Six Triple Crown nominees headline the entries for the 1-mile $75,000 Smooth Air Stakes for 3-year-olds on Sunday at Calder Casino & Race Course.
Trainer Efren Loza, Jr. and owner St. George Stable, LLC send out their two nominees Giancarlo and Gone as Wind. Giancarlo scored a victory on February 15 in his most recent start at Tampa Bay Downs in a 7-furlong allowance optional claiming race. Two starts prior, he finished third making his stakes debut in the 7-furlong Pasco Stakes at Tampa on January 4. Gone as Wind most recently won a 1-mile allowance at Calder on February 14, one race after making his stakes debut in the 1-mile Gulfstream Park Derby on January 1, where he finished seventh.
The second and third-place finishers in the February 14 Calder allowance are also entered for the Smooth Air. Trainer Luis Ramirez and owners Kenneth Westlye, Jose L. Ramirez, and George Santis’ Roar of Raul placed second in the allowance and will make his stakes debut in the Smooth Air. His one win from seven starts came in August at Evangeline Downs in a 6-furlong maiden claiming race. Trainer Javier Negrete and owner Monterrey Racing Stable Corp.’s Condestable finished third in the allowance. Condestable broke his maiden one start prior at Calder in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight race on the turf on January 26.
Trainer Gennadi Dorochenko has nominee Tashir entered for the Smooth Air for owner Vartan Vartanov. In his most recent start in the 7-furlong Grade III Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream on February 1, he ran sixth. In his other career stakes appearances at Delaware Park, he finished fourth in the 5 ½-furlong Strike Your Colors Stakes in July and third in the 1-mile Whirling Ash Stakes in September. He is currently 2-for-7 lifetime with wins at Delaware and Calder.
Trainer Todd Pletcher sends two Triple Crown nominees in the Smooth Air. WinStar Farm LLC’s King Cyrus will make his first start since last October. He has one stakes appearance under his belt – the 7-furlong Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in September – where he finished eighth. This came after breaking his maiden first time out by 11 lengths in a 7-furlong maiden special weight race at Saratoga in August. Repole Stable’s Monopolize, who is making his stakes debut, is 1-for-3 lifetime with his only victory coming in a 1 mile-70 yard maiden special weight race at Aqueduct Race Track in December.
Trainer Angel Rodriguez’s nominee Kulboyz makes his stakes debut in the Smooth Air. Kulboyz went straight to the winner’s circle in his only career appearance in a 6-furlong maiden special weight race at Gulfstream on January 23, scoring by 2 ½ lengths. He runs for owner Stephen Screnci.
The rest of the field has horses making their stakes debuts as well. Trainer Antonio Sano sends out Sea of Faces for owner Sano Racing Stable LLC. He has two wins from four career appearances, all coming at Gulfstream. Trainer Michael Wilson has owner Donald P. Ogden’s Gaining Ground entered. Gaining Ground broke his maiden in his most recent start at Gulfstream in his sixth lifetime appearance. Trainer Michael Yates and owner Thomas S. Paluck’s entry Kodiak Kody broke his maiden last time out in just his second career start at Calder.
The Smooth Air is listed as the seventh race and has an approximate post time of 4 p.m. Post time for the first race at Calder is 12:55 p.m.