Gulfstream Park: Stakes plays for Jan. 1
A handful of stakes races for sophomores will help ring in the new year with style at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
Race 4 – Cash Run S.
The one-mile affair for newly turned three-year-old fillies attracted seven. #2 Kathleen O (5-2) broke slowest and was last early in her debut dash at Aqueduct, but the Shug McGaughey trainee made up for her tardy start with a flying finish in the mud to graduate at first asking. $275,000 daughter of Upstart appears to have a very bright future. Javier Castellano retains the mount.
Race 5 – Ginger Brew S.
Sophomore fillies will travel one mile on the lawn in a nice betting race. I am siding with #2 Li Li Bear (6-1) who will make her turf debut. The Liam’s Map filly was a game maiden winner on the synthetic most recently, and I feel that she will move forward on the stretch-out and move to the lawn on Saturday. Joseph trainee will be forwardly placed throughout under Gaffalione.
Race 7 – Limehouse S.
A cast of seven three-year-olds will dash six panels in this spot. #4 Summery (8-1) has moved forward since moving to the dirt two back and has great value at his morning-line price. Summer Front colt was a smart second last time out and smoked a bullet half-mile at Tampa Bay Downs in preparation for his stakes bow.
Race 9 – Dania Beach S.
Conditioner Todd Pletcher has two contenders in the cast, and I like both of them. #8 Grand Sonata (7-2) had an eventful trip when a close fifth in the Central Park S. at Aqueduct in his latest test, and the son of Medaglia d’Oro figures to receive a much cleaner voyage from the outside post in this spot.
#5 Chanceux (3-1) led throughout in his initial turf try in a sprint in the Empire State, and he gives me the impression of a horse who wants to run much longer. Kentucky-bred chestnut will be dangerous if he clears the field at the break with top gun Saez in the stirrups.
Race 10 – Mucho Macho Man S.
The final stakes race is at one mile on the dirt, and I am giving top billing to #5 Skippylongstocking (7-2). Son of Exaggerator was a huge maiden winner on the surface three back, and I didn’t mind his last pair of races, either. The addition of blinkers will be a boost for the bay, who will be paired with Gaffalione.