It’s spring time at Gulfstream Park. Spring Hill Farm time that is. The promising Smart Strike colt is set to return to the starting gate on Saturday after a nine and a half month layoff due to injury. He and main competition Ever So Lucky face an experienced group, but these two highly touted colts are the class of the field.
Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton’s colt broke his maiden at first asking, running away to a 6 ¼ length victory over a field that included eventual Grade 2 winner Quick Wit. In his next start, Spring Hill Farm wired an allowance field going a mile. After two flashy wins in South Florida, it’s no wonder the colt was sent off as the favorite in his stakes debut. Running his record to 3 for 3 was not meant to be, however, as the colt stumbled coming out of the gate in the Tampa Bay Derby and suffered a knee fracture. Despite the injury, Spring Hill Farm was able to run a brave fourth, only 4 ½ lengths behind the winner.
Ever So Lucky also began his career with a bang. He won his debut race by 3 ¼ lengths over eventual Grade 1 winner Golden Ticket. He quickly became graded stakes place, notching a 2nd in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in his second start and a 3rd in the G3 Swale Stakes in his third start. His only other career win, however, was in a one mile allowance race, the distance of Saturday’s race, at Delaware Park.
The Indian Charlie colt will probably be Spring Hill Farm’s main competition, but it is unlikely that Spring Hill Farm will have much trouble dispatching him. Ever So Lucky has been wildly inconsistent during his career while Spring Hill Farm has been the picture of consistency despite an unlucky last start. Additionally, Spring Hill Farm is a perfect 2 for 2 over the Gulfstream track and his recent works indicate he is ready to go. His most recent move was a 5F bullet in 1.00:55 (1/13) on December 23 at Palm Meadows.
Everything looks to be in place for Spring Hill Farm to notch his third career victory and launch a comeback worthy of the promise he showed early in the year. A win or even a good showing in Saturday's race should throw Spring Hill Farm's name into the mix for the Older Male division in 2013.