BY GULFSTREAM PARK PRESS OFFICE
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher will be represented in Saturday’s $125,000 Tropical Park Oaks by a pair of fillies who will be back on familiar footing on Gulfstream Park’s turf course.
Cairo Consort was a multiple-stakes winner last season at Gulfstream Park after being purchased by Repole Stable and Town and Country Racing LLC for $875,000 at the 2022 Keeneland November sale. Grade 1 stakes-placed in the Natalma at Woodbine and in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf for her former owners, Cairo Consort won at first asking in $100,000 Ginger Brew at a mile on Jan. 7. The daughter of Cairo Prince came right back to win the Grade 3 Sweetest Chant going a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the turf on Feb. 4 with an impressive stretch rally that followed a terrible start.
“She seemed to do well at Gulfstream. She had one really remarkable race in the Sweetest Chant where she threw her head at the start and seemed like she blew any chance of being successful at that stage,” Pletcher said. “She made a remarkable run to get up to win.”
Cairo Consort ran out of ground when third in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride on March 4 at Gulfstream in which she was beaten a head by next-out stakes winners Danse Macabre and Papilio. She went on to finish second, a neck behind Papilio in the Appalachian (G2) at Keeneland before finishing off the board in the Edgewood (F2) at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby (G1) undercard.
Irad Ortiz Jr., who was aboard for all three of Cairo Consort’s Gulfstream starts, returns for the Tropical Park Oaks and they have post one.
Alpha Bella scored by 22 ¾ lengths over her only rival in a first condition, $62,5000 optional claiming taken off the turf in August at Saratoga in her first start in three months. The versatile filly came back to finish third on turf at Colonial Downs in the $253,000 Virginia Oaks on Sept. 9, just a half-length behind winner Thirty Thou Kelvin. In her most recent start, she finished fourth following a wide trip in the Grade 2 Sands Point won by Eternal Hope at Aqueduct Oct. 14.
“She’s very consistent. She shows up and runs consistent every time,” Pletcher said. “We freshened her up a little bit. She’s coming into the race in good order.”
Luis Saez, who was aboard Alpha Bella in her two Gulfstream starts as well as her Saratoga romp, has the call and they will break from post eight.
Also set for the Tropical Park Oaks are Riding Pretty with jockey Luca Panici, Personal Persuit and rider Javier Castellano, Sun Bee will be ridden by Jorge Ruiz, Zipardoo has John Velazquez aboard, Joe Bravo ride speed Trap, Dolce Sopresa has Paco Lopez named to ride, Implicated and jockey Tyler Gaffalione, Breath Away (GB) will carry Vincent Cheminaud, Be My Sunshine with Edgard Zayas in the saddle and Jose Ortiz is named on both Startup Mentality (Ire) and Notinamillionyear (Ire), the latter of which is on the also eligible list.
Return to the December 21 issue of Wire to Wire