Saturday at Gulfstream Park. Princess Rooney Invitational

Gulfstream Park horse toteHALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Bo Hirsch LLC’s Ce Ce, a multiple Grade 1 stakes winner trained by Michael McCarthy, is expected to be a solid favorite in Saturday’s $350,000 Princess Rooney Invitational (G2) at Gulfstream Park.

The 5-year-old daughter of Elusive Quality is scheduled to ship from Southern California to South Florida on Tuesday.

Ce Ce is the most accomplished of 11 fillies and mares on the final invitation list to run in the seven-furlong Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and In’ race that will headline the annual Summit of Speed program that will also feature the $200,000 Smile Sprint Invitational (G3), a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and up.

McCarthy shipped 2018 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner City of Light from his base at Santa Anita to Gulfstream for a triumph in the 2019 Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1),

Ce Ce captured the Beholder Mile (G1) at Santa Anita and the Apple Blossom (G1) at Oaklawn last year, who saddled City of Light for a victory in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream in 2019. The 5-year-old daughter of Elusive Quality has raced twice this year, debuting with a 3 ¼-length victory in a seven-furlong optional claiming allowance April 17 before coming up short in a fourth-place finish in the two-turn Santa Maria (G2) a month later.

Gary Barber’s Laura’s Light, a Grade 2 stakes winner on turf, also represents Southern California on the final invitational list for the Princess Rooney. The 4-year-old daughter of Constitution, who is trained by Peter Miller, is coming off a victory in the off-the-turf Ouija Board Stakes at Lone Star Park.

Holly Hill Stables LLC’s Pacific Gale, who captured the Inside Information (G2) and Hurricane Bertie (G3) during Championship Meet, has an invitation to return to Gulfstream to try to pick up where she left off. The 6-year-old daughter of Flat Out has finished third in the Vagrancy (G3) and fourth in the Bed o’ Roses (G3) at Belmont since leaving South Florida.

Medallion Racing and partners’ Estilo Talentoso, who captured the June 4 Bed o’ Roses last time out, is invited to seek her third victory and second stakes success at Gulfstream. The Juan Arriagada-trained 4-year-old daughter of Maclean’s Music is Grade 1 stakes-placed twice this year prior to her first graded-stakes win at Belmont.

2W Stables LLC’s Bronx Beauty, who finished second in the Sugar Swirl (G3) during Gulfstream’s Championship Meet and second last time out in the Politely at Monmouth Park, is also on the final list.

e Five Racing Thoroughbreds’ Sound Machine, who finished second behind Pacific Gale in the Hurricane Bertie and won the seven-furlong Musical Romance for Florida-bred fillies and mares last time out, won’t have to travel far to accept an invitation to run in Princess Rooney.

Windylea Farm LLC’s Thissmytime, who finished second behind Pacific Gale in the Inside Information, is also among the locally based horses receiving an invitation to run in the Princess Rooney. Other locally based horses include Heiressall, Hallawallah and Competitive Speed.

Entries for the $200,000 Smile are expected to include multiple Grade 2 winner Diamond Oops, 2020 Florida Derby (G1) runner-up Shivaree, graded stakes placed Double Crown and Frosted Grace, and stakes winner Chance It.

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Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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