12/08/2011 2:05PM

Gulfstream: Presious Passion back at the track

Barbara D. Livingston
Presious Passion got some time off at a farm after January's Sunshine Millions Turf.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – One of the more notable sightings on the racetrack here Thursday morning was that of the old warhorse Presious Passion, who is attempting a comeback with trainer Mary Hartmann.

Presious Passion, who turns 9 years old in three weeks, has not started since finishing fifth at Santa Anita in the Sunshine Millions Turf on Jan. 29 or won a race since capturing the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida here in February of 2010. Although he is a three-time Grade 1 winner, Presious Passion may be best remembered for a race he lost, the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Turf, in which he was beaten a half-length by Conduit following a stirring stretch duel.

Overall, Presious Passion has won 14 of 50 career starts and banked nearly $2.7 million for owner Patricia Generazio.

“I gave him some time off after he returned from California last winter to clear his head out,” said Hartmann. “He’s been back with me at the track for a little over a month to see if he still wanted to do it, and so far so good. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed. Hopefully he’s going to breeze this week, and if all goes well we’ll look at the Sunshine Millions to start him back.”

The $300,000 Sunshine Millions Turf will be run at 1 1/8 miles on Jan. 28.

“He was on a very plush, private farm in New Jersey, and he loved it there,” said Hartmann. “He got a lot of attention and loved being turned out to graze in the paddocks. If things don’t work out with him here, he can just go home and be retired. He’s certainly deserved it.”

Hartmann said Presious Passion is scheduled to have his first local work over the weekend.