01/24/2009 12:00AM

It's a Bird romps in Classic


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - It's a Bird completed a sweep of the four Sunshine Million races at Gulfstream Park by Florida-breds on Saturday with a surprisingly easy victory over Dry Martini and 2-1 favorite Delightful Kiss in the $1 million Classic.

Four other Sunshine Million stakes were run at Santa Anita on Saturday, and overall Florida-breds won six of the eight races.

Trainer Greg Gilchrist was the big winner on the day in the stakes at Gulfstream, capturing the Filly and Mare Turf with Wild Promises and the Filly and Mare Sprint with High Resolve.

A 6-year-old son of Birdonthewire, It's a Bird ($24) won the Grade 3 Spend a Buck Handicap at Calder from off the pace in November and finished sixth following a slow start in his 2009 debut three weeks ago in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope.

It's a Bird showed surprising early speed from the outset of the 1 1/8-mile Classic, forcing the pace of Finallymadeit, who cut out fractions of 23.78 seconds, 48.08, and 1:12.56 for the opening six furlongs. It's a Bird forged to a short advantage while still well in hand entering the stretch, surged to a four-length lead once roused by Julien Leparoux with about a furlong remaining, and was not seriously threatened thereafter.

The Florida-bred Dry Martini rallied between horses to finish second, 5 1/4 lengths behind the winner and a nose in front of Delightful Kiss, also a Florida-bred. Delightful Kiss broke last and dropped more than a dozen lengths off the early leaders, was fanned extremely wide while rallying into the stretch, and was left with just too much to do.

It's a Bird is trained by Marty Wolfson for owner Edmund Gann. The same duo combined one week earlier to win the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector with Ikigai. The $600,000 first prize swelled It's a Bird's earnings to $867,000.

It's a Bird covered the distance in 1:49.35 over a fast track.

"I wanted to be close to the pace right from the start," said Wolfson, who took over It's a Bird's training early last summer. "Finallymadeit was the one I was afraid of, but I knew once my horse got by him I knew he'd get stronger and stronger. His race in the Hal's Hope was deceiving because he broke slow then closed ground late, but he can run all day, which is a little hard to explain because he's by Birdonthewire."