Updated on 09/17/2011 8:39PM

Florida looks less dominant this year


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Florida-breds have dominated California-breds in the first two runnings of the Sunshine Millions, but from the look of the final pre-entry list for the 2005 edition, released on Thursday, things could even out a bit this year.

The is a series of eight races restricted to Florida- and California-breds. The races will be run on Jan. 29, at Magna Entertainment Corp.'s two signature tracks, Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita, each of which will host four of the races. A total of 147 horses were pre-entered for the 2005 Sunshine Millions. Entries for all eight races will be drawn on Monday.

The highlight of the day is the $1 million Classic at 1 1/8 miles, which will be run at Gulfstream. The $500,000 Filly and Mare Turf, the $300,000 Filly and Mare Sprint, and the $250,000 Dash will also be run at Gulfstream.

Santa Anita will host the $500,000 Turf, $500,000 Distaff, $300,000 Sprint, and $250,000 Oaks.

Florida-breds have won 13 of the first 16 Sunshine Millions races, seven on the inaugural card and six more last year. Three of the defending champions, Mooji Moo (Filly and Mare Sprint), Shake You Down (Sprint), and Valentine Dancer (Filly and Mare Turf) are expected to return to defend their titles.

The Florida-bred contingent for the Classic is strong, headed by Midas Eyes and Limehouse. Supah Blitz, who was purchased privately and sent to trainer Doug O'Neill's barn in Southern California, will come back East to join a Florida team that also includes Zakocity, Classic Endeavor, and Royal Place. Limehouse was also pre-entered in the Sprint.

Second of June, who would be a key member of Team Florida in the Classic, will need one scratch to draw into the race.

The California contingent in the Classic includes Lava Man, Yougottawanna, Stockholder, Cozy Guy, and El Don.

California might hold the upper hand in the filly races, especially the Filly and Mare Turf and the Filly and Mare Sprint.

Both Valentine Dancer and Moscow Burning, the one-two finishers in the Filly and Mare Turf a year ago over their home course of Santa Anita, will ship east to take on a Florida group led by Changing World. Among the other Florida-breds pre-entered for the Filly and Mare Turf are Marwood, Vous, Formal Miss, and Sweet Lips.

California-bred Bear Fan was victimized by an eventful trip when she finished in a dead heat for third in the 2004 Filly and Mare Sprint, and will likely be odds-on to make amends this year. Defending champion Mooji Moo, who won last year's race at 17-1, will be joined on the Florida side by Alix M, Really Royal, Iflookscouldkill, Sparkling Forest, and Scarlett Memories.

Grade 1 winner Alphabet Kisses is the leading California-bred pointed for the Distaff, in which she will be backed up by Dream of Summer, House of Fortune, Yearly Report, Royally Chosen, and Tucked Away. Valentine Dancer, pre-entered in the Filly and Mare Turf, was also pre-entered in this race. Florida may be represented by as few as four starters with only five fillies and mares pre-entered and one of those, Redoubled Miss, likely to pass the race in lieu of Sunday's Banshee Breeze Handicap at Gulfstream.

Only seven Florida-breds were pre-entered for the Sprint, but it's a strong group led by defending champion Shake You Down, Limehouse, My Cousin Matt, and Rojo Toro. California has 16 eligible for the race, including likely starters Lava Man, Revello, Green Team, McCann's Mojave, Areyoutalkntome, Excessivepleasure, and Don'tsellmeshort.

Five of the seven Florida-breds eligible for the six-furlong Oaks are stabled in California, including Grade 2 winner and possible favorite Hello Lucky.

The race's male counterpart, the Dash, attracted a dozen Florida-breds, headed by Grade 1 winner Proud Accolade, although he is not likely to start. California-based Bushwacker and the Calder-based B. B. Best are among the best of the Floridians in the Dash, while Iced Out heads the West Coast Dash runners.