Canadian Turf Stakes at Gulfstream Park

Dave Bond | OTB Writer
Updated: February 20, 2013 -- 6:05 PM ET

Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 3 Canadian Turf Stakes comes our way this Saturday, February 23 from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida. Horses four years old and upward will be after their share of the $150,000 purse when they go one mile on Gulfstream's turf track.

A field of 11 older horses has been confirmed for the Canadian Turf. It is race 10 on Gulfstream's packed Saturday card with a post time of 5:05 PM. Let's take a look at the past performances of all eight combatants ahead of this Grade 3 race.

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2013 Canadian Turf Stakes Race Favorites

Data Link - finished a respectable third in last year's Canadian Turf March 3 behind Doubles Partner and Trend in his graded stakes debut then went on to win the Makers 46 Mile in impressive fashion. Data Link won the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes in record time to follow a fifth in the Turf Classic Stakes at Churchill Downs in the summer then had another impressive result - a second in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap September 1. He followed that with a fifth in the Grade 1 Shadwell at Keeneland October 6 but bounced back most recently with a nice win in the Grade 2 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park November 23. He has won seven of 15 career starts and has proven tough against top competition in the past. With three graded stakes wins on turf last year, Data Link appears to be the class of the 2013 Canadian Turf field.

Za Approval - will race in stakes company for the first time but has won three of five starts coming into the Canadian Turf. Last time out the son of Ghostzapper recorded an Allowance Optional Claiming score by a nose at Gulfstream over Joes Blazing Saddles January 5.

Canadian Turf Stakes 2013 | Remaining Field Entries

Cash Rules - is a five time stakes winner and comes into the Canadian Turf having won four of his last six starts including the Grade 2 Spend a Buck Handicap four back at Calder. The other three wins over that span came in minor stakes action all at Calder. In his two starts since the Spend a Buck Cash Rules he has a third in the Harlan`s Holiday Stakes at Gulfstream and a second last time out in the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream January 19.

Joes Blazing Aaron - Graded stakes winner has not raced in stakes company in 19 months but had five Allowance starts in 2012 with a win, a third and a pair of fourths. Last time out was an OK second on this track in an Allowance Optional Claiming January 5. He is as experienced as any entry but hasn't been in the greatest form the last year or so.

Howe Great - He had an impressive streak of four straight wins interrupted with a fifth in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in April and bounced back with a OK third in the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes in May 4, a close second to Summer Front in the Grade 3 Hill Prince at Belmont Park in June and he won the minor Jersey Derby at Monmouth on July 21. In September Howe Great was a very good second in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby but he stumbled to a seventh last time out in the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park October 6.

Night Party - is coming off a nice win in the minor Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway Park December 15 after a fourth and a third respectively in Allowance Optional Claiming races at Churchill Downs in November. He placed in three straight stakes races in the summer - a third in the Grade 2 Firecracker in July, a second in the Boys and Girls Club Stakes in June and a third in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap in May.

Empire Builder - finished fourth in the minor El Prado Stakes here three back after placing in four straight - a win in the Naked Greed Stakes in August, a second in a pair of minor stakes races at Calder in the fall and a decent third four back in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap at Calder November 30. His 2013 results haven't been great however -a sixth in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes here January 12 was followed by a fifth last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming February 1.

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Scatman - started 2012 in style - two straight wins against lesser competition, a second at the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn on February 20 and a third at the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes on March 17 also at Oaklawn. He struggled in the spring to a ninth in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes and a tenth in the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes but rebounded with two straight Allowance scores in October and November. He had a fifth two back in the Harlan's Holiday Stakes here December 16 and followed that with a sixth last time out in the Hal's Hope Stakes on this track January 13.

Global Power - had three straight wins in the summer including a pair of minor stakes races but has struggled a tad since - a third in the Remington Green Stakes September 30, a ninth in the Grade 3 River City Handicap at Churchill Downs November 25, a third in the minor Bonapaw Stakes at Fair Grounds December 22 and a fifth in his only start this year - an Allowance Optional Claiming at Fair Grounds January 25.

Beau Choix - Barclay Tagg pupil finished fifth in this race last year and had a trio of fourth place finishes in stakes action in 2012. He did win the minor Rob N Gin Stakes at Belmont Park October 12 and he is coming off an Allowance Optional Claiming score here February 1 however.

Gourmet Dinner - Main Track Only entry is a multiple stakes winner but hadn't tasted victory since the Jackpot Stakes in November 2010 before a win in the minor Majestic Light Stakes on July 29. He is coming off a seventh in the Grade 1 Windward back in September and a five month layoff.

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