Las Vegas, NV - Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida will be the scene of the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes this Saturday, January 11. Horses four years old and upward will be featured as they go 1 1/16 miles on Gulfstream's turf track for the winner's share of the $200,000 purse.
The Ft. Lauderdale has drawn a strong and well matched field of 10 older horses to go in race 9 on Gulfstream's Saturday card. Post time is 4:33 PM. Here is a look into the credentials of all 10 combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.
Summer Front - Christophe Clement trainee finished a good second to Silentio last time out in the Grade 2 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park November 29 but had a disappointing seventh in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile October 5 after two terrific graded stakes wins - in the Grade 3 Matchmaker at Monmouth Park August 25 and in the Grade 3 Miami Mile at Calder in April. He ended 2012 with a sixth in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby after a pair of thirds in Grade 1 races - the Jamaica and the Secretariat Stakes. He also had a win in the Grade 3 Hill Prince over Howe Great and the minor Duluth Stakes in 2012. Summer Front has two wins and a second in his last four graded stakes starts with a seventh sandwiched in there. Joe Bravo gets the mount on the 121 pound highweight from post 6.
Mucho Mas Macho - defending upset champion at 41-1 odds in this race had five starts since and failed to place in any of his two graded stakes starts in 2013- fifths in the Grade 2 Pan American here in March and in the Grade 3 Miami Mile at Calder in April. He is coming off a close third in the Laurel Turf Cup way back on September 21 but a combination of a layoff and some unflattering results has it looking unlikely that Mucho Mas Mach will repeat.
Tetradrachm - Bill Mott trained gelding had a $100,000 Allowance Optional Claiming score by three lengths at Saratoga August 3 in his first outing for his new trainer after a pair of seconds in Allowance races. Last time out was a very good second in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap at Calder December 7 after a fourth in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker October 12 and a respectable third in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga August 31. His only other stakes action came in January - an eighth in the Grade 3 Colonel Bradley Handicap at Fair Grounds. He has five wins, four seconds and two third place finishes in 19 career starts, he should bring the pace from the rail and will have Luis Saez in the saddle.
Howe Great - had an impressive streak of four straight wins last year and had some good results after that to go along with some poor efforts - a pair of sevenths in the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park October 6 and in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf Stakes at Gulfstream February 23 being the poor. He placed in four straight races before a disappointing seventh last time out in the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap - a third behind Tetradrachm in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker October 12, another third in the Grade 3 Cliff Hanger and a pair of seconds - the Grade 3 Oceanport July 28 and the Grade 3 Poker Stakes July 4. Howe Great has six wins, five seconds and three third place finishes in 19 career starts. He leaves from post 2 with Joel Rosario aboard.
Heirro - Todd Pletcher trainee is coming off an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track December 8 after a fifth and seventh respectively in similar races in the fall at Belmont Park. His last graded stakes race came in May - a fifth in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes. Heirro's last win came in February - an Allowance Optional Claiming - on this track. His only graded stakes score came in April 2012 - the Grade 3 The Cliff's Edge Derby Trial Stakes at Churchill Downs. Heirro has 13 career starts with four wins, a second and a third place finish. Javier Castellano has the call.
Nikki's Sandcastle - has 35 career starts with 9 wins - the biggest coming last time out in the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland October 26. He had a two race win streak to end 2012 as well - the El Prado Stakes December 22 here and the Starter Stakes December 1 also at Gulfstream. Nikki's Sandcastle had has struggled lately however before his latest score - a pair of sixths including the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida in February was followed by a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Arlington Park August 17. He has been up and down in his career, he finished fourth in this race last year and will be looking to build on his impressive win last time out.
Slumber - Bill Mott pupil had two wins, a second and two third place finishes in eight starts in Great Britain before debuting in North America in November with a fourth in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby. In 2013 he had three starts - an Allowance Optional Claiming scores at Saratoga, an OK fourth in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Invitational at Belmont Park September 28 and a sixth last time out in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International October 27 at Woodbine. Slumber has 12 career starts with four wins, a second and two third place finishes and will be looking for his first stakes score Saturday.
Utley - has just on graded stakes start - a seventh in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and is coming off a third in the minor El Prado Stakes on this track December 28. Utley has five wins, a second and three third place finishes in 20 career start but his last win came in April - an Allowance at Keeneland.
Csaba - Main Track Only Entry is also entered in the Hal's Hope Stakes - one race after the Ft. Lauderdale. He is the defending champion in that race. He enters having won two and finished second in the other two of his last four starts - the biggest of the wins coming in the Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper Handicap at Calder December 7 and the best of the seconds coming last time out in the minor Harlan's Holiday Stakes on this track December 22. Csaba was at his best at this time last year when he won five of six starts - he looks close to getting back to that form as the new year starts.
Suns Out Guns Out - Another Main Track Only Entry - Dale Romans trained colt had two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 11 starts last year but has just three graded stakes races under his belt - a fourth in the Grade 3 Greenwood at Parx September 2 and an OK fourth in the Breeders' Cup Marathon and a fifth last time out in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup November 30. His wins were both Allowance Optional Claiming races - the last being September 21 at Parx.
Race 9 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:33 PM.
||Suns Out Guns Out
||J. Rocco, Jr.
||Mucho Mas Macho