Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap comes our way from beautiful Hallandale, Florida this Saturday, March 9. An interesting group of horses four years old and upward will chase the winner's share of the $300,000 purse when they go one mile on Gulfstream's dirt track.
The Gulfstream Park Handicap has attracted a small but quality field of six for race 10 on Gulfstream's Saturday card. Post time is 5:35 PM. Here is a brief look into the past performances of all six combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.
Fort Larned - looked very good at the start of 2012 with wins in the Challenger Stakes and the Grade 3 Skip Away Stakes at Gulfstream but had a disappointing eighth at the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs June 16 for his worst result of last year. He won the Grade 3 Cornhusker Handicap and followed that with another terrific result - a win in the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational. He had a decent third in the Grade 3 Jockey Club Gold Cup in September but he really shone last time out - a terrific win in the Breeders' Cup Classic. He has win three of his last four starts - all graded stakes races and is the one to watch Saturday.
Fort Loudon - has placed in five of six races since August and is coming off a very good win in the Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship Stakes February 9. Before that was a third in the Sunshine Millions Classic, a second in the Sunshine Stake Stakes and a good second in the Grade 3 Ack Ack Stakes at Churchill Downs November 2. Fort Loudon has been in every race the last six months and could be a factor.
Discreet Dancer - Todd Pletcher trained colt has three wins in four career starts. He returned after a one year layoff in an Allowance Optional Claiming here February 6 and won that race. He was third a year ago in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes here after two wins in his first career two starts - one by 10 lengths in his first career start. He was a hot commodity on the Derby trail last year and will be looking to make a little noise as a 4-year-old on Saturday.
Swagger Jack - had five starts in 2012 - all Allowance Optional Claiming races with two wins and a second place finish. He has two starts in 2013 - both on this track - an Allowance Optional Claiming score January 17 and a nice second last time out in the Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship Stakes behind Fort Loudon February 9 . He has two wins and a good second in his last three starts overall and could threaten the field this weekend.
Gourmet Dinner - 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 minor Super Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs February 23 after a seventh in the Grade 1 Windward back in September and a five month layoff. He has five wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 17 career starts.
Decaf Again - has a staggering 82 career starts and six already this year! Decaf Again has seven wins, 10 seconds and 12 third place finishes but hasn't placed in his last eight starts dating back to a third in the minor Carl G. Rose Classic at Calder November 10.
Race 10 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:35 PM.
||B. Hernandez, Jr.