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Boisterous, Get Stormy Square Off in GP Turf 'Cap

Phipps Family Stable’s 5-year-old Boisterous ended his 2011 campaign with a pair of graded stakes victories on turf in New York and Sullimar Stable’s 6-year-old Get Stormy won a pair of Grade 1 turf stakes in Kentucky in the spring. The two high-class grass course runners meet as the likely favorites in a field of 11 drawn for the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) Saturday.

 

The Gulfstream Turf at 1 1/8 miles leads three graded stakes to be run earlier on Donn Handicap Day. The other races include the $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (G2) for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs and the $150,000 Suwannee River Stakes (G3) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

 

Jockey John Velazquez rides Boisterous for trainer Shug McGaughey as the Kentucky homebred son of Distorted Humor makes his first start since a two-length score in the 11-furlong Red Smith Handicap (G2) over the Aqueduct course on Nov. 5. Boisterous won the Knickerbocker Handicap (G3) going 1 1/8 miles at Belmont Park in his previous start in mid-October. The Knickerbocker was Boisterous’ first start since a somewhat disappointing fifth-place try in the Sword Dancer Invitational (G1) at Saratoga in mid-August.

 

“He’s always been a good horse, but we kind of got off track with him in the Sword Dancer,” said McGaughey. “He came back strong in the fall and then got a little break at a farm in Ocala before bringing him down here.”

 

Jockey Ramon Dominguez rides Get Stormy in his first start since a disappointing 12th place finish  in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5, a race he had disappointed his connections the year before at Churchill. Get Stormy ran well in each of six starts before the Breeders’ Cup, highlighted by victories in the Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) at Keeneland and Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill in the spring.

 

“Although the course at Churchill is different in the spring than the fall, I can’t really give him an excuse for those (Breeders’ Cup) performances,” said trainer Tom Bush recently. “They remain a mystery to me. We’ll just have to put that behind us and look ahead to this season.”


The Kentucky homebred by Stormy Atlantic finished third in the Gulfstream Turf last year, beaten one length for it all in a good try.

 

Trainer Todd Pletcher sent out Starlight Stable’s Take the Points to finish first by 1 ½ lengths in the 2010 edition of the Gulfstream Turf, but had to watch from the winner’s circle as his number was taken down by the stewards and placed fourth for interference in the stretch in a controversial decision.

 

The Gulfstream Turf is one of only a few major stakes on the Gulfstream calendar that Pletcher never has won officially while leading the standings here for the last eight years. He could get that taken care of Saturday when he sends out Black Rock Stable’s 4-year-old Silver Medallion with jockey Javier Castellano aboard.

 

A son of Badge of Silver, Silver Medallion found a home on turf late last year after a brief run on the Triple Crown trail in the spring when he finished fourth in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). In his last three starts on grass, Silver Medallion has finished third in the Commonwealth Turf (G3) at Churchill Downs in November and won the Tropical Turf Handicap (G1) at Calder and Fort Lauderdale Stakes (G3) over the Gulfstream course last out on Jan. 14.

 

Completing the field for the Gulfstream Turf are Robert Harvey’s Hollinger, Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Big Blue Kitten, Bruno Shickedanz’ Yummy With Butter, Harvey Clarke and Andrew Albstein’s Yankee Fortune, Lael Stable’s Kindergarden Kid, Augustin Stable’s Smart Bid, Brous Stable and Wachtel Stable’s Al Khali and Godolphin Racing’s Sangaree entered for ‘main track only’ while also entered in the Donn Handicap.

 

 

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