Millions Preview: Wildcat’s Legacy Takes Juvenile Sprint, Enterprising Defends In Turf

A week after saddling Caledonia Road for a triumph in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar, trainer Ralph Nicks was back in the winner’s circle Saturday, celebrating Wildcat’s Legacy’s victory in the $75,000 Juvenile Sprint at Gulfstream Park West.

The Juvenile Sprint was one of eight $75,000 Stakes for Florida-breds on the Millions Preview card.

Wildcat’s Legacy, a 7 ½-length debut winner at Gulfstream Park Sept. 27, rated off the pace set by Reed Kan and prompted by Always a Dreamer. The son of Wildcat Heir made a sweeping move on the turn into the homestretch and drew off to a 3 ¼-length decision under Edgard Zayas.

“He’s a nice horse to jump up and win the way he did the first time. To me the second start of their careers, especially to win the first trip, is always the toughest,” Nicks said. “He ran against horses that have had several races as experience.. He settled well, faced the dirt, and sat outside.

Kenneth English and Allan Braun’s homebred colt ran 6 ½-furlongs in 1:19.92 to defeat five rivals as the 3-5 favorite. Highborn, the 5-2 second choice ridden by Emisael Jaramillo, closed to finish second, a half-length ahead of Reed Kan.

Nicks said he had no definite next-out plans for Wildcat’s Legacy.

“We’ll see what’s available. It would be nice if he can run in the open three-year-old races. Time will tell,” he said.

In the $75,000 Juvenile Fillies Sprint that kicked off Saturday’s stakes action, impressive debut winner Silver Bay registered a hard-fought front-running victory over favored Starship Bonita by a neck.

Owned by Richlyn Farm, the daughter of Currency Swap entered the 6 ½ sprint for 2-year-old fillies off a 5 ½-length triumph at Gulfstream Park West Oct. 27. The two-week turnaround was somewhat of a concern for trainer William Hickey.

“We’re based Gulfstream West all year, so we wanted to point to this race. I didn’t have her cranked the first time, so it was a very impressive performance. That’s why I ran her back fast. [Her first race] was kind of a prep for this race. It came together. It doesn’t always go that way, but when it does, it’s sweet.”

Silver Bay broke alertly from her rail post position under Tyler Gaffalione to set the pace along the backstretch, while resisting mild pressure from Frau Riley. Turning for home, Silver Bay sprinted to a clear lead, only to receive an strong outside challenge from Starship Bonita, the winner of the $200,000 FSS Susan’s Girl and the $300,000 FSS My Dear Girl who was sent to post as the 7-5 favorite. Silver Bay held gamely to remain undefeated.

Starship Bonita finished two lengths ahead of Lil B Quick.

Hickey said Silver Bay would get a break in Ocala before returning to action next year.

“We’ll freshen her and then maybe the Summit of Speed {at Gulfstream}, and I grew up in Saratoga, so there are races like the Test and the Prioress I could try her in. Those would be long-term goals, and we’ll work it out from there.”

Appreciating the drop from Grade 1 company, even-money favorite Enterprising captured the $75,000 Millions Turf Preview for the second straight year with a last-to-first performance Saturday at Gulfstream Park West.

The 6-year-old son of Elusive Quality, who won the 1 1/16-mile turf race by 1 1/4 lengths last year, trailed the seven-horse field under Emisael Jaramillo before making a wide sweep on the turn into the homestretch and overtaking Galleon Mast, the 8-5 second choice who got the jump on the favorite to get the lead in mid-stretch, only to fall short.

Owned by Maxis Stable, Enterprising finished off the board in the Canadian International (G1) at Woodbine last time out and was beaten by less than a length with a fourth-place finish in the Arlington Million (G1) three starts back.

“He’s a class act. Everyone loves him. He’s a barn favorite,” said Mattie Martin, assistant to trainer Mike Maker.

Multiple graded stakes-winning Enterprising pushed his career bankroll over $880,000 with his 10th career victory achieved in 1:47.17 for the 1 1/16 miles on a firm turf.

In the $75,000 Juvenile Turf, Kerry Szegi’s Nauti Boy, the 7-5 favorite in a field of 8 2-year-olds held off a stretch-long bid by The X, the 7-2 second choice, by a nose. The Lilli Kurtinecz-trained son of Mizzen Mast was ridden by Edgard Zayas. Seattle Treasure finished third 1 ¼ lengths behind The X.

In the $75,000 Millions Sprint Preview, Quijote emerged from a race-long battle with Splash Rules to register a 1 ¼-length victory Under Jose Batista, running six furlongs in 1:11.68.

Saturday’s triumph at Gulfsteam Park West was the winner’s first race since finishing fifth in the Smile Sprint (G3) at Gulfstetam Park July 1.  Sweetontheladies, closed under Leonel Reyes, to finish a nose ahead of Splash Rules, the second choice who was seeking his fourth straight victor

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