Race of the Week 2017

Walden Excited About WinStar Duo

Saturday’s outstanding card at Gulfstream Park features a pair of graded stakes as well as several competitive allowance heats for the older set, but the most intriguing event of the afternoon just might be a $47,000 maiden special weight for 3-year-olds. Carded as the fourth race, the seven-furlong test will see a bevy of expensive, well-bred youngsters kicking off their careers.           

The WinStar Farm colors will be represented by two colts in the fourth race: Constitution, a $400,000 Tapit colt owned in partnership with Twin Creeks Racing and trained by Todd Pletcher; and Athens, a $550,000 son of Giant’s Causeway that will be saddled by Bill Mott.

Constitution has compiled a flashy worktab at Palm Meadows and was entered to run at Gulfstream last Saturday and was the 5-2 choice on the morning line, but drew the rail and was withdrawn. His connections came out as winners nevertheless when Vinceremos prevailed that day.            

“We did scratch because of the post, but we also felt that Vinceremos was going to win,” WinStar Farm President Elliott Walden offered. “He had had a start and finished second—he was ready to win, and we felt that it was the right thing to do.”           

Constitution is the second foal from Baffled, a daughter of Distorted Humor that hit the board in a Royal Ascot stakes as a juvenile. She is a half-sister to Emcee, a Grade 1-winning sprinter, and is from the family of another swift 2-year-old standout in Awesome Humor. Constitution will have the services of Javier Castellano when hea breaks from the six hole on Saturday.           

Athens put up three bullet works in December for Mott at Payson Park. Owned solely by WinStar, the bay colt is a half-brother to Pomeroy, a multiple Grade 1 winner at seven furlongs; and to Gold Vault, the dam of the fast filly Contested. Athens drew post 10 and will be ridden by Joel Rosario.           

“I do like both of them and it’s just that time of the year,” Walden said. “We were hoping they were going to split the race. They didn’t, so at that point we just decided to run them together. With both of them being first-time starters, the odds of both of them firing big are a little bit remote. It’s not like either of them has the experience of a race already. If they finish one-two, I think that’ll be a good problem to have.”          

Drawn on the rail is first-time starter Hartford, a $700,000 yearling purchase by Stonestreet Stables and trained by Pletcher. The gray colt is by Tapit out of Tempting Note, making him a full-sibling to Grade 1 winner Dance Card and Tempted to Tapit, who placed in a pair of graded events as a 3-year-old. He will be ridden by Luis Saez.           

Pat Byrne will send out another debutant in Indy’s Legacy for Chuck and Maribeth Sandford. Acquired as a yearling for $600,000, the A.P. Indy colt is a half-brother to Cool Coal Man, winner of the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream in 2008. Indy’s Legacy will break from post eight and will have Corey Lanerie in the irons.


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