Picara Seeks Third Straight Millions Filly And Mare Turf Preview Score

P & G Stables Picara, yet to register her first victory of the year, looks to regain her winning form in a familiar spot as she goes for her third straight triumph in the $60,000 Millions Filly and Mare Turf Preview Saturday at Gulfstream Park West.

The 7 1/2-furlong Filly and Mare Turf Preview for females three and older is one of two stakes for Florida-breds on the nine-race program, along with the $60,000 Juvenile Turf for 2-year-olds going one mile. First race post time is 12:35 p.m.

Picara, a 5-year-old, won the Filly and Mare Turf Preview for the first time in November 2018 to cap her sophomore season for previous trainer Todd Pletcher. The Turbo Compressor mare returned from a five-month break last August with Gulfstream West-based Jorge Delgado to rally from off the pace to defend her title by three-quarters of a length at odds of 28-1.

“She has been training very good, she’s fresh, and she seems to love this track,” Delgado said. “She seems to love the grass here, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s hard and she likes that. She loves the surface.

“She has won this stakes twice and this will be the third time that she can win it. She won it last time at [big odds], and she’s doing better this year,” he added. “She is more mature and more focused and having a good time right now.”

Picara has four wins from six lifetime starts at Gulfstream West, and was second after setting the pace in a seven-furlong optional claiming allowance Oct. 23, an off-the-turf race in what was her first start since finishing off the board in the one-mile In the Breeze Stakes July 5 at Gulfstream Park.

Starting with last year’s Filly and Mare Turf Preview Picara had run in seven consecutive stakes, three coming at Gulfstream’s Championship Meet last winter. She was third in the 1 1/16-mile Ginger Punch June 6.

“She has been running over her head a little bit. The stakes she ran in the beginning of the year were too tough for her, but she still showed up and she ran good. She had a break and when she came back and she had to run in the slop, and she ran a good second,” Delgado said. “We wanted to give her a preparation for this race and she couldn’t run on the grass that day, but it still worked out pretty good for us because she ran good.

“She came back fresh, she gained weight and she was a different horse when she came back,” he added. “She’s eating better, doing everything better and she has been training really, really well.”

Joe Bravo is named to ride Picara, who will be looking to surpass $200,000 in purse earnings, from Post 2 in an overflow field of 16 that includes main-track-only entrants Crumb Bun, R Prerogative, Sayonara Baby and Thisismytime.

CJ Thoroughbreds’ Bienville Street was one of the favorites in last year’s Filly and Mare Turf Preview, finishing fourth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths. The 5-year-old mare also has yet to win in 2020, coming with a neck of capturing the Monroe Stakes Sept. 7 at Gulfstream. She hasn’t raced since running third in a one-mile optional claiming allowance Sept. 27.

First on the also-eligible list, Hallmarc Racing’s homebred filly Centsless Drama is looking to break a string of three consecutive runner-up finishes, the last two in one-mile optional claiming allowance company Aug. 20 and Sept. 27 at Gulfstream.

Last out, Centsless Drama was 1 3/4 lengths behind Mo of the West, who also shows up in the Filly and Mare Turf Preview, and 3 1/4 lengths ahead of beaten favorite Dynatown in fifth. Both horses are trained by U.S. and Canadian Hall of Famer Mark Casse, who won his 3,000th career race Thursday at Gulfstream West.

“She’s been second, second, second in really tough races. I ran her in an open allowance last time against two of Mark Casse’s very nice, well-bred fillies,” trainer Carlos David said. “She’s all right, and I think this definitely suits her running style. Every time she goes a mile and a sixteenth she gets beat because she’s a front-runner, and she’s very hard to rate. She just kind of takes the lead and she doesn’t want to give it up.

“When she goes past a mile is when she struggles a little bit, but she should be able to handle the ground,” he added. “I think the distance is going to help, although there’s a couple horses, sprinters, in there that are probably going to chase me around there which is not ideal, but I think she can do a good job.”

David won two stakes last weekend at Gulfstream West – the Millions Sprint Preview with Legal Deal and Juvenile Fillies Sprint with Shea D Summer.

“It was good,” he said. “I’m really happy when the horses run well for everybody. It’s been kind of challenging with the weather and everything else this year.”

Hear My Prayer, winner of the Melody of Colors sprinting five furlongs on the Gulfstream turf March 21; multiple stakes-placed Starship Nala; Aizu, Amadora, High On Gin, Lookinlikeaqueen, Lovely Luvy and Sweet Hitch Hiker are also entered.

The post Picara Seeks Third Straight Millions Filly And Mare Turf Preview Score appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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