Stallwalkin’ Dude headlines Mr. Prospector; turf sophomores line up in Tropical Park Derby and Oaks

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Jen Caldwell

December 17th, 2015

Stallwalkin’ Dude will try for his second straight stakes victory on Saturday when lining up against six other runners in the $100,000 Mr. Prospector S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

The six-furlong affair will take place early on a card that also includes the Tropical Park Derby and Oaks. Each of those 1 1/16-mile turf events are worth $75,000.

First, though, Stallwalkin’ Dude could duplicate his neck score in the Claiming Crown Rapid Transit from December 5 over the track. Trained by David Jacobson, the bay gelding dueled through the early going of the Rapid Transit before just getting his neck in front of 2-1 favorite Trouble Kid on the wire.

Stallwalkin’ Dude entered that one off a fourth-placing in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park and an eighth-place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Keeneland. The five-year-old earned a spot in the championship event after just missing by a neck when third in the Vosburgh S. (G1), and also placed in the True North S. (G2), Belmont Sprint Championship S. (G3) and a pair of listed events this season.

While he won’t be facing Trouble Kid for a third straight time on Saturday, Stallwalkin’ Dude will have to contend with the likes of Grande Shores, Speechify and Weekend Hideaway.

Grande Shores captured the 2014 Claiming Crown Rapid Transit but could only manage a fourth-placing last out in the 2015 edition. The bay opened his seven-year-old season with a trio of runner-up efforts, including a neck second in the Fred W. Hooper S. (G3) going a mile at Gulfstream in early February, and has finished worse than third just twice from nine starts thus far in 2015.

Speechify is the defending champion of the Mr. Prospector but has yet to visit the winner’s circle since his 1 1/4-length score last December. Most recently the five-year-old finished fifth behind winner Weekend Hideaway in a sloppy, off-the-turf allowance at Gulfstream Park West.

Later on Saturday, War Story is among the 12 sophomores entered in the Tropical Park Derby. The Peter Walder trainee will be getting the blinkers taken off after finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) last out. War Story is seeking his first stakes win in the race after placing in the Louisiana Derby (G2), Risen Star S. (G2), LeComte S. (G3) and West Virginia Derby (G2) this season.

Contenders include last-out Bryan Station S. winner Tweet Kitten and Watchyourownbobber, who captured the Showing Up S. following a close second in the Jefferson Cup S. (G3) in his past two.

Also showing up for the race are stakes winner and multiple Grade 2-plced A Lot as well as Canadian champion Conquest Typhoon, unraced since a subpar 11th in the American Turf (G2) in early May.

Two races later an overflow field of 14 three-year-old fillies will head to the gate in the Tropical Park Oaks.

British shipper and multiple Group 3 heroine Osaila will be getting first-time Lasix as she squares off against multiple stakes winners Celestine and Red Sashay and listed-placed Light in Paris, who shipped in from France to contest the Pebbles S. most recently.

Stallwalkin’ Dude photo courtesy of Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography