Thursday’s card at Gulfstream Park provides a full card of claiming and allowance races, the bread and butter of the horse racing industry. Also on the card is a 6 furlong maiden special weight for two year old colts. Each contender will be carrying 120 pounds. The field from the inside out is as follows:
1. Teeth of the Dog (8-1)
2. Towering (8-1)
3. Sir Flanagan (10-1)
4. Dr. Wesley (6-1)
5. Induce (8-1)
6. Ecabroni (3-1)
7. Silver Wings (5-1)
8. One Sock Down (5-2)
One Sock Down (Dehere—Nushka, by Cherokee Run) has been made the morning line favorite. The colt is trained by E. J. Coletti, Sr. and will be ridden by P. Lopez. His last work was a sharp 5 furlong move from the gate in 58.50. Aside from Induce, the chestnut Dehere colt is the only one in the field to have worked over the Gulfstream Park surface. Induce (Malibu Moon—Meditations, by Out of Place) handily worked 4 furlongs in 47.50 this past Saturday, while One Sock Down was also caught putting in a 4 furlong move in 49.80 six days prior to his 5 furlong work. Induce is trained by R. Ribaudo, and Solis has the call.
Perhaps the most intriguing colt in the field is Ecabroni (Smoke Glacken—Miss Fury, by Unbridled’s Song). The gray colt’s dam, Miss Fury, did not do much on the track, but it is his sire and his damsire that piqued my interest. Smoke Glacken, the colt’s sire, was named Champion Male Sprinter in 1997 after winning the Black Gold Handicap, Mountain Valley Stakes, the G3 Southwest Stakes, the G3 Riva Ridge Stakes, the G3 Jersey Shore Breeders’ Cup Stakes, and the G2 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes. Smoke Glacken also finished 3rd in the G3 Louisiana Derby and 2nd in the G2 Lexington Stakes that year. On the other hand, Ecabroni’s damsire, Unbridled’s Song, was a route horse. During his career, Unbridled’s Song won the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, the G1 Florida Derby, the G2 Wood Memorial Stakes, and the Olympic Handicap. He also notched several second place finishes in important races: the G2 Hutcheson Stakes, the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes, and the G2 Peter Pan Stakes. With the combination of sprinting and routing in his immediate pedigree, it should be interesting to see which distance Ecabroni prefers. Of course, Smoke Glacken has produced some offspring that were good route horses, so it is possible that Ecabroni won’t even look twice at sprint distances.
Silver Wings will have the experience advantage in Thursday’s race. By Badge of Silver and out of the Major Impact mare Mattie Kate, race 5 at Gulfstream will be the chestnut colt’s fourth start. In three career races, Silver Wings has not finished better than 2nd. His first two races came at 6 furlongs. He just missed by a neck in his first start after pressing the pace and fighting through a prolonged drive. Trainer W. Bradley tried his charge at 6 furlongs again, and Silver Wings finished 6th, racing along in mid-pack and lacking a rally. The colt’s last start was at 1 mile, and he finished 5th after pressing the pace and then tiring. His last work was a 4 furlong move in 48.40 at Churchill Downs. Bradley has not made any equipment changes for his starter, and Baird will be riding the colt.
Sir Flanagan also has a distinguished pedigree. By Unbridled’s Song and out of the A. P. Indy mare Philly’s Philly, Sir Flanagan is the morning line long shot. He is trained by J. Servis and will be ridden by Lezcano. On Sunday, Servis sent his charge out to work 3 furlongs. Sir Flanagan completed the work in 37.08. Teeth of the Dog (Bluegrass Cat—Deputy Reality, by Deputy Minister) is trained by M. Matz, and Leparoux will have the call. Towering (Discreet Cat—Just Fun, by Dehere) is trained by J. C. Catanese, III and will be ridden by Bacachica. On Saturday, he was clocked working 5 furlongs in 1:01 flat. Dr. Wesley (Quiet American—Courtney’s Woods, by Forest Wildcat) is being sent out by Zito with Lezcano on board.
Since Silver Wings is the only colt in the field to have already raced, it is hard to say for sure exactly who will provide the speed in this race. Silver Wings is known to press to the pace, so it could be that he will end up the pacesetter if no one else goes with him to the lead. One Sock Down has been showing good speed in his works. Sir Flanagan has been putting in some slow works, so it is likely that he may end up being a closer.
Todd Pletcher and Nick Zito’s horses are always ones to watch, so Ecabroni and Dr. Wesley definitely should not be overlooked. Towering’s half-brother, Discreet Dancer, just set a track record on this course last weekend, so Towering will be one to watch if he shows the same kind of speed as Discreet Dancer. At 10-1, Sir Flanagan could end up being a value play. I like Ecabroni and One Sock Down for the win, but I will also be keeping Dr. Wesley and Sir Flanagan in mind.