Mr. Jordan Defends Title, Scores By 11 1/2 Lengths In Sunshine Millions Classic Preview

Mr. Jordan felt right at home Saturday running his record to 4-for-4 at Gulfstream Park West while successfully defending his title in the $75,000 Millions Classic Preview.

The Millions Classic Preview was the last of eight $75,000 stakes for Florida breds on Saturday’s Millions Preview program and one of four prep races for the Sunshine Millions program at Gulfstream Park Jan. 20.

Mr. Jordan, who won the 2016 edition of the 1 1/16-mile stakes, scored by 11 ½ lengths Saturday under new rider Edgard Zayas to make amends for two subpar performances at Parx last time out.

“He’s a very difficult horse to ride.. He has to have a rider who understands him. No knock on the rider who rode his past two races. Things came up and the horse didn’t handle it well,” trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said. “Edgard on the other hand did what he needed to do with this horse. He’s a horse for the course. He’s watched films of this horse and he took the lessons well. The horse likes the racetrack, so I thinks it’s a combination of the two.”

Sent to post as the 9-5 favorite in a field of eight, Mr. Jordan advanced on the outside along the backstretch to pull up alongside pacesetter Jaiden’s Best before moving to the lead heading into the far turn. From there, the son of Kantharos widened his advantage to the wire.

“I got a good trip. He has so much class. I wasn’t worried about the other horses,” Zayas said. “ Eddie told me he was a free-running horse. I was afraid he wouldn’t run good for me, but I was wrong.”

Mr. Jordan, who boosted his career earnings past $600,000 with his eighth career victory, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.47. Richard The Great, the 3-1 second choice finished second under Emisael Jaramillo, 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Zipping and jockey Aby Medina.

Plesa said he would likely train Mr. Jordan up to the Sunshine Millions Classic.

Lirica  Sweeps to Victory in Millions Disfaff Preview

Magic Stables LLC’s Lirica surged into contention on the turn into the homestretch and continued on to wear down April Gaze by a half length in Saturday’s $75,000 Millions Distaff Preview at Gulfstream Park West.

Trained by Antonio Sano, the 3-year-old daughter of Kantharos defeated 11 fillies and mares while running seven furlongs in 1:24.63 under jockey Marcos Meneses.

“She ran a nice race. She runs hard every time,” Sano said. “Last time she finished third behind a filly [Curlin’s Approval] who ran in the Breeders’ Cup [Filly and Mare Sprint].”

Lirica ($22.40) raced well back in the field as Stormy Embrace set a contested pace with Mama Joyce, the 2-1 favorite, in close pursuit along the backstretch. Leaving the backstretch, Meneses sent Lirica after the leaders and she responded with a strong run to loom a serious threat at the top of the stretch. April Gaze, who had been stalking the pace, moved to the lead at the top of the stretch under Edgard Zayas and fought gamely in a failed attempt to hold off Lirica. Stormy Embrace, ridden by Wilmer Garcia, finished another 2 ¾ lengths back in third.

Sano said Lirica will be pointed to the Sunshine Millions Distaff.

In the $75,000 Juvenile Fillies Turf, Homemade Salsa gave trainer Mike Maker his second winner on the Millions Preview card, following up Enterprising’s victory in the Millions Turf Preview with a two-length score over nine other 2-year-olds.

Ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, the 7-5 favorite stalked the pace into the far turn before advancing on the leaders entering the stretch and drawing off to victory in her turf debut.

Get Away Farm’s daughter of Two Step Salsa had previously won her debut at Gulfstream by two lengths in August before finishing second in an off-the-turf allowance behind Blonde Bomber, who went on to finish third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar last Saturday.

Homemade Salsa ran a mile on turf in 1:41.78. Anabella Queen finished second, 1 ¾ lengths ahead of Unstablenthemornin.

The post Mr. Jordan Defends Title, Scores By 11 1/2 Lengths In Sunshine Millions Classic Preview appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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