(Atomically / Photo Courtesy of Gulfstream Park)
From Gulfstream Park Media Team:
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Michael Bernard’s Atomically, three months since making her graded-stakes debut in the Breeders’ Cup, returns to South Florida in an effort to rediscover her winning ways in Saturday’s $125,000 Forward Gal (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
The seven-furlong Forward Gal for fillies is among five graded-stakes for 3-year-olds on a 12-race program headlined by the $250,000 Holy Bull (G3), the next step on Gulfstream’s road to the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) April 1.
Post time is 11:50 a.m.
Bred in Florida by Bernard and Tracy Pinchin and trained by Pinchin’s husband, Jose, Atomically ran third in her debut last summer before notching back-to-back wins capped by a 6 ¾-length triumph in the FSS My Dear Girl in October.
The bay daughter of Grade 1-winning millionaire Girvin was sold privately to Eclipse’s Aron Wellman after the My Dear Girl, moved to Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher and pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Keeneland. Her first time facing open company, she raced with the forward group never more than 3 ½ lengths from the lead before tiring to be seventh.
“I thought it was OK,” Pletcher said of the Breeders’ Cup. “Obviously that was against the best 2-year-old fillies in the country in a big field going two turns and all that, but she tried hard. Now we’re looking forward to regrouping and getting her going again.”
Atomically has been breezing steadily since late November for her return, which Pletcher had hoped would come in the one-mile Cash Run on New Year’s Day at Gulfstream until being sidelined with a minor illness.
“She’s doing good,” Pletcher said. “We were planning on running her in the one before this and she had a little temperature, so it knocked us off course a little bit. We got a little delayed getting her started but she’s been training nicely. She’s had some success over the track, so I look forward to getting her started here.”
Jose Ortiz will be aboard for the first time from Post 3 in a field of 10.
Also looking to get back on track in the Forward Gal is Arindel homebred Lynx, who rallied to be third, beaten 2 ½ lengths by Infinite Diamond, in the Cash Run. Lynx won the FSS Desert Vixen and Susan’s Girl last summer at Gulfstream before finishing second as the favorite to Atomically in the My Dear Girl.
“We’re trying to get her back into her old form now as a 3-year-old,” trainer Carlos David said. “Hopefully she can cross the wire first, but if not she’ll have it under her belt for the next race and will be a lot more comfortable.”
Gulfstream’s series for 3-year-old fillies continues with the one-mile Davona Dale (G2) March 4 and concludes with the 1 1/16-mile Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) April 2. Lynx is undefeated sprinting, winning at five, six and seven furlongs by 7 ¾ combined lengths.
Jockey Joel Rosario, up for the first time in the Cash Run, rides back from Post 6.
“The next race is a month from now and that one is a mile, so this will be a good prep. We’re trying to get her back in the game,” David said. “It’s not that she can’t get the seven-eighths. She’s a little better going the distance, but she had a nice workout [Sunday] morning in 47 and change. She’s feeling good and Joel is back on her, so we’ll see what happens. I feel good about her.”
Ashbrook Farm and Upland Flats Racing’s Red Carpet Ready, trained by Rusty Arnold, will be making her sophomore debut in the Forward Gal after going unbeaten in two starts at 2. She broke her maiden by 10 lengths sprinting six furlongs before registering a 3 ¼-length victory in the 6 ½-furlong Fern Creek, both at Churchill Downs.
Godolphin homebred Twice as Sweet was a 6 ¼-length winner of the six-furlong Smart Halo last fall at Laurel Park in her stakes debut for trainer Brendan Walsh. Last time out the Candy Ride filly ran fourth by three lengths in the Dec. 26 Letellier Memorial at Fair Grounds, also going six furlongs.
Completing the field are last out maiden winners Adeliese’s Smile, Apropos, Flakes, Positano Sunset and Undervalued Sunset, the latter by 8 ¼ lengths last November at Aqueduct in her lone start; and Arella Star, fourth in the Cash Run.
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