Updated on 09/17/2011 8:41PM

Midas Eyes favored in loaded Classic field


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - For the second year in a row, trainer Bobby Frankel will send out the favorite in the $1 million Ocala Breeders' Sales Company Classic, the richest of eight races to be run Saturday at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita.

A year ago at Santa Anita, Peace Rules finished fourth for Frankel as the even-money favorite in the Classic. This time, Frankel will send out Grade 1 winner Midas Eyes, who drew post position 11 in a full field of 12 entered for the Classic at Gulfstream Park.

The Sunshine Millions was conceived by Magna Entertainment Corp. chairman Frank Stronach and is run annually at Magna's two signature tracks. The races are restricted to California-breds and Florida-breds. A total of 93 horses were entered Monday for the third annual Sunshine Millions card, eight more than last year.

Run at 1 1/8 miles, the Classic is one of four races to be run at Gulfstream. The others are the $500,000 CloverLeaf Farms Filly and Mare Turf, the $300,000 Padua Stables Filly and Mare Sprint, and the $250,000 Ocala Stud Dash. Santa Anita will host the $500,000 Barretts/CTBA Distaff, $500,000 Warrens Thoroughbreds Turf, $300,000 Vinery Farms Sprint, and $250,000 Pepsi Oaks.

The Sunshine Millions races will be shown by NBC Sports in a two-hour telecast beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern. Seven of the eight races will be broadcast live, with the Oaks to be shown on a tape delay.

"I couldn't be more pleased with the overall quality of this card," said Dave Bailey, Gulfstream's racing secretary. "This program just seems to keep getting better and better every year. And this year's Classic is just a great race. Easily the best ever, with a Grade 1-type field."

Midas Eyes, who was entered in the 2004 Classic but scratched in favor of stablemate Peace Rules, is the lone Grade 1 winner in the Classic field, having won the seven-furlong Forego last summer at Saratoga. He was second in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile in 2003 and the Grade 1 De Francis Memorial last year, when he was beaten a neck by Wildcat Heir to close out his 4-year-old campaign. The Classic will be Midas Eyes's second start around two turns and first since finishing a wide-running third a year ago in the Grade 2 Strub.

Midas Eyes will have to be at his best to beat a Classic field that includes graded-stakes winners Limehouse, Classic Endeavor, Second of June, and Supah Blitz, as well as Lava Man, who was recently second behind Rock Hard Ten in the Grade 1 Malibu.

The Filly and Mare Sprint drew the smallest field of the eight Sunshine Millions races and also figures to have the biggest favorite on the card, Bear Fan, who finished a troubled third as the even-money favorite in this race last year at Santa Anita. A three-time Grade 2 winner, Bear Fan will face just five rivals, including defending champion Mooji Moo.

"She should have won this race by 10 lengths last year," said trainer Wesley Ward. "She's been training like a million bucks at Palm Meadows."

Mooji Moo has not won in four starts since his wire-to-wire upset at 17-1 in the 2004 Filly and Mare Sprint.

In the Dash, the undefeated and untested Lost in the Fog figures to go off the favorite in a strong field of 10 3-year-old colts and geldings entered in the six-furlong race. A Florida-bred, Lost in the Fog won his debut by 7 1/2 lengths at Golden Gate Fields and came back six weeks later to dominate Turf Paradise's Arizona Juvenile by 14 3/4 lengths. His Beyer Speed Figures of 103 and 109 tower over those in a field that includes Seize the Day and Bushwacker, both graded-stakes-placed; Santana Springs; Run Thruthe Sun; and B. B. Best.

Moscow Burning will be a heavy favorite in the Filly and Mare Turf. She was beaten less than a length in the Hollywood Gold Cup to close out a 2004 campaign that included a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf and a victory in Belmont's Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay.

Moscow Burning will be seeking to avenge her three-quarter-length defeat to Valentine Dancer in the 2004 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf. Valentine Dancer will be back to defend her title Saturday.

Alphabet Kisses tops a full field at Santa Anita in the Distaff. The winner of the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes in her last start, Alphabet Kisses faces a group that includes multiple Grade 2 winners Yearly Report and House of Fortune and Grade 2 winner Dream of Summer.

The Turf also attracted a top-quality field, led by multiple Grade 2 winner Star Over the Bay; A to the Z, runner-up in the Grade 1 Citation in his 2004 finale; and Silver Tree, who finished fifth in the Breeders' Cup Mile for trainer Bill Mott. Other key contenders include Icy Atlantic, Union Place, and Continental Red.

Brooke's Halo, privately purchased by trainer Jeff Mullins following an easy victory in her career debut at Calder, may be the slight favorite in a wide-open Oaks. Shake You Down will be back to defend his title in the Sprint.

Sunshine Millions
All times Eastern

OaksSanta Anita$250,0006 furlongs3:50 pm
Key horses: Brooke's Halo, Coastal Strike, Hello Lucky, Memorette
DashGulfstream250,0006 furlongs4:15 pm
Key horses: Lost in the Fog, B.B. Best, Bushwacker, Run Thruthe Sun
SprintSanta Anita300,0006 furlongs4:25 pm
Key horses: Areyoutalkintome, Green Team, My Cousin Matt, Shake You Down
FM SprintGulfstream300,0006 furlongs4:45 pm
Key horses: Alix M, Bear Fan, Double Scoop, Mooji Moo
TurfSanta Anita500,0001 1/8 miles (T)4:55 pm
Key horses: A to the Z, Silver Tree, Star Over the Bay, Union Place
FM TurfGulfstream500,0001 1/8 miles (T)5:15 pm
Key horses: Changing World, Moscow Burning, Valentine Dancer
DistaffSanta Anita500,0001 1/16 miles5:25 pm
Key horses: Alphabet Kisses, Friel's for Real, Yearly Report
ClassicGulfstream1,000,0001 1/8 miles5:45 pm
Key horses: Classic Endeavor, Limehouse, Midas Eyes, Second of June

* Television: NBC 4 pm
* All races restricted to Florida- and California-breds