Hightail – Though still a maiden after eight starts, the 2yo son of Mineshaft has been in stakes company in his most recent two races, a process not new to Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
The name Hightail could be a good omen for the Juvenile Sprint since the phrase “let’s high-tail it out of here” is well-established in the American lexicon.
Hightail joined his Lukas compatriots Tuesday morning in the trainer’s routine of long gallops leading up to a race.
South Floyd – The colt, co-owned by Rick Pitino, galloped 1 1/4m Tuesday at Santa Anita with exercise rider Beto Gomez.
Trainer Doug O'Neill explained how he acquired South Floyd and two other 2yo colts co-owned by Pitino. "One of my assistants, Jack Sisterson, went to the University of Louisville on a soccer scholarship," said O'Neill. Sisterson met the famed Louisville basketball coach there.
"He contacted ‘Coach’ and he let Jack and my brother Dennis buy three colts at an OBS sale," said O'Neill, who also conditions Avare and Russdiculous for Pitino. O'Neill said he met Pitino in Louisville four years ago, but these are the first Thoroughbreds he is training for him.
Sweet Shirley Mae – Ice Wine Stable’s Sweet Shirley Mae galloped a little more than 1 1/4m Tuesday morning under exercise rider Lindsey Molina.
Trained by Wesley Ward, Sweet Shirley Mae was pre-entered in the Juvenile Sprint as well as the Juvenile Fillies with Ward opting for the former race.
“They (Sweet Shirley Mae and Almost an Angel) are owned by the same people and they wanted to split them up,” said Ward, whose Almost an Angel is entered in the Juvenile Fillies. “Almost an Angel has been running long and the other one has been sprinting.”
Joel Rosario will ride Sweet Shirley Mae for the first time Friday and will exit post position 7.
When Sweet Shirley Mae starts Friday, it will be her first race in two months since a runner-up finish in the Spinaway at Saratoga.
She was entered in the Frizette at Belmont on Oct. 6 but was scratched at the gate after a horse next to her flipped in the gate. Sweet Shirley Mae sustained a small contusion above the knee but has missed no training time.
Six days after the Frizette, Sweet Shirley Mae worked at Aqueduct before shipping to Kentucky and working once at the Trackside Training Center in Louisville and then Saturday at Keeneland before heading west.