NYRA PRESS RELEASE —-
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Three Diamonds Farm’s California Night will step up to stakes company in just his second career start in a field of seven in the 34th running of the $150,000 Jimmy Winkfield for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The dark bay Midnight Lute colt scored a front-running three-length victory in his debut on December 10 at the Big A, earning a 75 Beyer Speed Figure for trainer Mike Maker. Installed at 5-2 on the morning line, California Night, who was a trainer scratch in last Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile Grade 3 Withers, will be ridden by Rafael Hernandez from post 5.
By comparison, Lobdell Family Stables and Hal Hatch’s Devine Entry will bring considerable experience to the Jimmy Winkfield as he makes his eighth lifetime start and third stakes appearance. A chestnut colt by Point of Entry, Devine Entry broke his maiden on turf in October before switching to dirt, where he posted a pair of optional claiming wins. He finished second to Diamond King in the Heft at Laurel Park on December 30 last time out. The Linda Rice trainee has the services of Junior Alvarado from post 3.
Leonard C. Green’s A Different Style, who also ran in the Heft, a two-length winner of the six-furlong James F. Lewis III at Laurel on November 11. From the barn of John Servis, the gray The Factor colt dueled for the early lead in the Heft before fading to fourth in the seven-furlong sprint. Kendrick Carmouche has the call aboard A Different Style, who will break from post 4.
Rounding out the field for the Jimmy Winkfield are Pennsylvania-bred Jumpmaster, a three-length winner of an open company maiden special weight at Parx Racing on December 19 for trainer Guadalupe Preciado; Glennwood, scratched from a starter allowance on Thursday at Aqueduct and looking to rebound from a sixth-place finish in the Jerome on January 13 for trainer Erin Wilkinson; Robert Reid, Jr. trainee Smooth B, exiting a fourth-place finish in the Pennsylvania Nursery on December 2 at Parx and a supplemental entrant to the Jimmy Winkfield; and Maryland-bred Global Citizen, who won a maiden special weight on January 14 at Laurel Park for the Horacio DePaz barn.
In Sunday’s $100,000 Rego Park for 3-year-old New York-breds going six furlongs, Stoney Bennett will look to get back on track, leading a field of five.
Owned by Jerry Bilinski, Roddy Valente and Richard Alfred and trained by Ollie Figgins, the son of Bustin Stones impressively won his debut by 3 ¾ lengths last September at Belmont Park. He followed with a fourth-place finish in the Sleepy Hollow on October 21. Returning to finish second in the Notebook on November 26 at Aqueduct, he finished a disappointing seventh in the New York Stallion Series Great White Way last out.
Stoney Bennett will leave from post 3 with Trevor McCarthy aboard.
Trainer Wesley Ward will enter Battle Station for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey. Sired by Warrior’s Reward, he won his first two starts breaking his maiden on the turf last summer at Saratoga Race Course and followed by capturing the Bertram F. Bongard on September 22 at Belmont.
Returning to finish eighth in the Sleepy Hollow, Battle Station rebounded to finish second in an optional-claiming race on November 25 before returning to run fourth in the Damon Runyon last out on January 15 at the Big A.
With Chris DeCarlo in the irons, Battle Station will leave from the rail.
Rounding out the field is New York Hero for trainer Linda Rice and owners Lady Shelia Stable, Iris Smith Stable and Dottie Herman; Morning Breez, for trainer Carlos Martin; and Analyze Your Luck, for Repole Stable and trainer Todd Pletcher.