06/30/2016 12:50PM

Birdatthewire has a lot going for her in Princess Rooney

Barbara D. Livingston
Birdatthewire won two Grade 2 stakes at Gulfstream last year, including the Gulfstream Oaks (above).

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The decision to bring Birdatthewire back to Gulfstream Park for Saturday’s $250,000 Princess Rooney was pretty much a no-brainer for trainer Dale Romans. After all, she’s already shown an affinity for the track; the race is a Win and You’re In for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint; the distance of the race was increased from six to seven furlongs, which helps the late-running filly; and she is the only Grade 1 winner in the field.

Birdatthewire likely will be favored in the Grade 2 dash for fillies and mares, which shares top billing on Saturday’s 13-race Summit of Speed card with the Grade 2 Smile Sprint. Post time for the Summit of Speed program, which offers nine stakes worth $1.13 million, is 12:15 p.m. Eastern.

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Birdatthewire won a pair of Grade 2 stakes at Gulfstream last year at 3, the Forward Gal at seven furlongs and the Gulfstream Park Oaks at 1 1/16 miles. She came within a neck of being perfect in three local starts when she finished second in the Grade 2 Davona Dale with an eventful trip.

Birdatthewire became a Grade 1 winner in her 3-year-old finale last December at Santa Anita, rallying from last to a half-length victory in the seven-furlong La Brea.

“She ran a big race that day,” said Romans. “They outsprinted her, she just settled and came running. Hopefully, the same thing will happen on Saturday. She’s shown she’s better around one turn – that’s another reason to be there.”

Birdatthewire is one of two Kentucky invaders in the lineup, along with Spelling Again, a Grade 2 winner who exits an unlucky third-place finish in the Grade 3 Winning Colors going six furlongs at Churchill Downs. Claimed by trainer Brad Cox for $40,000 during the spring of 2015, Spelling Again won the Grade 2 Chilukki going a mile at Churchill Downs in November.

The local contingent is led by the Marty Wolfson-trained pair of Cali Star and Kiss to Remember. Cali Star captured the Grade 3 Rampart at a mile here last December, while Kiss to Remember tries the Princess Rooney for a second straight season, having finished a late-running third in this race last summer.

Concealedwithakiss, a wire-to-wire winner of her last two starts, and My Miss Venezuela, who led throughout to upset the Sea Lily Stakes here on June 4, figure to assure a lively pace, along with Willow Hills.

Key Contenders

Birdatthewire, by Summer Bird

Last 3 Beyers: 83-94-88

◗ She can avenge her setback at the hands of Spelling Again in the Chilukki, where she finished a distant fifth following a slow start.

Spelling Again, by Awesome Again

Last 3 Beyers: 82-87-86

◗ She wheeled back on short rest to just miss in the Winning Colors after having finished third behind one of the leading members of the division, Cavorting, in the Grade 2 Ruffian at Belmont Park two weeks earlier.

Cali Star, by Street Cry

Last 3 Beyers: 79-90-90

◗ She’s been laid off but has trained extremely well since stumbling and losing jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. following her fifth-place finish as the favorite in the Heavenly Prize at Aqueduct on March 5. “I thought she’d win that race, but she never handled the racetrack that day,” said Wolfson.