Will Heart to Heart Rebound in the Gulfstream Park Turf Stakes?

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

February 8th, 2018

Is it possible that a single factor could determine the outcome of the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Stakes (gr. I) on Saturday at Gulfstream Park?

The nine-furlong turf race has drawn eight starters, with none more accomplished than the speedy seven-year-old veteran #1 Heart to Heart, who has won more than $1.5 million and nine graded stakes races during a career that has spanned 33 starts. Although he’s still seeking his first Grade 1 win, Heart to Heart has placed at this level several times in the past, including a couple of near-misses in the Maker’s 46 Mile (gr. I) and the Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. I) last year.

A brief glance at Heart to Heart’s recent record suggests that he might be starting to slow down a little—he finished tenth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. I) and seventh in the Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (gr. II) on January 13th at Gulfstream. But both of these efforts were better than they first appear—in the Breeders’ Cup, Heart to Heart led past the eighth pole and was only beaten three lengths at the finish, while in the Ft. Lauderdale, he reared at the start and found himself racing in behind horses, an uncharacteristic position given that he likes to race on or near the lead. Heart to Heart didn’t react well to the slow start, tossing his head while in traffic and essentially losing any chance at victory while being forced to change his running style.

Assuming that Heart to Heart gets off to a better start in the Gulfstream Park Turf Stakes, this single factor could help him end his losing streak and get back to the winner’s circle. Drawing post one should give him a perfect ground-saving trip, and with #2 One Go All Go being the only other serious speed horse in the field, Heart to Heart could find himself on an easy lead as well. I think Saturday is the day that Heart to Heart finally gets his Grade 1 win.

For the exotics, I’m interested in using #5 Money Multiplier and #6 March. Money Multiplier, trained by Chad Brown, is an obvious choice given his strong record in graded stakes company and his win in the Monmouth Stakes (gr. II) over this distance last summer. March is a slightly more ambitious play given that he’s only run once in the past year, but the son of Blame was beaten just a head in the nine-furlong Hollywood Derby (gr. I) in November 2015 and recently returned from a long layoff to win an 8.5-furlong allowance race at Gulfstream with a sharp late rally.

I’ll try to keep this simple and key Heart to Heart on top in the exacta:

$10 exacta: 1 with 5 $6 exacta: 1 with 6 $4 exacta: 1 with 2

Good luck!