Exotics plays for Tropical Turf Stakes on Jan. 8

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

January 7th, 2022

A field of seven will go postward in the $100,000 Tropical Park S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. The one-mile grassy endeavor is led by 2021 Pegasus Turf (G1) runner-up #1 Largent from the barn of Todd Pletcher. A winner of the 2020 Fort Lauderdale S. (G2) on the surface, Largent dons a fine 6-4-2-0 career mark at Gulfstream and has been training well in advance of his first run since the Pegasus last season.

The consistently very good son of Into Mischief has never finished worse than second in his lifetime, and the gelding has proven to be more than capable of firing his best shot from off the bench. Luis Saez will guide the Virginia-bred and have him tucked in just behind the pace to the top of the stretch while saving ground throughout. The race goes through the bay.

#4 Value Proposition is the main danger to Largent for conditioner Chad Brown. By the late Dansili, the six-year-old has plenty of back class to him, and he possesses the right running style to thrive on the course in his Gulfstream debut. The dark bay has notched stakes wins in two of his last three outings, with victories in the Oyster Bay S. and Red Bank S., the latter at this distance.

The dark bay does very good work at the trip with a 6-3-1-1 mark at a mile, and he will track the pace with interest prior to making his run approaching the turn for home. He loses Saez but picks up top pilot Irad Ortiz for the voyage.

#3 Phat Man is winless from five career tries on the green, but he has placed second on two occasions and the son of Munnings has a good deal of class to him. Conditioned by Kent Sweezey, the chestnut eight-year-old owns a big turn of foot on the dirt, and in a field with ample early speed signed on, I envision him making a run in the lane to grab a minor award at a fair price. The Kentucky-bred gelding will have Shaun Bridgmohan in the stirrups.

Tropical Park Wagers

  • $30 trifecta 1 with 4 with 3 ($30)
  • $10 trifecta 4 with 1 with 3 ($10)
  • $2 superfecta 4 with 1 with 3 with all ($8)