Harmonize returns to face Lira in Sanibel Island

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

March 23rd, 2016

Provided the Rainbow 6 pool continues to carry over the next few days, the focus of Saturday's racing at Gulfstream Park will be pari-mutuel with the jackpot wager's mandatory payout attracting millions from horseplayers coast to coast

On the sporting front, Gulfstream's Saturday card features two $75,000 stakes for three-year-olds at one mile on the turf. The Sanibel Island H., for fillies, will be the more scrutinized of the two as the penultimate race in the Rainbow 6 sequence.

Among the 12-horse lineup is Harmonize, who makes her season debut after a recent quarantine was lifted at her winter base of Payson Park. The daughter of Scat Daddy broke her maiden by four lengths in the $100,000 P.G. Johnson at Saratoga last September, and then won a photo-finish after an eight-wide bid in the Jessamine (G3) at Keeneland.

In her juvenile finale, Harmonize finished seventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), also at Keeneland, on a rain-soaked course.

Also expected to vie for favoritism is Lira, who suffered her first career loss when second to Breeders' Cup winner Catch a Glimpse in the February 27 Herecomesthebride (G3). While no match for that classy filly, Lira ran to expectations following prior wins in the $75,000 Wait a While and $100,000 Ginger Brew on the circuit.

The Cutler Bay H., an open event for three-year-olds, is the fifth race on the card. Giant Run and Ousby, separated by a nose for second in the February 27 Palm Beach (G3), are the leading contenders. Highland Sky, who endured rough trips in the Pilgrim (G3) and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), makes his sophomore debut for Barclay Tagg.

(Keeneland/Coady Photography)