Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
The $100K Armed
for Florida-breds traveling 1 1/16 miles over the
turf is the first stake race of Gulfstream's shiny, new summer meet.
Carded as the seventh race, a full field of eleven horses is set to
enter the starting gate, with an additional three entered for MTO.
Below are the best plays in the field.
The morning line favorite
at 2-1 is Bad
(Grand Reward - Pleasant Ring, by Pleasant Tap). He's
won/placed in six of ten starts over the Gulfstream lawn, but he
hasn't won a race since last November. He's placed in about half of
his nine starts, including a ½ length loss two races back.
Bad Debt's main
competition appears to be Alley
(Monsieur Cat - Nizy's Lizzie, by Wheaton) at 3/1.
The bay horse has never raced at Gulfstream, however he's entering
after a 1 ¾ length victory over the Calder turf. The five year old
has some class, as he dead-heated for second in the Tampa Bay Derby
(G-3), beaten only ½ length. Alley Oop Oop has met up with Bad
Debt twice and was on the losing end both times, but only by two
lengths and a neck.
(Repent - Rikta, by Jade Hunter) comes back after
a rare out of the money finish in the Memorial Handicap at Calder.
Previously, he had a three-race win streak. The four year old has a
decent 7-1-2-1 over the Gulfstream lawn. Trainer Ronald Gaffney is
only 3% with the dirt to turf angle, but Rule Number Six fired a
last-out bullet at Gulfstream and has some of the best works in the
field. At 5-1 morning line, he's a must include on your tickets.
(Saint Anddan - A Lot of Drops, by Numerous) at 8-1 has
won/placed in three of his last four starts. He's 0-2 on the
Gulfstream green, however was beaten only a length in one of the
starts. Although the Steve Towne barn has a 3% hit rate with dirt to
turf, Jamie Boy owns the highest late-pace BRIS speed figure in the
field. Jamie's Boy's jock Hugo Sanchez is on hot this summer, with a
17% win rate over the turf, which is the best in the field.
Summertime in Florida
means rain most afternoons and evenings. If the race comes off of the
turf, three colts are entered MTO, plus some of the turf runners have
victories over sloppy tracks. Imperial
(4-1), and Majestic
are the ones to look at.
Earlier in the day in the
fourth race, two year old colts will travel 4 ½ F in a Maiden
Two sons of Wildcat Heir
are entered. The
(Wildcat Heir - Sally Got the Boot, by Storm
Boot) (9-5) has two starts under his girth. He shortens in distance
and adds blinkers. All four of his half siblings to race are
winners, but only one showed any real precocity. Not much notable
blacktype in the first two generations, but The Boot Wildcat can
claim kinship to the multiple graded stakes winner and sire Blushing
At the other end of the
odds spectrum is Green Diamond Cat (Wildcat Heir - Dance
Forthe Green, by West by West) (20-1). There's decent class in this
colt's immediate family. Four of five half siblings are winners and
three, Distinctiv Passion, Italo and Dance So Sweet are stakes
horses. Larry Bates is 23% with first time starters at at these
odds, Green Diamond Cat is worth strong consideration.
A lot of attention will
be paid to Unleash the Talent (Talent Search - Bambolina, by
War Chant) (2-1). His first crop sire stands for the bargain price of
$2,500. Half of his six offspring to race have won and one, Hollywood
Talent, was second in the Bashford Manor. Unleash the Talent is the
first foal to race for his dam. Not much blacktype in the first two
generations, but the Jerome Handicap (G-1) hero Furiously and the
graded stakes winning turf router Brilliant are part of this female
line. So what's so great about Unleash the Talent? That would be his
connections. Trainer Wesley Ward is the most recognized trainer of
early juvenile winners in the country. Owner/breeder Ramsey is on a
hot streak this year and set an all time record for most wins during
the Churchill meet.
(Margie's Wildcat - Esthers Ball, by Party Manners) (5-1) owns a
strong last work. Three of his four full siblings are winners, but
from a combined 70 starts, have five wins between them. Their dam is
a half to two stakes horses and the second dam is a stakes winner.
Trainer Jose Pinchin is 4% with debut maidens.
Quay to Heaven
(Circular Quay - Divine Shadow, by Capote) (8-1) is the only colt in
the field with breezes over the Gulfstream surface. His works are
strong, consistent and he zipped 3F in :36 2/5 in his last breeze.
Only one of his lightly raced half siblings are winners, but this
colt's third dam is Sharon Brown, better known as the dam of Horse of
the Year and sire Holy Bull. Sound too good to be true? Probably is.
Trainer Greg Griffith is 0-17 with first time maidens.
(Congrats - Evil Eyed Czarina, by Carson City) (10-1) is a half to
Miami Mile (G-3) winner Imperial Czar. Their dam is a half to a
stakes winner and her half sisters foaled Met Mile hero Divine Park
and Queen's Plate champ T J's Lucky Moon. Hearty Congrats owns a last
out bullet at Calder. The drawback? Trainer Henry Collazo is 0 – 12
with first time maidens
Not a whole lot to say
about Sea Zar Run (Burning Roma - Loen Salt, by Salt Lake)
(12-1) He's a full brother to juvenile stakes placed Roma's Gal. Six
of seven foals out of this dam have won. Other than Roma's Gal,
you'll have to go back three generations to find blacktype. Trainer
Robert Smith is 0-42 with two year olds.
The most expensive
auction purchase in the field at $80K (KEESEP'12), King Tesa
(Unbridled's Song - Awesome Chic, by Awesome Again) will likely
find this distance too short, especially with only two recorded works
under his girth. The well bred colt is a son of Florida Oaks (G-3)
heroine Awesome Chic. King Tesa descends from the female family of
multiple graded stakes winner and sire Seeking the Gold. Keep an eye
on this colt as he stretches out. He should love going a mile or
farther and should improve with maturity.
When The Boot Wildcat
enters the starting gate, he's the only one who will have an idea of
what he's doing. He can scoot out of the one post, take command, and
it's all over. But not so fast. There's a few colts in here that
will have a say in the matter. Unleash the Talent is from a
high % winning barn. Quay to Heaven
owns a bullet breeze at Gulfstream. Hearty Congrats
owns one at Calder. Green Diamond Cat
at 20-1 could upset the applecart. He has the classiest female family
and a barn with a high percentage win rate with maidens.