in the six-furlong event.

Willy Boi is a threat following a convincing win in the restricted Big Drama S. at Gulfstream. Fourth in last year’s Smile, the four-year-old gelding brings improved form to this year’s edition, and Chantal Sutherland guides for Jorge Delgado.

Other runners include Absolute Grit and Pudding.