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A Ray of Sunshine

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 1/26/2011 2:11:51 PM

The Sunshine Millions will be held Saturday at both Santa Anita and Gulfstream and the 6 races will carry a combined purse of $1.8 million.

Santa Anita will host the $300,000 9-furlong Sunshine Millions Turf, the $300,000 SM Distaff at a mile and a sixteenth and the $200,000 SM Sprint at 6 furlongs.

Gulfstream will roll out the $200,000 SM F and M Sprint at 6 furlongs, the $300,000 SM F and M Turf at 9 furlongs and the big daddy of them all, the SM Classic, which goes at 9 furlongs with $500,000 on the line.

Last year, the races were run according to form for the most post. The F and M Sprint was won by 6-1 shot Quisisana. The Turf was won by 3-1 Jet Propulsion and the Distaff was captured by 8-5 chalk Sweet Repent.

The Sprint was a close one as even money This Ones for Phil held on by a nose while the F and M Turf went to 6-5 heroine Tight Precision.

Bold Chieftain overcame a rough trip to win the Classic as the second choice but those that wheeled him in the gimmick got paid as 50-1 Unusual Smoke got up for third to ignite a dollar trifecta that paid over $925.

Nominees to this year’s Classic come from outposts like Sunland Park, both coasts, Florida based runners and even a couple from Maryland.

Sarah Palin fans will have a vehicle in First Dude, who will appreciate the 9 furlongs. He has legit speed, ran 2nd in the Preakness and third in the Belmont Stakes last year and his best asset may be fact he doesn’t absolutely need the lead to win.

With his inside draw, expect the pilot to send hard and hope for the best.

Duke of Mischief has a clever stalk and rally style and he has the proven class to make some noise. A Grade 2 winner last April, he was dueled into submission in a battle with Blame but has repeatedly won fresh and could get away on the tote.

The Duke also has a right to have a long and happy career and his half brother Lord Robyn was stakes placed at the tender age of 8.

Tackleberry will be a betting number. He has tactical speed and he has the will to win as 5 for 9 slate suggests. He lost all chance in his only Gulfstream race and backers will at least get a brief thrill.

Black Hills figures to be a healthy price also since he has plied his trade in the Southwest at outposts like Zia Park

For those that enjoy it shaken not stirred comes Dry Martini. This gelding son of Slew Gin Fizz fires just about every time, has been in the exacta in 16 of 35 lifetime on his way to millionaire status. He also proved his class running second in the Sunshine Millions Classic last year.

When the smoke clears, don’t be shocked if Duke of Mischief gets the ideal trip and prevails.



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