December 26 promises to be one of the most important days in the history of 1/ST Racing. It’s opening day of the Classic Meet at Santa Anita and opening day of the Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park. Note that Laurel Park has moved its Christmastide Day stakes card to Friday, December 30 due to weather. All month, 1/ST BET will prepare you for a 26th of December to Remember with special content.
Let’s meet the contenders for Monday’s Tropical Park Oaks at Gulfstream Park.
1-Jumeirah: Longshot daughter of versatile sire Twirling Candy has 1 win from 14 starts and seeks first stakes victory. Winless in 4 stakes bid, but was third in November in the Cellars Shiraz Stakes.
2-Frosted Oaks: June 24 maiden breaker at Belmont has not started since then. Expect her near the early lead from an inner draw on the stretch-out for reputed trainer Bill Mott.
3-Omixochitl: Pronounced “oh-me-so-chee,” this former maiden claimer has outrun her humble beginnings with a stakes win and two placings this year. Has been a bit inconsistent in sealing the deal late, but consistently delivers her effort.
4-Gunesh: Oaks will be this daughter of Declaration of War’s first start on turf. Took 5 tries to break her maiden and did so on the Tapeta last time out with a front-running win. Longshot could be part of the pace.
5-Spirit and Glory: Virginia Oaks winner is 2-2 with Lasix, but hasn’t won in the US without it. Deep closer was not able to dent the Sands Point or Winter Memories top-3 at Aqueduct in recent starts. Needs a fast pace to show her best.
6-Candy Light: Another deep closer dependent on pace, the Virginia Oaks third-place finisher and Winter Memories runner-up seeks her first stakes win. Red-hot riding Jose Ortiz takes the mount for Graham Motion.
7-Surprisingly: Shug McGaughey trainee returns from a September layoff when mid-pack in the Virginia Oaks. Three wins in 5 starts, but failed to factor in both stakes attempts. She brings a bullet workout in from Payson Park and may fire fresh.
8-My Philly Twirl: Sanibel Island Stakes winner owns 3 wins in 4 local turf starts, rattled off in succession during last year’s Championship Meet. Brendan Walsh trainee didn’t fire her best in the Grade 3 Valley View at Keeneland and seeks a bounce-back.
9-Diamond Wow: Daughter of 2010 Preakness winner Lookin At Lucky won the first 2 starts of her career, but has lost 4 straight. She has just a mid-pack finish in a 5-furlong Tapeta sprint on her resume since May, but is working fast for the second-off-the-layoff attempt.
10-Personal Best: Stablemate of Surprisingly exits a blowout win on turf at Aqueduct in allowance company. Impeccably bred Tapit-War Flag filly is 7-for-7 in the superfecta and makes her stakes debut from a tough post under top pilot Irad Ortiz Jr.
26th of December to Remember Stakes
Gulfstream Park | Championship Meet | Opening Day
$100K Tropical Park Derby
$100K Tropical Park Oaks
Santa Anita | Classic Meet | Opening Day
$300K G1 Malibu
$300K G1 American Oaks
$300K G1 La Brea
$200K G2 Mathis Mile
$200K G2 San Antonio
$200K G2 San Gabriel
Rescheduled for Friday, December 30
Laurel Park | Christmastide Stakes Day
$100K Dave’s Friend
$100K Gin Talking
$100K Robert Manfuso
$100K Willa On the Move