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Potential Derby Contenders in Gulfstream Allowance

10 January 2010: Horses out of the gate during the Dania Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, FL.
Saturday's third race at Gulfstream features a field of six three-year-olds who could become Derby contenders with a strong performance in the 1 1/8-mile test.  The field:

1. Casper's Touch, J. Leparoux, K. McPeek, 3-1 
2. El Grayling, P. Lopez, M. Maker, 4-1 
3. Shadow Warrior, J. Castellano, G. Arnold, 4-1
4. Strike Oil, R. Maragh, M. Casse, 5-1
5. Fort Larned, J. Bridgmohan, I. Wilkes, 6-1
6. Shackleford, J. Castanon, D. Romans, 5-2

Casper's Touch, a son of Touch Gold, is making his first start since capturing a Churchill Downs one mile maiden race back in November.  He earned a 77 Beyer figure for that effort. (See PP's below)  

Shadow Warrior enters off a wide third (Replay below) as the favorite in the January 7th Gulfstream allowance won by Black n Beauty.  The son of A.P. Indy broke his maiden going one mile at Churchill Downs in November.  

On the outside is the favorite Shackleford for trainer Dale Romans.  Like Casper's Touch, he comes in off a maiden win at Churchill in the fall.  Shackleford, by Forestry, earned an 85 Beyer figure for his 7-furlong maiden win.  (See PP's below)

Also in the field are El Grayling, who ran second to Super Saver's brother Brethren on closing day at Churchill Downs; Fort Larned, who just broke his maiden going one mile at Gulfstream on January 8th for trainer Ian Wilkes; and Strike Oil, who was last seen winning the restricted Coronation Futurity on November 7th at Woodbine for trainer Mark Casse.

All six horses rank highly in Horse Racing Nation's 2011 Kentucky Derby power rankings:

2011 Kentucky Derby Power Rankings
#48   Casper's Touch
#58   Fort Larned  
#61   Shackleford 
#63   Shadow Warrior 
#81   El Grayling 
#108 Strike Oil 

[Are they too high or too low?  Go to the 2011 Kentucky Derby contender page and vote!]

REPLAY: In the Gulfstream allowance, both Shadow Warrior, who was favored, and El Grayling ran wide on the turn before finishing third and fourth.  You can watch the video here:

Shadow Warrior #9 runs third and El Grayling #10 runs fourth. 

Taking a look at Casper's Touch's past performances, we can see he is training very well including a bullet workout in his last.  
















Shackleford enters with the highest Beyer figure in the field: 












 

What the Nation is saying about Potential Derby Contenders in Gulfstream Allowance...

Solid field, but for me it all boils down to how good Casper is ... one of the more interesting untested sophomores in the nation.
This is a deep allowance and any of these could step up in here. Shadow Warrior could be tough in here, but I'm curious to see what El Grayling does around two turns. He ran very well against Brethren at Churchill and ran a deceptively good fourth while wide last time.

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