Augustin Stable’s Ever So Lucky and Lantern Hill Farm’s Motor City were last seen under colors running second and first, respectively, in separate graded stakes races last fall at Churchill Downs. The two will meet Saturday as likely favorites in a field of 10 3-year-olds drawn for the $150,000 Swale Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Joe Bravo gets the call on Ever So Lucky for trainer Jonathan Sheppard, taking over for Julien Leparoux who rode him to a game second-place finish as the favorite behind Gemologist in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at 1 1/16 miles at Churchill on Nov. 26. The son of Indian Charlie developed an immediate following after winning his career debut at Churchill on Nov. 11 by 3 ¼ lengths as the 4-to-5 favorite.
Jockey Edgar Prado will ride Motor City for trainer Ian Wilkes. A Kentucky homebred gelding by Street Sense, Motor City won the one-mile Iroquois Stakes (G3) last out at Churchill on Oct. 30 rallying from last of seven. He also ran well to finish third in the one-mile Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3) in September closing from 12th early in the race.
“He is a confirmed closer, which may not help him at Gulfstream,” said Wilkes last weekend. “But he’s got to get started someplace and he’s ready to run.”
Another coming back in the Swale with graded stakes experience last year is Shivananda Parbhoo’s Trinniberg and jockey Willie Martinez named to ride for trainer Bisnath Parboo as he makes his first start since a disappointing seventh-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4. The son of Journeyman Stud stallion Teuflesberg had finished second in the Hopeful (G2) at Saratoga behind Currency Swap and second behind Vexor in the Nashua (G2) at Belmont Park.
Trainer Kathy Ritvo will have a contender in the Swale with Reeves Thoroughbreds’ Silver Menace and jockey Ramon Dominguez aboard. The roan/gray colt by Silver Wagon finished an even fourth last out in the Needles Stakes sprinting five furlongs on turf on Feb. 4, beaten 1 ¾ lengths in an even effort.
Completing the field for the seven-furlong Swale are: Donald Dizney’s Bahamian Squall, George Kerr’s Good Morning Diva, Rey Wan Racing’s Hello Prince, Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti’s Musical Flair, Michael Briuder’s Quick Wit and James Lauffer, Poplar Hill Farm and W.D. Cubbedge’s Seve.