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Las Vegas, NV - Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida will be the scene of two Grade 1 races this Saturday, February 9 - the biggest being the Donn Handicap for horses four year olds and upward. A nice purse of $500,000 will be on the line for those willing to go 1 1/8 miles on Gulfstream's dirt track.
The Donn Handicap has attracted a strong field of 10 for race 11 on Gulfstream's packed Saturday card. Post time is 5:32 PM. Let's take a look at the past performances of all 10 combatants ahead of this lucrative Grade 1 race.
Flat Out - won the 2011 Jockey Club Gold Cup and repeated that score September 29. Last time out was a decent third in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Prior to his win in the Jockey Club Gold Cup he was a very good second in the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup July 7 and Grade 1 Woodward, and an OK third three back in the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap August 4. He has placed in his last four big stakes races and has to be on the radar for the Donn.
Pool Play - is a multiple graded stakes winner who finished third in the Washington Park Handicap September 1 and followed that up with an impressive score in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup October 6. He was an eighth in the Breeders' Cup Classic but followed that with a very good second last time out in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope here January 13. Pool Play has 34 career starts with seven wins, seven seconds and six third place finishes and has some big wins under his belt.
Ultimate Eagle - Ultimate Eagle debuted on dirt at last year's Strub Stakes, won that race by 7 1/4 lengths over Tapizar and holds surprising wins in the Grade 3 Oak Tree Derby and the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby last November on this very track. He had been out of action since a very disappointing tenth in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap March 3 as 2-1 favorite but returned November 23 to a second in the Grade 2 Citation Handicap to Data Link and a good second last time out behind Coil in the Grade 2 San Pasqual January 5 at Santa Anita. He has been knocking on the door since returning from injury and could be poised for a break out despite making the cross-country trip.
Take Charge Indy - results include a win in the Grade 1 Florida Derby in March followed by a nineteenth place finish in the Kentucky Derby before a 5 1/2 month layoff. Since returning, Take Charge Indy has recorded a third in the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland October 27 and a nice second last time out behind Shackleford in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 23.
Csaba - is a six-time winner in south Florida and comes into the Donn having won four straight - the Grade 3 Hal's Hope last time out here January 13, the minor Harlan's Holiday here by 3 3/4 lengths over Delegation December 16, the Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper Handicap November 24 at Calder and the minor Tropical Park Derby by a stunning 14 lengths also at Calder October 13. Before those wins were a seventh and a ninth place finish in stakes action- it is safe to say that Csaba has found another gear in the last four months!
Donn Handicap betting at Gulfstream Park with OffTrackBetting.com
Bourbon Courage - had a respectable fourth in his third start in the Grade 3 Derby Trial Stakes in April and followed that up with a fifth in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont on June 9 and a decent second in the Grade 2 West Virginia Stakes at Belmont back in June. He recorded an impressive score at the Grade 2 Super Derby three back at Louisiana Downs and followed that with another good second in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby. Last time out was a third in the Clark Handicap behind Take Charge Indy at Churchill Downs in November. Bourbon Courage has been at or near the top recently and hopes are that Saturday will be no different.
Fast Falcon - made his stakes debut with second in the Easy Goer Stakes to Teeth of the Dog on June 9 and followed that with another good second in the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont on June 30. He was a pedestrian seventh in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy on July 28 but rebounded with a third in the highly competitive Grade 1 Travers in August. Since then he has been less-than-impressive - a fifth in the Grade 1 Jockey Gold Cup September 29, an eighth in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap November 23 and a OK second last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming here December 27.
Graydar - lightly raced Todd Pletcher trained colt has just three career starts with two wins - an Allowance Optional Claiming last time out here December 6 by 4 1/2 lengths - earning a 103 Beyer Speed Figure and a maiden score here back in April. Sandwiched in there is a third place finish in an Allowance at Belmont Park September 15.
Ducduc - is a multiple stakes winner that ended a pedestrian stretch with a win in the Our Dear Peggy Stakes at Calder September 8 after that was a pair of fifths and a fourth. Since then Ducduc has looked OK - a second in the Grade 3 Spend a Buck Handicap October 13, a nice win in the Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper Handicap at Calder November 24 and a fourth last time out in the minor Harlan's Holiday Stakes on this track December 16.
Citrus Kid - took all of 2012 off after four starts in 2011 yielded two Allowance wins and a second in the PTHA President's Cup Stakes. His only start of 2012 was an Allowance Optional Claiming score here December 19. He has won three of his last five starts and is yet another intriguing entry in the Donn.
Race 11 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:32 PM.
|1||Bourbon Courage||J. Castellano||K. Gorder|
|2||Flat Out||J. Rosario||W. Mott|
|3||Fast Falcon||J. Lezcano||N. Zito|
|4||Graydar||E. Prado||T. Pletcher|
|5||Ultimate Eagle||M. Pedroza||M. Pender|
|6||Ducduc||J. Alvarez||S. Parbhoo|
|7||Csaba||L. Saez||P. Gleaves|
|8||Take Charge Indy||J. Velazquez||P. Byrne|
|9||Pool Play||M. Mena||M. Casse|
|10||Citrus Kid||J. Rocco, Jr.||J. Terranova, II|