Hanson: Stakes spot plays for Gulfstream, Fair Grounds Feb. 27
Highlighted by two significant Kentucky Derby (G1) preps and the return of the juvenile filly champion in the Davona Dale (G2), Saturday's stakes calendar is action-packed. As the Oaklawn Park features could be dominated by shorter-priced contenders, we'll concentrate this weekend's plays at Gulfstream Park and Fair Grounds.
Honey Fox (G3) -- Gulfstream Race 11 (4:29 p.m. ET)
#2 Got Stormy is the indisputable class of the field and the mare to beat. But before running well twice against the boys and re-energizing her campaign by focusing on sprints last season, recall she disappointed badly in her 2020 season debut at very short odds.
Perhaps she won't prove so vulnerable this time, but it might be worth leaning against her at another short price in case she isn't as good around two turns as she once was compared to one turn.
#8 JAKARTA (15-1) doesn't have much two-turn form to speak of and is seemingly a sprinter at heart. However, there isn't a whole lot of other pace in this field and it's possible she could sneak off to an uncontested lead. She's fond of this course, with her only setback over it aided in part by a slow start caused by early bumping last time. At a potential double-digit price, I'll take my chances she could see out the mile in an ideal circumstance.
Davona Dale S. -- Gulfstream Race 12 (5:04 p.m. ET)
Reigning juvenile filly champion #3 Vequist might prove a better filly than Jaywalk, the champion who flopped in this race two years ago. But with bigger goals in her immediate future, it would be no surprise if she wasn't totally cranked to deliver in her season debut.
#6 CRAZY BEAUTIFUL (6-1) wasn't too crazy about attempting to close into the softer paces she encountered in a pair of two-turn Grade 1s at the end of last season, but the filly could perk up returning to a one-turn battle here for Kenny McPeek. An easy winner of the Ellis Park Debutante over seven furlongs, her second in the Pocahontas (G3) over Churchill's one-turn mile was also a fine effort despite the fact her momentum was stalled at crucial points when trying to rally in between rivals rather than taking the overland route.
The barn has been rather cold here this winter, but Crazy Beautiful seems well-placed to run a better effort in this heat.
Black Gold S. -- Fair Grounds Race 9 (5:52 p.m. ET)
The top three finishers from the Jan. 31 Texas Turf Mile at Sam Houston were separated by a neck at the wire and return for this about 1 1/16-mile turf affair. Third that day was #9 Dyn O Mite, who had narrowly edged the unlucky #4 T D DANCE (8-1) in his prior start on the main track at Fair Grounds. If form lines are to be believed, T D Dance might very well have made a significant impact in the Sam Houston fixture and thus deserves a look here.
Modestly-bred compared to fellow Brad Cox stablemate #5 Fulsome, T D Dance nonetheless was a smart winner first out on the turf at Indiana Grand last October and finished only a neck behind Dyn O Mite in the aforementioned off-the-turf allowance at Fair Grounds in early December after some early trouble in running. There's room for further progression from this colt here returning to the grass and is a potentially attractive alternative at odds in the mid- to upper-single digits.