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