Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher’s Me and Mr. C, a winner of three consecutive stakes during the summer, looks to return to his winning ways Sunday at Gulfstream Park in the $75,000 Sunshine Turf.

The mile-and-one-sixteenth Sunshine Turf is for Florida-bred, 4-year-olds and older at a mile-and-an-eighth on the grass and offers a $20,000 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Top 3 Bonus on a 50%-30%-20% scale. The Florida Sire Stakes bonus is presented by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association.

Me and Mr. C, who is eligible for the extra FTBOA bonus, returns to the grass course after finishing second to Fly the W in the $100,000 St. Augustine overnight handicap run at a mile-and-70-yards over the Gulfstream Park synthetic on Dec. 30.

The 7-year-old son of Journeyman Stud leading Florida sire Khozan looks to add to his success at Gulfstream where he won the 2022 Mr. Steele on the turf and the 2023 Soldier’s Dancer on the all-weather course. After winning the Soldier’s Dancer in June, Me and Mr. C won the $102,000 Jonathan B. Schuster Memorial at Horseshoe Indianapolis in July and the $192,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup going a mile-and-a-quarter on the turf at Ellis Park in August.

Me and Mr. C has a career record of 10 wins, seven seconds and five thirds in 36 career starts with earnings of $578,839. Bred by Stonehedge LLC, he is out of Abiding, by Dyanformer.

Me and Mr. C has post one and Irad Ortiz Jr. has been given the riding assignment from trainer Mike Maker.

Borders Racing Stable Ltd.’s Roaring Forties is set to defend his title in the Sunshine Turf for Canadian trainer Katerina Vassilieva.

Roaring Forties has one victory in six starts since last year’s Sunshine Turf, that coming in an upper condition, $80,000 optional claiming going six-and-a-half furlongs on the turf at Woodbine on Sept. 3.

Roaring Forties is by Stormy Atlantic out of Sweet Tart, by Lemon Drop Kid and has won seven with three seconds and two thirds in 30 career starts while banking $327,120.

The 8-year-old gelding will be ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan from post five.

Souper Blessing and Boppy O, who were first and third respectively in the $150,000 Topical Park Derby, are also entered.

Michael Trombetta trains Souper Blessing for owner and breeder Live Oak Plantation and the 4-year-old colt can add to his lifetime record of three wins with a second and two thirds in seven starts with earnings of $168,061.

Souper Blessing is by Temple City out of Bird of Paradise, by Summer Bird and will be ridden from the outside post seven by Edwin Gonzalez.

Last year, the Mark Casse-trained Boppy O won the $102,000 Jersey Derby racing a mile on the turf at Monmouth Park in June then finished off the board in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby won by Far Bridge at a mile-and-a-quarter on the turf in July. He was then given nearly five months off before returning in the Tropical Park Derby.

Boppy O will be ridden by Javier Castellano from post four.

Also entered for the Sunshine Turf are Forever Souper with jockey Paco Lopez and Space Runner with Miguel Vasquez up. According to owner Peter Douglass, Max K. O. has been scratched and will retire.

“Max K. O. is injured and will scratch from the Sunshine Turf,” Douglass and Susan Merrow of Ten Twenty Racing said jointly via a text to Wire to Wire. “Although the injury is not serious, Max K. O. is 8-years-old [therefore] we feel it is best for him to retire.

“As he transitions into retirement, we are looking into how Max K. O.’s strength and attributes can contribute to Florida’s quality racehorse stock.”


Return to the Jan. 19 issue of Wire to Wire