Trainers Bill Mott and Christophe Clement frequently send out contenders in the same turf course feature and Friday’s ‘a other than’ allowance feature at Gulfstream Park matches the two accomplished horsemen once again with Swettenham Stud and partners’ 4-year-old filly First Grade and Moyglare Stud Farm’s 4-year-old Irish-bred filly Moving Heart, respectively, each making her first start this year.
Jockey Eddie Castro rides First Grade in the 1 1/16 miles test as she makes her first start for Mott and first since finishing fifth in a Hollywood Park allowance on July 16 when trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Smart Strike broke her maiden on turf at Hollywood in May after two tries on synthetic surfaces at Santa Anita and Hollywood.
Jockey Joe Bravo gets the call on Moving Heart in her American debut after the Irish homebred filly began her career in Ireland, winning once and one time second in eight starts for trainer Dermot Weld. The daughter of Anabaa makes her first appearance since finishing 17th of 18 in a ‘Listed’ stakes at Naas on Oct. 18.
Another intriguing prospect in the field of nine fillies and mares drawn for Friday’s race is Peachtree Stable’s 4-year-old filly Boleyn to be ridden by Elvis Trujillo for trainer Marty Wolfson. The daughter of Proud Citizen showed promise as a 2-year-old finishing second in the Blue Hen Stakes at Delaware Park and Demoiselle Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Boleyn will be trying turf for the first time after an even third-place effort in a one-mile allowance on Mar. 13 behind highly-regarded Casanova Move in her first start for Wolfson and first outing since finishing sixth in the Ashland Stakes (G1) at Keeneland nearly a year before.
Completing the field for Friday’s race are Lucky Seven Stable’s G Mom, Manoel Cruz; Elizabeth Mateo’s S S Seraphim, Eduardo Nunez; Patricia Generazio’s Just Livin a Dream, C. H. Marquez, Jr.; Steve Klesaris’ Lady’s Wish, Paco Lopez; Hilltop Winners Circle Stable’s Exotic Tap, E.T. Baird; and Caroni Stable’s Cumana, Luis Saez.
Florida Derby Runner-Up Pleasant Prince Favored in Blue Grass
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Pleasant Prince lost a nose decision when second in the $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) on Mar. 20 at Gulfstream Park and will have a final Kentucky Derby (G1) tune-up as the 3-to-1 favorite in Saturday’s $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.
Trainer Wesley Ward said immediately after the Florida Derby that he would likely train Pleasant Prince up to the Kentucky Derby, but concerns that the son of Inca King might need additional earnings to insure getting into the maximum field of 20 caused the connections to go in the Blue Grass.
Pleasant Prince, who made four starts during the Gulfstream meet, leads seven 3-year-olds in the field of nine entered in the Blue Grass that also ran at Gulfstream earlier this year – Dogwood Stable’s Aikenite, Wertheimer et Frere’s Interactif, Donald Dizney’s First Dude, Donegal Racing’s Paddy O’Prado, Padua Stable’s Odysseus and Thomas and Jack Conway’s Stately Victor.
Lopez Misses Wednesday Card at Gulfstream
Leading Gulfstream Park jockey Paco Lopez is off all his scheduled mounts Wednesday to deal with a family emergency, but was expected back Wednesday night to ride Thursday, according to agent Corey Moran.
A 24-year-old native of Vera Cruz, Mexico, Lopez drew off to a commanding lead in the Gulfstream standings last week posting triples on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. His total of 60 is 10 more than Javier Castellano second with 50. Castellano and third-place John Velazquez at 46 have finished their South Florida campaigns for the season now riding at Keeneland before returning to New York