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Jan 26, 2007

Sunshine Millions Classic draws field of 12


Hallandale Beach, FL (Sports Network) - The first $1 million race of the year for older thoroughbreds is set to go on Saturday. The Sunshine Millions Classic has drawn a field of a dozen handicap horses for the Gulfstream Park race.

Lava Man won the race last year when it was held at Santa Anita Park. He will remain in California on Saturday to run in the $500,000 Sunshine Million Turf.

The Classic is the featured stakes race in the annual Sunshine Millions series. This is the fifth edition of the series which features Florida and California bred horses.

Sweetnorthernsaint, the winner of last year's Illinois Derby, has been installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite in the 1 1/8 mile event. He will start from the far outside post with Ramon Dominguez riding. The four-year-old gelding has earnings of $642,300 in 11 starts and five wins.

Owned by Joseph Balsamo and Ted Theos, Sweetnorthernsaint is trained by Michael Trombetta. The gelding was the 5-1 favorite in last year's Kentucky Derby where he finished seventh to Barbaro.

The 4-1 second choice is Texcess who last raced in October at Santa Anita Park. Texcess will be ridden by Garrett Gomez from post 9.

The five-year-old is owned by Scott and Wayne Anastasi and Carl Van Burger, and trained by Mike Mitchell. The gelding has won four of 21 starts for more than $1.2 million.

Completing the field in post position order are Dry Martini, Get Funky, Summer Book, Blazing Rate, Silver Wagon, Rehoboth, Papi Chullo, McCann's Mojave, Bob's Proud Moment and Armenian Summer.

The Sunshine Millions Classic has a post-time of 5:45 p.m. (et) and will be televised on NBC.

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