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2008 Florida Derby Day


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Sugar Swirl wins the 2008 Shirley Jones Handicap
Sugar Swirl wins the 2008 Shirley Jones Handicap

Sugar Swirl wins the 2008 Shirley Jones Handicap at Gulfstream Park

© Amber Chalfin
The $200,000 Shirley Jones Handicap (G2) featured a field of six older fillies and mares sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. 7-10 favorite Sugar Swirl sat in midpack fourth down the backstretch, then angled out wide into the stretch, passing the tiring pacesetters and drawing away to win by 5 1/2 lengths over 9-2 third choice Baroness Thatcher in 1:22.57. It was another 2 3/4 lengths back to 7-2 second choice Shaggy Mane third.
Results chart from DRF

Winning trainer Brian Lynch said, "There was some thought about going on to the Humana Distaff (Churchill Downs), but I don't know if that's still in the cards. She'll need a little break at some point, but the main objective for her will be the new Breeders' Cup sprint for fillies & mares. This distance (7f) is probably her best. I don't know whether she'll go back to Bobby (Frankel) now. I'm just delighted to have had her for these races this winter."

Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "This is a great filly. She'll do whatever you want. She was on her toes today. She broke well and settled in behind the leaders. The three horses went to the lead and they looked like they wanted to kill each other. I had a lot of horse turning for home, so I swung out alongside of them to get out of their way because they went so fast early that sooner or later I knew they would come back to me. I rode her with a lot of patience and a lot of confidence."

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