Morning Line, who last came into his own during the second half of his 3-year-old campaign and is expected to be one of the top older horses in 2011, makes his season debut in the Hal's Hope Stakes Jan. 8 at Gulfstream.
Also in the one-mile Hal’s Hope is Rule, who returns to action after being sidelined since last March. A field of seven was drawn for the dirt race on opening weekend of the Gulfstream winter meet. Post time is set for 4:52 p.m. EDT.
The $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes for 3-year-olds going six furlongs is also on the docket. A field of nine, all of them carrying 116 pounds, was drawn.
Thoroughbred Legends Racing Stable’s Morning Line made a name for himself at Saratoga last summer when he romped by 11 lengths in allowance company. In his next start he won the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) in his stakes debut, then ended his sophomore season with a hard-luck second in the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs when he was caught at the wire by longshot Dakota Phone.