Cyclone Mischief Returns to Gulfstream in Hooper (G3)

January 22nd, 2024

Brown ‘Excited’ to Saddle Vosburgh (G2) Runner-up Accretive

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Cyclone Mischief will be looking to regain the form that earned him a start in the 2023 Kentucky Derby (G1) at the track he has enjoyed the most success. The son of Into Mischief will be one of two runners from the barn of Dale Romans in Saturday’s $150,000 Fred W. Hooper (G3) presented by Whispering Angel at Gulfstream Park. The mile stakes race for older horses drew a full field of 12.

Cyclone Mischief punched his ticket to Kentucky with a pair of third place finishes last year in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) and the Florida Derby (G1). The wins earned him enough points to qualify for a Kentucky Derby post after a late defection. He, however, would go on to finish last in the field.

Given a long layoff, Cyclone Mischief returned to a post a fourth-place finish in a mile allowance face on Nov. 26 at Churchill Downs. The 4-year-old will seek to revisit the Gulfstream winner’s circle for the first time since Jan. 8 of last year, when he notched his most recent win. Frankie Dettori will be aboard Cyclone Mischief for the first time.

Stablemate Giant Game will also be looking to rebound off a disappointing race at Churchill Downs. The 5-year-old son of Giants Causeway faded to an eighth-place finish in his most recent outing in the Clark (G2) on Nov. 24. Giant Game will dial back from that 1 1/8-mile test to a distance where he has posted a pair of second place finishes in as many outings. Martin Garcia gets the call for the fourth-straight race.

Jockey Luis Saez, who has five victories in the Hooper including last year’s win aboard Endorsed, will pilot Tumbarumba for trainer Bryan Lynch and owner Amerman Racing, LLC. The 4-year-old’s most recent win came at a mile in the Ellis Park Derby on Aug. 13. Two of the gelding’s four career wins have come with Saez in the irons.

Irad Ortiz Jr., who leads the Gulfstream jockey colony in wins, will again ride Accretive for trainer Chad Brown. The gelded son of Practical Joke finished a disappointing 10th in his last outing Dec. 2 over a muddy Aqueduct track in the Cigar Mile (G2). Prior to that outing, Accretive had finished in the money in both the Forty Niner (G2) and Vosburgh Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct.

“He didn’t fire in the (Cigar),” Brown said. “He was [third] in his prep for the race and then he went in there and it was wet and all that, so he really didn’t handle it too well. The race kind of was dominated by a loose speed horse that ran out of his mind that day. He’s come down here and he’s trained well, and I think this is his distance, this one-turn mile race, so I’m excited to run him.”

Castle Chaos will be making his second stakes start Saturday. The 6-year-old gelding managed to navigate the Aqueduct off-track to a third-place score in the Cigar Mile in his stakes debut. Trained by Robert N. Falcone Jr., Tyler Gaffalione will get the call aboard the son of Palace Malice.

Trainer Bob Baffert will send Hejazi to post on Saturday in the Hooper. The 4-year-old ships in on the heels of a second-place finish in the Malibu Stakes (G1) on Dec. 26 at Santa Anita. The son of Bernardini will contest a mile for the first time but has finished in the money in seven of his eight career starts. Flavien Prat will be aboard Hejazi for the first time.

Fellow Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey will saddle a horse in the Hooper who will also be making his Gulfstream debut. Signator will be making his first start outside of New York Saturday. He finished fourth in his last outing in the Queens County on Dec. 31 at Aqueduct in his stakes debut. Javier Castellano will be aboard.

Todd Pletcher, who won this race saddling Tommy Macho in 2016 and 2018, will send out Expressman Saturday. The 5-year-old son of Liam’s Map will be seeking his first stakes win in the Hooper. In his two starts over the Gulfstream main track, Expressman has finished second and first in allowance company, with his most recent win coming on Feb. 10 at 1 1/8 miles. He was third in the Carter (G3) in April.

Steal Sunshine is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) on Dec. 30 at Gulfstream. Trained by Bobby Dibona, the 5-year-old son of Constitution has four wins in eight starts at the mile distance.

Gilmore was last seen handing in a second-place finish in the Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) on Dec. 23 at Gulfstream. The 4-year-old son of Twirling Candy will be seeking his first stakes victory in the Hooper. Gilmore is trained by Brendan Walsh and will be ridden by Jose Ortiz.

Dreaming of Kona finished 4 ¾-lengths back of Gilmore in the Mr. Prospector to take show money. Trained and partially owned by Aldana Spieth, the 4-year-old colt will be seeking his first win since posting a half-length win on synthetic in the Tom Ridge Stakes at Presque Isle Downs on Jun. 5. Regular rider Scott Spieth will be aboard the son of Fast Anna.

Great Navigator last posted a fifth-place finish in the Mr. Prospector. His last win came on Sept. 4 in the Charles Hesse III Handicap at Monmouth Park. Trained by Eddie Owens Jr. and ridden by Luca Panici, the 4-year-old son of Sea Wizard will be seeking his first win at the mile distance.

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