Updated on 02/10/2013 9:26AM

Gulfstream Park: Golden Mystery tops Wolfson brigade in Hurricane Bertie

Barbara D. Livingston
Golden Mystery is the most capable of Marty Woflson's four-horse entry in the Hurricane Bertie.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Marty Wolfson entered four fillies and mares for Sunday’s $150,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes at Gulfstream Park. But if his Golden Mystery runs like she did four weeks earlier on Sunshine Millions day, he’ll only need one.

Golden Mystery drew off to an impressive 5 1/4-length victory over Emma’s Encore with R Holiday Mood a tiring third in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint. The three will match strides again while stretching out an additional sixteenth of a mile, to 6 1/2 furlongs, for the Grade 3 Hurricane Bertie.

Wolfson entered Golden Mystery along with stablemates Nakano, Starship Truffles, and Spectacular Sky, although at most only three of the four will run. Spectacular Sky won Saturday's Manatee Stakes at Tampa. Entering as many as four fillies in a stakes race is not uncommon practice for Wolfson.

“By entering all four it allows me to keep my options open and also to get a look at the post position draw,” Wolfson said. “If one of the four were to draw the rail, for instance, I would scratch her and perhaps run one of the others instead.”

Golden Mystery will likely be making her last start for Wolfson and owner Farnsworth Stables in the Hurricane Bertie. She’s catalogued to be sold the following evening at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky mixed sale. She is certainly being sold at the peak of her career, having finished second in both the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl and Ocala overnight stakes prior to her huge performance over a sloppy track in the Sunshine Millions.

“She proved in the Sugar Swirl when she was second to Dust and Diamonds and again in her last race that she can rate, which is a huge plus,” said Wolfson.

Wolfson said Nakano will definitely start in the Hurricane Bertie with the red-hot Starship Truffles a question mark.

“I could send Starship Truffles to Maryland for the Barbara Fritchie, I’m just not sure yet,” Wolfson said on Friday.

Starship Truffles could be a major player if she runs in the Hurricane Bertie, having won each of her last four starts in convincing fashion, albeit against lesser competition, including the Claiming Crown Glass Slipper here on opening day.

Nakano finished third in the Sugar Swirl and was also third last summer behind Musical Romance in Calder’s Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap. Jermaine Bridgmohan is listed to ride, although Wolfson said Joel Rosario will be aboard on Sunday.

“I think Nakano can pick up the pieces. She’ll definitely be closing, with Rosario aboard.”

Emma’s Encore, winner of the Grade 1 Test Stakes last summer at Saratoga, ran well in defeat in the Sunshine Filly and Mare Sprint, rallying from last while making her first start in more than three months. She’s trained extremely well since that race, zipping five furlongs in 59 and change here earlier this week for Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens.

“She worked well, I was pleased with her first race here and she should like the added distance,” said Jerkens. “I wouldn’t say she necessarily needed the race but it’s not impossible that she might have. No matter how hard you try to get one ready, it doesn’t have to be so.”

R Holiday Mood has started twice since out-gaming Funny Sunny by a neck to win the 2012 Hurricane Bertie. R Holiday Mood was hard-used contesting the pace in the Sunshine Filly and Mare Sprint before tiring to finish third while making her first start in 10 months. She could get tested early again in defense of her title with Fantasy of Flight, Applauding, and Munnings Sister in the field.

Applauding is undefeated in three starts and will run for the first time since being transferred to trainer Michael Matz’s barn earlier this winter.