Graded Stakes Races Abound on Saturday Card at Gulfstream

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

March 1st, 2018

Gulfstream Park is going to put on quite a show this Saturday. Among the fourteen races scheduled for March 3rd are eight graded stakes races, with all of them attracting competitive fields.

Among the highlights are the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II), and Mac Diarmida Stakes (gr. II), but the other five events also warrant attention. Let’s take a quick look at each one….

Race 4, The Very One Stakes (gr. III): The accomplished Holy Helena won her turf debut going a mile at Gulfstream last month and now steps up in class and distance. She’s still seeking her first graded stakes victory, but the daughter of Ghostzapper proved her worth last summer by winning the Woodbine Oaks and the Queen’s Plate Stakes against fellow Canadian-breds. Daring Duchess and Summersault, stakes winners over the Gulfstream turf course, loom as her main challengers.

Race 6, Palm Beach Stakes (gr. III): The Triple Crown-nominated Hawkish unleashed an explosive late rally to win his debut at Gulfstream two months ago and looks like a budding turf star for trainer Jimmy Toner. The son of Artie Schiller looks ready to step up in this 8.5-furlong turf event, though the unbeaten two-time stakes winner Therapist and the similarly accomplished Speed Franco (winner of the Grade 3 Dania Beach Stakes over this course last month) have the edge in experience.

Race 7, Herecomesthebride Stakes (gr. III): Trainer Graham Motion holds a strong hand with Thewayiam, who is 2-for-2 over this course with late-running wins in the Ginger Brew Stakes and Sweetest Chant Stakes (gr. III) on her record. However, Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown—two of the leading trainers at Gulfstream—will be in the mix as well while sending out the recent Gulfstream maiden winners Amertume and Brattata.

Race 10, Canadian Turf Stakes (gr. III): Stakes winners abound in this one-mile turf event, including Galleon Mast, who has won his last four starts at Gulfstream while never finishing out of the trifecta in 13 starts over the course. But Tropical Turf Stakes (gr. III) winner Shakhimat and the former claimer Conquest Sandman could be dangers on the front end in a race without much speed, while Highland Sky and March have both run well in Grade 1 races.

Race 12, Gulfstream Park Sprint Stakes (gr. III): Plenty of familiar names are set to contest this 6 ½-furlong sprint, including Mr. Jordan, who cuts back in distance off a series of solid efforts going two turns in stakes company. Favorable Outcome, winner of the Swale Stakes (gr. II) over this track last winter, and Noholdingback Bear, third in the King’s Bishop Stakes (gr. I) two summers ago, are among the other major players in this contentious sprint.

Post time for the first race of the day is 11:30 a.m. Eastern.