Lukes Alley seeks more Gulfstream turf success in Fort Lauderdale

HorseRacingNation.com
January 12, 2017 06:46am
Lukes Alley wins 2016 GP Turf Handicap
Photo: Lauren King/Gulfstream Park


Lukes Alley is set for a return to the turf course over which he established Grade 1 credentials during the 2015-2016 Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park. The Josie Carroll-trained 7-year-old is slated to face 11 rivals in Saturday’s $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2), a 1 1/16-mile turf event for 4-year-olds and up.

Lukes Alley finished second, less than a length behind victorious Heart to Heart in the Fort Lauderdale last year prior to capturing the $350,000 Gulfstream Park Turf (G1).

“We were planning on an allowance race as a prep, but unfortunately it didn’t go, so we’re going straight into this race,” Carroll said. “The ultimate goal is the race he won last year.”

The Gulfstream Turf Handicap, which is scheduled for Feb. 11, provided a career highlight for Lukes Alley, a multiple graded-stakes winner who won a Sovereign Award in 2014 as Canada’s champion older horse.

“He’s just a very, very exciting horse who finally got his due. He finally got into a position to show what he’s made of,” said Carroll, whose trainee has won eight of 15 starts while proving equally efficient on turf and Woodbine’s Polytrack surface.

The son of Flower Alley went to the sidelines for nine months after the Gulfstream Park Turf before returning in the Autumn (G2) at Woodbine Nov. 6 with a fifth-place finish.

“He suffered a minor injury prepping for the next start and we elected to give him plenty of time off to make sure he came back 100 percent,” Carroll said. “[The Autumn) was a great race; he just got a little tired. It would have been better if he had a couple more weeks to train, but he was sitting on go, and we needed to get his campaign started.”

The Eugene Melnyk homebred is slated to be ridden by Paco Lopez, who rode him in both the Fort Lauderdale and Gulfstream Turf Handicap last season.

Carroll is also scheduled to saddle Ami’s Flatter for a start in Saturday’s $150,000 Hal’s Hope (G3), a mile main-track event for 4-year-olds and up.

The graded stakes-winning 5-year-old son of Flatter won an allowance race last year and finished third in the Florida Derby (G1) in 2015.

“He seems to love the Gulfstream surface, so we’re hoping for a nice race from him,” Carroll said.

Source: Gulfstream Park

 

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