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Court Vision and Take The Points Clash

Gulfstream Park
Photo: MEC

IEAH Stables and WinStar Farm’s 5-year-old Court Vision and Starlight Partners’ 4-year-old Take the Points are both multiple Grade 1 winners on turf and will meet for the first time Saturday in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) at 1 1/8 miles.

Trainer Rick Dutrow sent out IEAH Stable’s Kip Deville to capture this race last year while Court Vision was third as the favorite for trainer Bill Mott. Dutrow now trains Court Vision and will be the favorite in his first start since finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), beaten only 1 ½ lengths for it all by Eclipse champion filly Goldikova at Santa Anita on Nov. 7.

Jockey Robby Albarado flies in from New Orleans for the mount on Court Vision. The son of Gulch has posted earnings of nearly $1.6 million and won the Jamaica Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park and Hollywood Derby (G1) to complete his 3-year-old campaign in 2008 on turf after finishing last of 13 behind Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby (G1) that spring. 

Jockey Edgar Prado rides Take the Points for trainer Todd Pletcher as he makes his first start since a disappointing seventh-place effort behind The Usual Q.T. in the Hollywood Derby (G1) on Nov. 29 at Hollywood Park, although beaten only five lengths by the winner.

A roan/gray colt by Even the Score, Take the Points was on the Triple Crown trail early last year but found his best stride on turf, winning the Secretariat Stakes (G1) at Arlington Park in early August and Jamaica Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park in October before the trip to California.

After the top two in the field of six entered in the Gulfstream Turf, another contender in with a chance appears to be Michael Crawford and partners’ 7-year-old Yates Black Cat and Kent Desormeaux aboard for trainer Dale Romans, a confirmed closer that would benefit from a fast pace up front.

A son of Black Minnaloushe, Yates Black Cat looked very sharp rallying to capture a tough ‘money’ allowance over the course here on Jan. 22 by two lengths in his first start since finishing third in the 12-furlong Sycamore Stakes (G3) at Keeneland on Oct. 22 when beaten a neck for it all. 

Completing the field for the Gulfstream Turf are IEAH Stables and partners’ Adagio, Cornelio Velasquez; Judson Streicher’s Le Grand Cru, Jose Lezcano; and Daniel-Yves Treves’ Never On Sunday, Joe Bravo.

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