Gulfstream: Keying Sir Ollie in the Sunshine Classic Stakes on Jan. 15

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

January 13th, 2022

A total of seven horses will compete in Saturday’s $75,000 Sunshine Classic S. at Gulfstream Park. The 1 1/8-mile event for Florida-breds doesn’t boast the deepest field ever assembled for a stakes race in South Florida, but one of my top picks of the entire weekend landed in the cast, so I have a lot of interest in the main-track test.

Sunshine Classic Exotics Wagers

  • $8 exacta 1 with 3, 6, 7 ($24)
  • $3 trifecta key 1 with 3, 6, 7 ($18)
  • 50-cent superfecta 1 with 3, 6, 7 with 3, 6, 7 with all ($12)

Peter Vegso homebred #1 Sir Ollie (7-2) makes his stakes debut in this spot and will flourish under Junior Alvarado. By Quality Road, the four-year-old has always flashed potential while racing solely at this venue. He was a sprint debut winner over special weight foes prior to performing well while placing in a pair of strong allowance sprint fields.

The colt was stretched out to a mile while making his first start since being transferred to conditioner Saffie Joseph, and he passed with flying colors en route to a three-length score. In that outing off the layoff, Sir Ollie forced a fast early pace and readily took over inside the final furlong, earning a solid 91 Brisnet Speed figure in the process.

Sir Ollie has come back with two swift morning drills in the interim, and I expect the nice prospect to take command early and take this field all the way on the front end.

#7 Glory of Florida (9-2) has run multiple fine races on the oval for Laura Cazares, and the Dialed In six-year-old wouldn’t be a surprise if the pace backed up in the stretch. The dark bay shows 17 top-three finishes at Gulfstream Park, and he is much better than his fourth-place result in the Claiming Crown Jewel S. last time out would indicate. 

Point of Entry S. hero #3 Shamrocket (6-5) is the class of the field for conditioner Todd Pletcher, but he is a mystery on the course following 21 consecutive turf races to begin his career. The five-year-old son of Tonalist has a load of talent and should be applauded for his consistency, but a cutback in distance combined with a surface change makes him vulnerable at short odds, in my opinion. I will still undoubtedly include the morning-line choice, nonetheless, with Javier Castellano returning to the silks.

#6 Hercules (12-1) has great value for the vertical plays for trainer Juan Alvarado. The Brethren four-year-old ran into a buzzsaw last time, but the gelding lands in a more reasonable spot here to make the frame at a price. The four-time local winner will stalk early under Rafael Hernandez.