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Las Vegas, NV - Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida will play host to the Grade 1 Donn Handicap this Sunday, February 9 - a race that was changed twice and finally settled on Sunday. A nice purse of $500,000 will be on the line for horses four years old and upward willing to go 1 1/8 miles on Gulfstream's main track.
A large and strong field of 11 has been confirmed for the Donn - race 12 on Gulfstream's Sunday schedule. Post time is 6:01 PM. Here is a glance into the past performances of all 11 entries for this Grade 1 stakes.
Will Take Charge - 2013 Eclipse Award winner for three year old colt was one of the only colts to race all three legs of the Triple Crown finishing eighth in the Kentucky Derby, seventh in the Preakness and tenth in the Belmont. This after an impressive win in the Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn Park in March. A lot was expected of this colt in the Triple Crown for trainer D. Wayne Lukas but he had fallen flat on the biggest stages... before a two race win streak after the Triple Crown - in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx September 21 and a tremendous win in the Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga August 24 after a good second ahead of Moreno and behind Palace Malice in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes July 27. Last time out was yet another win in the Grade 1 Clark at Churchill Downs November 29 after a good yet disappointing second in the Breeders' Cup Classic. His last six months have been absolutely remarkable and as the 123 pound highweight he is clearly the one to beat. Luis Saez gets the call form post 2 Sunday.
Revolutionary - Todd Pletcher trained colt entered the Kentucky Derby on a three race win streak - a terrific score in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby March 30, a win in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct February 2 and an 8 1/2 length win over Transparent at Aqueduct December 28, 2012 over 1 mile. He put up a fight in the Derby and finished an OK third and skipped the Preakness and went on to a fifth in the Belmont Stakes in June. He has just one start since the Triple Crown - an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track January 11. Javier Castellano gets the mount from post 3.
Lea - Albert Stall trained colt has 11 career starts and has hit the board in all except a fourth in the Grade 1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga August 31 and a fifth in the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland October 26. He did bounce back in a big way last time out however - a win in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope Stakes here January 11. His other results include four wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. He was a respectable third in the Grade 2 Fourstardave August 10 after a decent second in the Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap behind only Wise Dan at Churchill Downs June 29 and he recorded two straight wins before that - the best of which coming in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes in November, 2012. Lea is competitive as they come and off a win last time out, he should be right in the mix in the Donn. Joel Rosario will get the mount from post 8.
River Seven - Ontario bred gelding enters the Donn on an impressive three race win streak - the minor Harlan's Holiday Stakes over the terrific Csaba here in record setting form December 22, the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs November 16 and the minor Labeeb Stakes at Woodbine in October. Before that was a string of good seconds including the Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine in June and the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie in July. River Seven has hit the board in 10 of 13 career starts and looks terrific ahead of his biggest race to date. Joe Rocco Jr. will be in the reins from gate 5 Sunday.
Neck `n Neck - had just two starts in 2013 - a fourth in the minor Harlan's Holiday Stakes here December 22 after an OK third in the Michael G. Schaefer Memorial at Indiana Downs in October. Neck `n Neck has one start already this year - a good third in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope on this track January 11. He did have an impressive two race win streak before an 11 month layoff - the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap November 2012 and the Grade 2 Indiana Derby a month before that. Neck `n Neck has five wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 17 career starts and will be looking to get back to the form that saw him dominate toward the end of 2012.
Donn Handicap betting at Gulfstream Park with OffTrackBetting.com
Uncaptured - Mark Casse trained colt ended 2012 with a bang with wins in the Grade 3 Iroquois and the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes and was good in 2013 as well with a win, three seconds and two thirds in eight starts in five starts - the lone poor performance came in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes when he finished tenth. Last time out was an OK fourth in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope Stakes here January 11 after a troubled third minor Delta Mile Stake November 23 and a fifth in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby October 5. He also had a third in the Grade 3 Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx September 2 after a win in the minor Prince of Whales Stakes at Fort Erie and a second to Code West in the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs in June. He has an impressive seven wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in 16 career starts but has failed to place in two of his last three starts overall.
Bourbon Courage - finished second in this race last year during a string of eight straight races in which he placed. Other impressive results over that span include thirds in the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes and Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap, another third in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap November 23, 2012 and a terrific win in the Grade 2 Super Derby September 2012. He is coming off an OK third in the minor Harlan's Holiday Stakes on this track December 22 after a fourth in the Grade 1 Clark at Churchill Downs November 29.
Joshua's Comprise - is coming off a decent second in the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic here January 18 - 14 lengths behind Mucho Macho Man after a seventh place finish in the Harlan's Holiday Stakes here December 22 but has placed in just two of his last seven - the other was a third in the Quality Road Stakes on this track in October. Joshua's Comprise finished an OK fourth three back in the Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper Handicap but has been up and down the last year or so.
Romansh - Thomas Albertini trained colt is coming off a career best result - a win in the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct November 2 after failing to place in his first two graded stakes tries - a sixth in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx in September and a fifth in the Grade 1 Travers in August. Romansh has three wins and a third place finish in seven career starts and will be looking to build off a terrific win last time out.
Viramundo - Martin Wolfson trainee is coming off a pair of thirds in Allowance Optional Claiming races here - the last coming January 11. Before that was an eleventh in a Claiming at Keeneland and a fourth in a similar race at Kentucky Downs. He has 16 career starts with five wins, three seconds and three third place finishes but takes a huge step up in competition Sunday in so-so form.
Macho Bull - has placed in just one of six graded stakes starts - a third in the 2012 Grade 3 Iowa Derby. He ended 2013 with an eighth in the Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper Handicap at Calder December 7 and has four starts already this year placing in just one - a third in a Starter Optional Claiming score at Calder January 25. Macho Bull has six wins, a second and eight third place finishes in 35 career starts but hasn't shown all that well in his rare steps up in competition.
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