Fort Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream Park

Dave Bond | OTB Writer
Updated: January 10, 2013 -- 12:40 PM ET

Las Vegas, NV - Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida will be the scene of the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes this Saturday, January 12. Horses four years old and upward will be featured as they go 1 1/16 miles on Gulfstream's turf track in search of their share of the $150,000 purse.

The Fort Lauderdale has attracted a field of 12 to go in race 10 on Gulfstream's Saturday card. Post time is 5:05 PM. Here is a look at the past performances of all 12 entries ahead of this Grade 2 race.

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2013 Fort Lauderdale Stakes Race Favorites

Dominus - Todd Pletcher trained colt had four starts in 2012 including an impressive win over Data Link in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch September 1 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Saratoga August 4. Since then Dominus has struggled to a sixth in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile behind Wise Dan and a fifth last time out in the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill Downs November 2. Hopes are that a move back to turf will get Dominus back in the win column this weekend.

Nikki's Sandcastle - has 30 career starts with 8 wins. His last two starts have resulted in wins in minor stakes races - the El Prado Stakes December 22 here and the Starter Stakes December 1 also on this track. Before that he had two second place finishes - two minor stakes races and the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes three back at Keeneland in October. He has three wins and three seconds in his last seven starts and enters the Fort Lauderdale in the best form of his career.

Fort Lauderdale Stakes 2013 | Remaining Field Entries

Fifty Proof - has 15 career starts with seven wins and five seconds but he had only one start in 2012 which resulted in a terrific wire-to-wire win in the minor Sir Barton Stakes at Woodbine December 2 after 16 months away from racing. Back in 2011 he Fifty Proof had a pair of wins including the Grade 3 Eclipse Stakes and a pair of seconds in four starts before the long layoff.

Hollinger - Canadian Champion Hollinger finished fourth in the Grade 2 Nijinsky in July to follow a third in the Grade 1 King Edward Stakes and a second in an Allowance race at Woodbine. Since that time he has registered a disappointing eighth in the Woodbine Mile September 16 and followed by a nice second last time out in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap at Calder November 30. He has 22 career starts with five wins, five seconds and four third place finishes but arguably his best career result came on this track - a second to get Stormy in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Turf Handicap last year.

Big Blue Kitten - finished a respectable third in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap back in February behind Hollinger and Get Stormy and has just two starts since - a tenth overseas in June and a nice Allowance Optional Claiming score last time out on this track December 8. He has six wins, a second and three third place finishes in 11 career starts including his most impressive score - the Grade 2 Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga in August 2011.

Quick Wit - Dale Romans trained colt came out of nowhere four starts back and won the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga but followed that with an eighth September 3 and a pair of ninths in his last two starts - the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby October 13 and the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes last time out at Churchill Downs November 17. He has just three wins, two seconds and a third place finish in 13 career starts but enters the Fort Lauderdale apparently out of sorts.

Vertiformer - won an Allowance Optional Claiming June 6 and raced four straight graded stakes races after that posting a fourth in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap, an eleventh in the Grade 1 Arlington Million three back, a fifth in the Grade 3 Durham Cup Stakes at Woodbine in October and a decent third last time out in the Grade 2 W.L. McKnight Handicap November 24 at Calder.

Fort Lauderdale Stakes betting at Gulfstream Park with OffTrackBetting.com

Sky Blazer - Barclay Tagg gelding was an OK third two back in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch at Saratoga September 1 after a sixth in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions. He also had a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming scores to his credit last year proving that he does belong in this Grade 3 race. However a sixth last time out in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker in October has expectations tempered just a bit ahead of this weekend.

Mucho Mas Macho - stakes winner is coming off a very nice second in the Grade 2 W.L. McKnight Handicap November 24 at Calder where he has been a mainstay for the last nine months. He had a couple of Allowance scores in 2012 as well as his best result last year - a win in the minor Needles Stakes September 15 all at Calder. He has four wins and four seconds in 19 career starts.

Tiz Sardonic Joe - makes just his second career stakes start - the first coming four back - a fourth in the Equalize Stakes at Saratoga. He has concentrated on Allowance races in his last three and is coming off a win on this track December 15 in one of those Allowance starts.

Empire Builder - finished fourth last time out in the minor El Prado Stakes here 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 two back in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap at Calder November 30.

Pants On Fire - main track only entry had a fifth in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap at Fair Grounds on April 1 and followed that with a sixth in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic. He did win the minor Skip Away Stakes at Monmouth in May but was sixth again last time out in the Delta Mile Stakes at Delta Downs November 17. Pants On Fire is a multiple graded stakes winner that has been less-than scintillating the last year or so.


2013 Fort Lauderdale Stakes Entries & Odds

Race 10 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:05 PM.

Post Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Vertiformer A. Garcia W. Catalano
12-1
2 Nikki's Sandcastle C. Lanerie D. Kassen
5-1
3 Fifty Proof E. Trujillo I. Black
6-1
4 Dominus J. Velazquez T. Pletcher
3-1
5 Hollinger E. Prado R. Attfield
4-1
6 Quick Wit F. Torres D. Romans
20-1
7 Sky Blazer J. Rosario B. Tagg
10-1
8 Big Blue Kitten J. Castellano C. Brown
6-1
9 Mucho Mas Macho J. Leyva H. Collazo
20-1
10 Tiz Sardonic Joe J. Lezcano E. Kenneally
12-1
11 Empire Builder J. Castanon L. Duco
15-1
12 Pants On Fire P. Lopez K. Breen
5-2

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