March 3, 2024

Synchrony ships west for Seabiscuit; Lakerball seeks third straight in Jimmy Durante

Synchrony squeezed through on the rail to win the Oceanport handily (Photo By Taylor Ejdys/EQUI-PHOTO)

A four-time graded stakes winner in 2018, Synchrony found the waters too deep in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) last out but should appreciate the class relief in Saturday’s $200,000 Seabiscuit H. (G3) at Del Mar. The five-year-old invades from his winter base at Fair Grounds and Joe Bravo will be in to ride for Michael Stidham.

Synchrony opened this year with back-to-back wins in the Fair Grounds H. (G3) and Muniz Memorial (G2). Following consecutive thirds in the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) and Arlington H. (G3), the Pin Oak Stud homebred got back on the winning track with a pair of Grade 3 scores at Monmouth Park, posting comfortable wins in the Oceanport and Red Bank. The chestnut son of Tapit has been installed as the co-highweight at 120 pounds among 12 runners.

Grade 3 winner Big Score will also tote 120 pounds in the 1 1/16-mile turf affair. Fourth in the Del Mar Mile (G2) two back, the four-year-old colt exits a rallying fifth in the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland. Geovanni Franco will be up for Tim Yakteen. Ohio exits a respectable third in the City of Hope (G2) at Santa Anita and the seven-year-old gelding will make his third start for Mike McCarthy after being claimed for $50,000 in June. Drayden Van Dyke retains the mount.

Irish Group 3 scorer Pincheck will make his U.S. debut for Jessica Harrington and Mike Smith takes over the reins. Other stakes winners include Ann Arbor Eddie, Caribou Club, the mare Madame Stripes and Secretary at War.

A couple of races earlier, Lakerball will pursue her third straight stakes tally in the $100,000 Jimmy Durante (G3). Conditioned by Doug O’Neill, the California-bred daughter of Lakerville earned her first win over maiden claiming rivals in her second start and sprung a 33-1 upset in the Surfer Girl two starts later. Lakerball shipped north last time to annex the October 27 Pike Place Dancer at Golden Gate Fields by five lengths. Mario Gutierrez has the call.

Thirteen juvenile fillies are entered in the one-mile turf race and O’Neill will also send out new trainee Cedars of London, an Irish import who tries stakes rivals with a two-race win skein. Graham Motion has a pair of contenders in Monette, a French stakes winner who finished a head second when making her stateside debut in the October 8 Matron (G3) at Belmont Park; and Pivottina, a French import who posted a rallying fourth when trying North American foes in the September 16 Natalma (G1) at Woodbine.

Creative Instinct, winner of the Generous Portion for Cal-breds two back, will try turf for Peter Miller. Kookie Gal steps up to face open stakes foes for Miller after recording a front-running score over state-bred rivals in her debut on Santa Anita’s turf.