Gulfstream Park Graded Stakes Plays for Feb. 29
A massive 14-race card, led by the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2), will be hosted by Gulfstream Park on Saturday. There are 10 stakes races on the impressive slate with nine of the graded variety, and I will highlight a horse of interest to me in each of the big events.
Fountain of Youth (G2)
I am intrigued by #7 Country Grammer (15-1) at a healthy number. Expensive Tonalist colt lands in a very ambitious spot for his sophomore debut, but I think it says a lot about what the connections think of his abilities. The price is right, too.
Mac Diarmida (G2)
#7 Admission Office (15-1) has knocked on the door on numerous occasions in the graded stakes ranks. I am uncertain if he will thrive going 1 3/8 miles, but the Lynch pupil has a big turn of foot and is better than his last effort. It is hard for me to ignore his price.
Gulfstream Park Mile (G2)
I am a big fan of the turn of foot that #2 Haikal (10-1) possesses. The exciting colt smoked a bullet half-mile at Palm Meadows most recently, and he will be ready to run them down late in a second appearance off the long absence.
Davona Dale (G2)
Sensational debut winner #6 Spice is Nice (7-5) is the horse on the card that I am most excited to watch compete. Curlin filly showed professionalism combined with push-button acceleration at first asking, and she galloped out like a horse who was just getting warmed up. Her ceiling appears to be especially high.
Canadian Turf (G3)
Tom Proctor’s #2 Caribou Club (6-1) has the post and running style to save ground and get first run turning for home. Underrated gelding has posted two swift morning drills in advance of his local debut.
#2 Veruca (15-1) was a sharp third in a swiftly run race on the Keeneland turf on debut, and the Kentucky-bred gets back on the lawn second off the pine. Twirling Candy filly has a chance at a hefty price under turf ace Geroux.
The Very One (G3)
Kiaran McLaughlin’s #7 Romantic Pursuit (6-1) endured a solid second half of 2019 and should continue to improve this campaign. Godolphin homebred fits well in a field lacking a standout.
Honey Fox (G3)
Pletcher’s #2 Atomic Blonde (9-2) was sharp in her local bow last time out, and she figures to get a similar trip second time on the surface. Castellano stays.
Palm Beach (G3)
#10 Famished (10-1) is a horse that I have watched following his fast-closing third at Saratoga in August. Kimmel pupil has run well from two turf tries to date, and I think that the addition of blinkers will move the Uncle Mo colt forward a few lengths. Sophomore is my top value play on the card.