Jay Em Ess Stable’s 7-year-old gelding Arson Squad and
Circle E Racing and partners’ 6-year-old Timber Reserve finished first and
third in the Meadowlands Cup (G2) in 2008. They finished second and third last
out as the favorites in the Challenger Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Mar. 6,
respectively, and will now meet again Saturday in the $125,000 Skip Away Stakes
(G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Paco Lopez rides Arson Squad for trainer Rick
Dutrow, who also will send out Four Roses Thoroughbreds’ 6-year-old Helsinki
in the 1 3/16 miles test with Joe Bravo aboard in a field of eight older horses.
Arson Squad is a Pennsylvania-bred son of Brahms with
career earnings of $932,000. He finished fourth as the favorite behind Albertus
Maximus in the 2009 Donn Handicap (G1) here early last year before an
unfortunate trip to Dubai
when he trailed in 11th behind Well Armed in the Dubai World Cup (G1).
Arson Squad bounced back with a good effort finishing
fourth in the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs in June. He
didn’t run again until a third-place effort behind Grasshopper in a one-mile
allowance here on Feb. 3 before his good try as the 4-to-5 favorite in the 1
1/16 miles Challenger.
Jockey Chris DeCarlo gets the call on Timber Reserve, who
was beaten a neck for second by Arson Squad in the Challenger after winning a
nine-furlong allowance race at Gulfstream on Jan. 18. The race marked his first
start since a dull try finishing last of 14 in the Clark Handicap (G2) at
Churchill in late November. Trained by John Kimmel, the son of Forest Camp has
posted earning of more than $750,000.
fifth behind Quality Road
last out in the Donn Handicap on Feb. 6 after taking the same place behind that
rival in the Hal’s Hope Stakes (G3) on opening day Jan. 3. A son of Distorted
Humor, Helsinki won his ‘two
other than’ allowance condition at Aqueduct in late November.
The stranger in the race will be Sand and Cee Stable’s
5-year-old Secret Getaway, shipping in from Louisiana
for trainer Mike Stidham with Eddie Castro picking up the mount. He is a
chestnut son of Skip Away who won an allowance last out at Fair Grounds by 5 ¾
lengths on Mar. 13. Secret Getaway finished second in the New Orleans Handicap
(G2) early last year behind Macho Uno.
Completing the field for the Skip Away are Manning Racing
Stable’s Cristiano, Manny Aguilar; Alghuwayriyah Stable’s Eldaafer, E.T. Baird;
Haras Cotacachi’s Gabriel’s Hill, Manoel Cruz; and Javier Negrete’s Wingedlie,