Gomo returns in Gulfstream Park Oaks

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Jen Caldwell

March 30th, 2016

A field of seven sophomore fillies will vie for the winner’s share of a $250,000 purse and 100 points toward a starting berth in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) when lining up in Saturday’s Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2).

The 1 1/16-mile, two-turn affair has actually come up pretty light in terms of experience, as four of the seven fillies just broke their maidens last out and one other is still only a maiden winner after facing winners in her past two tries.

That leaves Gomo and Off the Tracks as the only runners in the Gulfstream Park Oaks with prior black-type credentials.

Gomo earned hers on both turf and dirt last season for trainer Doug O’Neill. The bay lass debuted with a third-place effort on Santa Anita Park’s main track before returning to romp by 5 1/4 front-running lengths on that venue’s turf just three weeks later.

She switched back to dirt while making her stakes bow in Del Mar’s Sorrento (G3), earning a nice runner-up placing that day, then transferred to that track’s grass for a third-place effort in the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Gomo shipped east to Keeneland for her next start and wound up taking the Alcibiades (G1) over a sloppy, sealed main track. The Uncle Mo filly hasn’t competed since then and just returned to the worktab in mid-February, but anything like her past form should enable Gomo to handle this bunch.

Off the Tracks could give Gomo a run for her money if the undefeated Todd Pletcher filly handles the stretch out past 6 1/2 furlongs. She began her career last June at Gulfstream, breaking her maiden by 4 1/4 lengths, then shipped to Saratoga over the summer for a 3 1/4-length score in the Schuylerville (G3) on July 24.

That would be Off the Tracks juvenile finale, but the bay daughter Curlin has already returned to her winning ways this year with a 4 1/4-length victory in the February 21 Margate H. going 6 1/2 furlongs at Gulfstream. The talented lass tops this field in terms of BRIS Speed ratings, earning a 100 figure for her Schuylerville romp, and will be tough to beat if she can get the distance.

Hold on Momma broke her maiden at Laurel Park in mid-December by 2 1/4 front-running lengths, but was unable to factor when fourth in her past two against allowance/optional claiming rivals. The Hold Me Back filly will be getting Lasix added this time around, and that could be just the boost she needs to challenge here.

Mo’ Green and Double Entendre both boast wins at a distance thanks to their maiden scores. The former did so February 28 over track and distance by 2 1/4 lengths in her second career try while Double Entendre romped by eight lengths first out going a mile and 70 yards at Sam Houston on February 29.

Paola Queen and Go Maggie Go will be tested past a sprint distance for the first time in the Gulfstream Park Oaks. Paola Queen earned a nice 91 BRIS Speed rating wiring a seven-furlong maiden at Gulfstream on February 14 but will have to carry her speed an extra furlong and a half on Saturday. Go Maggie Go triumphed first out by four lengths at Gulfstream on March 13 and earned the same exact number.

The last four are all up-and-coming prospects so it should be interesting to see what they can do against a couple of experienced stakes rivals on Saturday.

Gomo photo courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography