Las Vegas, NV - Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida will play host to the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap this Saturday, March 8. Horses four years old and upward will be featured as they go one mile on Gulfstream's main track in search of the winner's share of the $250,000 purse.
The Gulfstream Park Handicap has attracted a field of eight to go in race 9 on Gulfstream's Saturday card. Post time is 5:10 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all eight combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.
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2014 Gulfstream Park Handicap Race Favorite Entries
Palace Malice - Todd Pletcher trained colt parlayed his enormous 3 1/4 length win in the Belmont Stakes June 8 with a win over Will Take Charge and Moreno by 9 1/2 lengths in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy July 27. This after a disappointing twelfth in the Kentucky Derby. He was fourth in the Grade 1 Travers in August but bounced back with a good second behind Ron the Greek in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park September 28. Last time out was another step backward - a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Classic. He has been a bit "hit or miss" in his short career and has three wins, four seconds and a third place finish in 12 career starts. He has been freshened since the Breeders' Cup and will have Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez in the saddle from the outside post. Palace Malice is the 119 pound highweight for the GP Handicap.
Itsmyluckyday - was last seen recording a DNF thanks to a pelvic fracture in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park June 16 after finishing a very good second in the Preakness Stakes behind Oxbow May 18 as the fifth choice at 10-1. He also had a second behind Orb in the Florida Derby which followed a win over Shanghai Bobby by two lengths in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes last January 26. But he wasn't good in the Kentucky Derby - a fifteenth place finish took some luster off this colt. Trainer Itsmyluckyday has two wins and two seconds in six starts but he is coming off a DNF which came nearly 10 months ago. It's pretty hard to know what to make of this colt ahead of this weekend although he's fared well in some big races. Paco Lopez gets the call from gate 7.
Gulfstream Park Handicap 2014 | Remaining Contenders
Golden Ticket - Kenneth McPeek trained colt won the minor Prairie Meadows Handicap July 27 by eight lengths and had an Allowance Optional Claiming score in May and a second in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap sandwiched in there. He has continued to be a tad inconsistent since then - a good second behind Goldencents after racing tenth for most of the way in the Breeders' Cup Mile came after a fourth in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes here in September. Last time out was an ugly in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 29. Golden Ticket has five wins, six seconds and three third place finishes in 21 career starts and has been a bit tough to figure out the last year or so. He hopes to get back to the form that saw him win the 2012 Travers with Manoel Cruz aboard from post 2.
Falling Sky - won three of his first four career starts including last year's Grade 3 Sam F. Davis but hadn't quite been the same since before a terrific win last time out in the Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint at 14-1 odds February 8. He had a good third in last year's Tampa Bay Derby, a fourth in the Grade 1 Arkansas and a horrible nineteenth in the Kentucky Derby as well. Falling Sky endured nearly six months off after the Derby and since has a ninth in the minor City of Laurel Stakes in November and a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming here January 11. He may be flying under the radar just a tad but Falling Sky enters this weekend in good form. Elvis Trujillo gets the mount from post 4.
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Brujo de Olleros - had four wins in five starts in his native Brazil before shipping to North America. In seven starts on North American soil he has been good - a fourth in the minor Majestic Lights Stakes at Monmouth last July 29 and fourth in the Grade 2 Bowling Green here in September 2012 before a nine month layoff. He returned to action June 22 and finished second in the minor Donald LeVine Handicap and recorded a win in the minor Carl Hanford Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park August 19. Last time out was an impressive third in the Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint behind Falling Sky February 8 after a third in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and a good second behind Graydar in the Grade 1 Kelso at Belmont Park September 28. He has five wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in 11 career starts and has been very competitive in his last five starts overall. He will have Corey Lanerie in the saddle as he departs from the rail Saturday.
Narvaez - raced in stakes company for the first time March 30 in the Grade 1 Florida Derby where he finished an OK fourth. He followed that with a seventh in the Grade 3 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne April 20 and an eighth in the Grade 2 Peter Pan May 11 before being sent to the sidelines for nearly eight months. Last time out was a good second at 139-1 odds behind Falling Sky in the Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint here February 8 after a fourth in his return to the track in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track January 4. He has placed in just one of his last five starts overall but that result came last time out. Abdiel Jaen will be aboard from gate 6.
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. This year he had a fifth in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap here February 9, an OK fourth in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope Stakes here January 11. He has seven wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in 17 career starts but has failed to place in three of his last four starts overall. Luis Contreras will be in the saddle from post 3.
Sr. Quisqueyano - had a couple of minor stakes wins on this track last year - the Quality Road Stakes in October and the Eight Mile East Stakes in July. His last two starts haven't been all that impressive however - an eighth last time out in the minor Harlan's Holiday Stakes December 22 and a sixth in the Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper Handicap at Calder December 7. He looks for his first graded stakes score Saturday but enters in less-than-spectacular fashion.
2014 Gulfstream Park Handicap Entries & Odds
Race 9 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:10 PM.
|1||Brujo de Olleros (BRZ)||C. Lanerie||R. Mettee|
|2||Golden Ticket||M. Cruz||K. McPeek|
|3||Uncaptured||L. Contreras||M. Casse|
|4||Falling Sky||E. Trujillo||G. Weaver|
|5||Sr. Quisqueyano||C. Olivero||L. Olivares|
|6||Narvaez||A. Jaen||A. Bezara|
|7||Itsmyluckyday||P. Lopez||E. Plesa, Jr.|
|8||Palace Malice||J. Velazquez||T. Pletcher|