Defending champ Twilight Eclipse makes his 6-year-old debut in Saturday’s $200,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park and faces archnemesis and Eclipse award winner Main Sequence for the fifth straight time. In four grade one races in 2014, Twilight Eclipse was beaten less than three lengths total.
Freshened following a third place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), the gelding has posted seven works at Palm Meadows after shipping to South Florida from California.
“We were very happy with his race in the Breeders’ Cup, and he couldn’t be doing any better coming into this race,” said trainer Tom Albertrani. “He has two wins over this turf course and it looks like we’ll have firm ground on Saturday, which he likes.”
The bay son of Purim set a world record for a 1 1/2 miles on any surface in the 2013 Pan American Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream. Javier Castellano was in the irons that day, and will aboard in the Mac Diarmida.
Replay of the Breeders’ Cup Turf:
The Mac Diarmida is race 9 on the card with a 4:30 ET post time. Twilight Eclipse breaks from post six in the field of 8.
Graham Motion trained Ring Weekend is entered in the $150,000 Canadian Turf (G3) also on Saturday at Gulfstream, but will most likely be scratched due his far outside post in the field of 14. He’s now under consideration for the $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) on March 7 at Santa Anita.
“The only way we’ll stay home and run in the Canadian is if there are multiple key scratches come Saturday morning,” says WPT president Terry Finley. “He’s a talented horse, but it would be very, very tough to work out a good trip breaking from the 14 hole. The race at Santa Anita doesn’t appear to be coming up head and shoulders tougher, and he’d run for more than twice the money.”
Ring Weekend winning the 2014 Hill Prince Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park: