Sweet Dani Girl is the heavy favorite to defend her title in the $75,000 Sunshine Filly & Mare Turf on Sunday as the Christophe Clement trainee is 4-5 on the morning line of the one-mile test for Florida-bred fillies and mares on the Gulfstream Park turf. The Sunshine Filly & Mare Turf also features a $20,000 Top 3 Bonus for Florida Sire Stakes-eligible runners presented by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association and will be a paid on a 50%-30%-20% schedule.

The Sunshine Filly & Mare Turf will be the first time Sweet Dani Girl has raced exclusively against her fellow Florida-breds since winning the $110,000 Pleasant Acres Stallions Distaff Turf on Florida Cup Day at Tampa Bay Downs in March—which was also her last victory.

However, following the Distaff Turf, Sweet Dani Girl was competitive in stepping up against open company, finishing second to Didia in the Grade 3 Modesty in May and third in the Grade 3 Mint Julep won by Henrietta Topham in early June, both over the Churchill Downs turf. She was then fifth in the $100,000 Indiana General Assembly Distaff Handicap, less than five lengths behind winner Justify My Love, at Horseshoe Indianapolis on July 8; and ninth, but beaten only three-and-a-half lengths by winner New Year’s Eve in the $197,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Turf Mile at Ellis Park on Aug. 6.

She was given more than two months away from the track then returned in her last race to finish second to Oeuvre in a Keeneland allowance race going a mile on the turf on Oct. 21.

Owned by Michael Dubb, Steven Bouchey, New Phoenix Stable and America’s Pastimes Stables LLC, Sweet Dani Girl is by Jess’s Dream out of My Sweet Dani Girl, by Scat Daddy and was bred by J&J Stables LLC and Carlo Vaccarezza. She has four wins, two seconds and two thirds in 13 career starts with earnings of $381,840.

Sweet Dani Girl has post four and will be ridden by Irad Oritz Jr.

While Sweet Dani Girl has been traveling throughout the Midwest, Laurie Plesa and Glassman Racing LLC’s Time Passage has been building a four-race win streak around two turns on the synthetic course at Gulfstream Park.

Trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., Time Passage began her streak in August with a neck victory against first condition, $25,000 optional claiming fillies and mares before winning the $60,000 Soaring Softly overnight handicap on Sept. 9. The 4-year-old filly then won the $100,000 Miss Gracie on Oct. 7 and in her last race took the $90,000 Cellars Shiraz on Nov. 3.

By Bridlewood Farm stallion Tunwoo out of Savingtime, by Kantharos, Time Passage has built a solid record of six wins and two seconds in 13 starts with earnings of $326,655. She was bred in Florida by Boama Corp and is 3-1 in the program.

Time Passage has the outside post seven and Edgard Zayas has the return mount.

Other contenders include Both Sides with jockey Jose Ortiz, Charlie’s Wish with Tyler Gaffalione taking the riding chores, Baby Steps will be ridden by David Egan, Tracy Ann’s Legacy and rider Luis Saez and Paco Lopez will be aboard Thelastbulletsmine.

Return to Jan. 13 issue of Wire to Wire