01/20/2009 12:00AM

Delightful Kiss draws poorly in Classic

Vassar Photography
Delightful Kiss, the likely favorite, drew post 12 for the Sunshine Millions Classic.

Led by Delightful Kiss, who comes off a victory in the Hal's Hope at Gulfstream Park, an overflow field of 15 was entered on Monday in the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park, the highlight of the eight-race, coast-to-coast event on Saturday.

The Classic is one of four Sunshine Millions races that will be run at Gulfstream Park. The other four races, including the $500,000 Turf, will be run at Santa Anita. Total prize money is $3.6 million.

The Sunshine Millions matches California-breds against Florida-breds, but in the entries taken at both tracks on Monday the Florida-breds led by a wide margin, 59-34.

In the four races at Gulfstream Park, just seven Cal-breds were entered, compared to 39 Florida-breds. The Classic has just two Cal-breds, compared to 13 Florida-breds, three of whom wound up on the also-eligible list.

At Santa Anita, the spread was equitable, with 27 Cal-breds and 20 Florida-breds making up the 47 entries in four races.

There was one noticeable absence from one of Santa Anita's biggest races, the $500,000 Distaff. Romance Is Diane, a narrow loser against males in the California Cup Classic in her last start, was not entered after suffering a minor injury and likely will be retired, according to her trainer, Mike Mitchell. Romance Is Diane was purchased by Frank Stronach for $1.35 million at auction in November in Kentucky.

Delightful Kiss will be seeking the fourth win in his last six starts in the Classic, but he drew poorly, landing in post 12 in a 1 1/8-mile race that has a short run to the first turn. His top rivals, all Florida-breds, are Atoned, Hey Byrn, and Macho Again.

Preceding the Classic at Gulfstream Park are the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash, for 3-year-olds going six furlongs; the $500,000 Filly and Mare Turf at 1 1/8 miles; and the $300,000 Filly and Mare Sprint at six furlongs.

The Dash is headed by Florida-breds Backbackbackgone, Ju Jitsu Jax, and You Luckie Mann, the likely favorite. Wild Promises figures to be a heavy favorite in the Filly and Mare Turf. Florida-breds High Resolve and Lovely Isle and Cal-bred Mistical Plan top the field in the Filly and Mare Sprint.

With Romance Is Diane out of the Distaff, a field of 13 was entered in the 1 1/16-mile race, including Florida-breds Briecat, Dawn After Dawn, and Leah's Secret, and Cal-breds Bai and Bai and Spenditallbaby.

The best race at Santa Anita might be the $300,000 Sprint, which features top-class runners like Florida-bred In Summation and Cal-bred Georgie Boy in a field of 11 going six furlongs. Johnny Eves is passing the race to run instead in the Grade 2, $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap on Sunday.

Fourteen were entered in the $500,000 Turf at 1 1/8 miles, including Cal-breds Lucky J.H. and Mr. Chairman and Florida-breds Presious Passion, Soldier's Dancer, and Victory Pete.

The $250,000 Oaks for 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs has nine entrants, with Cal-breds Dancing Erin and Ten Churros taking on Florida-breds Emmy Darling and Leigh McLovin.