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Fort Larned Assigned 124 for GP 'Cap

FORT LARNED, ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. and trained by Ian Wilkes, wins the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California on November 3, 2012.

Having saddled Fort Larned for an extraordinary triumph in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita last November, Ian Wilkes was certainly prepared for the inevitability that his stable star would be asked to give weight to his rivals in Saturday’s $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2).

The 5-year-old son of E Dubai has been assigned to carry high weight of 124 pounds in the mile handicap, between six and 11 pounds more than the horses that have been confirmed to be pointing to the one-turn race.

“It’s fine,” said Wilkes Sunday morning. “I have no complaints.”

Fort Larned, who broke his maiden at Gulfstream Park in a one-turn mile race in 2011, registered his first graded-stakes victory in the Skip Away (G3) last year at the Hallandale Beach track. He also captured the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga, as well as the Cornhusker (G3) at Prairie Meadows in 2012.

Fort Larned is scheduled to breeze five-furlongs on Monday for his final serious prep for the Gulfstream Park Handicap, in which he is slated to carry six pounds more than Fort Loudon, the winner of the Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship (G3) on Feb. 9.

“He’s a big, strong horse,” Wilkes said. “So I’m fine with it.”

 

 

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