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Golden Ticket Starts Season in GP Handicap

Golden Ticket 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Golden Ticket is scheduled to embark on his 2014 racing campaign in Saturday’s $250,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) at one mile.            

Although the 5-year-old son of Speightstown experienced the highlight of his career at the classic distance of 1 ¼ miles in a dead-heat victory with Alpha in the memorable 2012 Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, trainer Ken McPeek entered his veteran performer in Gulfstream’s oldest handicap with confidence that his veteran performer is adaptable.           

“I don’t know, his race in the Breeders’ Cup was a really good race,” McPeek said.           

Golden Ticket turned in one of his most impressive performances in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 1, closing from 10th to finish second behind second behind Goldencents.           

The mile distance is run around two turns at Santa Anita, while the Gulfstream Park Handicap will be contested around just one turn.           

“I really think he can be really effective at a mile,” McPeek said. “But this race is a good starting off point for the year.”           

Golden Ticket, who captured a one-turn allowance at Churchill Downs last spring before finishing second in the two-turn Foster Handicap (G1), has shown a distinct affinity for the Gulfstream racing strip. He broke his maiden at Gulfstream over 1 1/16 miles in February 2012 and made his 2013 debut with a 5 ½-length score at the same distance.           

“I don’t know if I can tell you he’s 110% fit, but I can tell you he’s not far off,” McPeek said. “He’s ready to run.”           

Manoel Cruz is named to ride Golden Ticket in the Gulfstream Park Handicap.                       

 

 

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