10/02/2014 1:53PM

Brei, Gold have strong hand for final two Florida Sire Stakes

Kenny Martin/Coglianese Photos
Twotwentyfive A (yellow cap) wins the Florida Sire Affirmed Stakes on Sept. 6 at Gulfstream.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The Fred Brei and Stanley Gold show will be on full display Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where the potent owner-trainer combo will send out six starters in the final legs of the 2014 Florida Sire Stakes, the $350,000 In Reality and its filly counterpart, the $350,000 My Dear Girl.

The In Reality and My Dear Girl are two of the four stakes to be decided on Saturday’s 12-race card, along with the $75,000 Armed Forces and the $75,000 Our Dear Peggy, both for 2-year-olds on turf. The program will be the final one at Gulfstream Park until the championship meet opens Dec. 6. Racing on the south Florida circuit moves across town to Gulfstream Park West (formerly known as Calder) for an eight-week meet beginning Wednesday.

Brei and Gold will have four 2-year-olds in the 1 1/16-mile In Reality, including likely favorites Twotwentyfive A and Sing Praises. They’ll also start recent maiden winners Southern Barbecue and Hear That Tune.

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Twotwentyfive A is perfect in two starts, having won a maiden race by 3 3/4 lengths in his debut before returning to upset Sing Praises by a neck in the seven-furlong Affirmed.

Sing Praises won the Birdonthewire and Dr. Fager stakes before being upset by Twotwentyfive A in the Affirmed, in which he lost a long and seemingly comfortable lead at midstretch.

Southern Barbecue is clearly the best bred of the Brei/Gold quartet, being a full brother to two-time Grade 1 winner Jackson Bend, who swept the Stallion Stakes in 2009.

Brei and Gold will be represented by Leap Year Luck and Awesome Ice in the My Dear Girl. Leap Year Luck won the opening leg of the filly division of the Sire Stakes, the Desert Vixen, by 4 3/4 lengths before finishing a wide-running third in the seven-furlong Susan’s Girl.

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Holywell and Moment of Delight, first and second in the Susan’s Girl, also will return in the finale, which drew a field of only eight 2-year-old fillies.



Twotwentyfive A (Last 2 Beyers: 66-67)

◗ He looked like a horse who will go farther when he rallied from midpack to win the Affirmed, although his half brother, DNA Approved, never won in five starts around two turns. Gold said: “[Abdiel] Jaen rode him with a lot of confidence last time. He knew what he could do, and he had them measured just right. He’ll probably be best at this distance [1 1/16 miles].”

◗ The Jacks or Better Farm homebred breaks from the rail, an advantage with the short run to the first turn going the distance on the main track.

Sing Praises (Last 3 Beyers: 65-71-80)

◗ His ability to go two turns is suspect after he shortened his stride abruptly during the latter stages of the Affirmed. “I don’t think he got beat because of the distance,” Gold said. “I think he got beat because Twotwentyfive A came on, and we were a little confident with Sing Praises. But as for a mile and one-sixteenth, I really don’t know what to expect.”

Southern Barbecue (Last 3 Beyers: 58-37-45)

◗ This superbly bred juvenile is a half-brother to the five-time stakes-placed Grande Shores, along with Jackson Bend, but will really have to step up his game from a Beyer Speed Figure standpoint and prove his mettle at the distance to compete with his stablemates. “Jackson Bend preferred one turn, but he would go up to a mile,” said Gold.

Royal Squeeze (Last 2 Beyers: 63-54)

◗ The lone invader in the field ships from New York for the potent Chad Brown barn and is the only member of the lineup to have already raced two turns, which is a distinct advantage, but he is very poorly drawn in post 12 with such a short run to the first turn at the distance.



Leap Year Luck (Last 3 Beyers: 58-67- 57)

◗ She dominated the Desert Vixen but could not overcome a wide trip in the Susan’s Girl, although Gold said he feels two turns will not be an issue for her or stablemate Awesome Ice.

Holywell (Last 3 Beyers: 60-24-61)

◗ She forced all the pace before proving narrowly best in the Susan’s Girl at 41-1, although she won the race with a very average Beyer of just 60. “She virtually made all the running and had to fight off everybody,” said trainer Jose Pinchin. “Hopefully, she’ll get a little break in the My Dear Girl.”

In the other stakes races on the Saturday card:

◗ The Armed Forces at a mile on grass drew a field of 11, with the Wesley Ward pair of Thirtysilverpieces and Touchdown Kitten already winners on turf, as is the locally based The Big Mystery.

◗ A field of 13 2-year-old fillies will contest the Our Dear Peggy. The race will rematch Ward’s Navajo Kitten and Red Sashay, who finished in a dead heat for first, 4 1/2 lengths ahead of the others, in a maiden special weight race going a mile on grass when matching strides for the first time Sept. 14.