Gulfstream Park Turf Stakes Spot Plays April 1
A massive day of racing will be hosted by Gulfstream Park on Saturday, led by the $1 million Florida Derby (G1). Of the 10 black-type events on the blockbuster afternoon of action at Gulfstream, six will be contested on the turf.
Race 3 – Cutler Bay S.
The 7 1/2-furlong tilt for three-year-olds attracted a good field of nine. #1 Cool Kiss put in a solid rally to be runner-up in a dirt allowance most recently but will relish the return to the lawn in his second 2023 appearance. The dark bay son of Kantharos looked the part in his debut win on the grass at Woodbine as a juvenile, and a similar performance will make the gelding a major player on Saturday. Emma-Jayne Wilson will guide the late runner.
Race 10 – Sand Springs S.
A well-matched field of 10 fillies and mares will go postward in the 1 1/16-mile affair. I believe that #6 Marketsegmentation will be super tough in the heat for conditioner Chad Brown, but I will dabble with #1 Love in the Air at a much better price. Trained by John Servis, the five-year-old daughter of Constitution has never missed the frame from six lifetime tries on turf. The talented Pennsylvania-bred was a smart allowance winner on the course in her latest showing, and I expect her to move forward while making her second run of 2023. Paco Lopez will be in the controls.
Race 11 – Sanibel Island S.
Sophomore fillies will vie in the 7 1/2-furlong contest. #2 Love Appeals is short on experience, but the bay filly impressed me in her first-out score on the course and I will take a shot with her on this occasion. The Moyglare homebred rallied into a soft pace to graduate in game fashion last time out, and I think that she has a very bright future. Joel Rosario retaining the mount is a plus.
Race 13 – Appleton S.
A full field of 12 will go postward in the one-mile tussle. The Roger Attfield-trained #9 Churchtown checks a lot of boxes for me and gets the nod with Luis Saez taking the reins for the first time. The Air Force Blue gelding has good tactical speed and a nice turn of foot, and I envision him sitting a perfect trip to the top of the lane in his four-year-old debut.