BY BROCK SHERIDAN
They will be coming from different directions when they arrive at Turf Paradise but Florida-breds Kingdom Heart and Good Bye Charlie are both headed to the $60,000 Hanks Mills Sr., a six-furlong test for 3-year-olds and older to be run Monday.
Trainer Vladimir Cerin has shipped Kingdom Heart east from his base in Southern California while Good Bye Charlie travels west from Sunland Park for trainer Raymond Valerio.
Kingdom Heart is the 4-1 second choice in the field of 12 and the 4-year-old colt will be making his first start since Nov. 25 when finishing fourth, beaten four-and-a-half lengths by fellow Florida-bred and winner C Z Rocket in in a 100,000 optional claiming going six furlongs at Del Mar.
Kingdom Heart also has the benefit of a win over the Turf Paradise main track having won an upper level, $25,000 optional claiming by seven-and-a-half lengths there in April of last year going six furlongs. His last victory came three starts back at Los Alamitos when he took a first-level, $40,000 optional claiming by three-and-a-half lengths.
Owned by Holly and David Wilson, Kingdom Heart is by Goldencents out of Take Charge Card, by Will Take Charge and was bred by Bryan Hicks and Melodee Hicks. He has won three of 11 career starts with one second and earnings of $92,883.
He is a two-time graduate of Ocala Breeders’ Sales having first sold for $19,000 to Pedro Maestre at the 2021 October Yearling Sale where he was consigned by Stuart Morris. He also went through the ring during the 2022 Spring Sale but did not meet his reserve.
Armando Ayuso has the first-time riding assignment on Kingdom Heart and they will break from post seven.
Good Bye Charlie exits a strong second-place to Competitive Idea in the $65,000 KLAQ Handicap at Sunland Park on Jan. 5 for owner Paul Chavez.
The 5-year-old gelded son of Ocala Stud stallion Adios Charlie will face familiar foes Prayer of Jabez, Tulane Trist and Minister of Soul in the Hank Mills, having faced them when third in an Oct. 27 allowance race at the Downs at Albuquerque. Prayer of Jabez and Tulane Trist were first and second respectively while Minister of Soul was fifth.
His last victory came in an $8,000 optional claiming, $6,250 starter allowance going five furlongs at Albuquerque on Oct. 7.
Good Bye Charlie is out of Magda, by Hamazing Destiny and was bred in Florida by Tom McCrocklin. He has eight wins in 22 career starts with four seconds and a third while earning $123,523.
Alexis Valdes will ride Good Bye Charlie from the outside post in the field of 12 and they are 12-1 in the program.
The morning line favorite at 3-1 is Peaceful Waters, a John Sadler trainee who was last of 12 most recently in the Grade 2 Joe Hernandez won by Forbidden Kingdom going six-and-half furlongs on the grass at Santa Anita on Dec. 30.
The 5-year-old son of Dialed In last won against second condition, $80,000 optional claimers going six-and-a-half furlongs at Keeneland on April 16 when trained by Al Stall Jr.
Owned by Hronis Racing, Peaceful Waters has won three with three seconds and three thirds in 12 starts with earnings of $257,450.
He is a two-time graduate of OBS having last sold to J. Stevens Bloodstock as agent for $220,000 out of Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree consignment at the 2021 April Sale. He was also purchased by Glenn Del Russo for $50,000 at the 2020 October Yearling Sale where he was consigned by Richard Kent’s Kaizen Sales.
More recently, he sold for $310,000 to David Ingordo as agent at the 2023 Keeneland April Horses of Racing Age Sale.
Sadler has named Luis Contreras to ride and they have post 11.
Others entered for the Hank Mills Sr. are Truth Seeker and jockey Leslie Mawing, Tulane Tryst with Roberto Morales up, Minister of Soul and rider Glenn Corbett, Prayer of Jabez will be ridden by Luis Valenzuela, Tony’s Tapit and jockey Aldo Arboleda, Exxel has Guillermo Rodriguez named to ride, Diamond Rim and jockey Karlo Lopez, Principe Carlo with Luis Negron in the irons and Jose Valdivia Jr. rides Santos to Wilson.
Return to the Jan. 27 issue of Wire to Wire