Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Pan American Stakes comes our way from an intensely busy Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida this Saturday, March 29. Horses four years old and upward will be featured as they go 1 1/2 miles on Gulfstream's turf track searching for the winner's share of the $200,000 purse.
A field of 11 will line up in the Pan American - race 13 on Gulfstream's packed Saturday card. Post time is 6:11 PM. Let's take a look into the past performances of all 11 entries for this Grade 2 stakes.
Admiral Kitten -Michael Maker trained colt is coming off terrific win in the Grade 3 John B. Connally Turf Cup at Sam Houston January 25 after a good second in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby December 1 and another second as favorite in the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap October 5 at Belmont Park. This after his biggest win to date - the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park August 17 and a string of another four second place finishes. Included are the Grade 3 American Derby July 13, the Grade 3 Arlington Classic May 25 and the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes also in May. He has placed in 10 of 11 career starts all over the country (only once has he been worse than second) and should be competitive as usual Saturday. Julien Leparoux gets the call.
Charming Kitten - Todd Pletcher colt was third in the Grade 1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes just ahead of Rydilluc at Keeneland April 13 after a good second in the Grade 2 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream March 3 and a nice win in the minor Kitten's Joy Stakes January 20, 2013. He raced to a ninth in the Kentucky Derby and was second in the competitive Penn Mile Stakes June and followed that with another good second - in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby behind only War Dancer at Colonial Downs July 13. He was fourth in the Grade 3 Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga August 9 and rebounded October 5 with yet another second - in the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby. Charming Kitten fell back to earth again November 1 with a sixth in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby but bounced back yet again with an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track January 11. Last time out was another hiccup - a sixth in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap February 9. Translation - Who knows what to expect here? He has two wins and two seconds in five career starts on this track and will have Javier Castellano aboard for the first time Saturday.
Amira's Prince - Irish bred colt has looked very impressive since shipping from Ireland - two straight Allowance Optional Claiming scores on North American soil were followed by a wins in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida at Gulfstream February 16, 2013 and the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Handicap at Fair Grounds March 30. He was out of action for 11 months but returned February 9 to an OK third behind Lochte in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf in this track. That makes five starts in North America and four impressive wins for the Bill Mott trained colt. Hopes are that a race under his belt will return him to his early 2013 form. Joel Rosario will be in the saddle from gate 7.
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 score at Saratoga, an OK fourth in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Invitational at Belmont Park September 28 and a sixth in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International October 27 at Woodbine. Last time out was a decent third in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes here February 15 after an OK fourth in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream January 11. Slumber has 14 career starts with four wins, a second and three third place finishes and will be looking for his first stakes score Saturday. He starts from the rail with John Velazquez aboard.
Newsdad - He had an impressive victory over Simmard in the 2012 Pan American but struggled after that - a fifth in the Grade 1 Elkhorn in April, a fourth in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes in July, a fourth in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer and a fifth in the Grade 2 Bowling Green at Belmont Park September 8. He had a huge bounce back effort - a win in the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland October 27, 2013 and was a decent third in the 2013 Pan American Stakes before being sent to the sidelines for almost a full year. He returned to action March 1 and was seventh in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track. Mike Smith has the mount from post 10.
Vertiformer - won an Allowance Optional Claiming June 6 and raced six straight graded stakes races after that posting a fourth in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap, an eleventh in the Grade 1 Arlington Million, a fifth in the Grade 3 Durham Cup Stakes at Woodbine in October, a decent third in the Grade 2 W.L. McKnight Handicap November 24 at Calder, a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale at Gulfstream January 12 and an OK third behind Admiral Kitten last time out in the Grade 3 John B. Connally Turf Cup at Sam Houston January 25. Joe Bravo gets the call from post 2.
Joha - was at his best in 2012 when he won the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity and finished second in the Grade 2 With Anticipation Stakes but has been just OK since. Last time out was a disappointing sixth in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf Stakes on this track February 22 which came after a decent third in the minor Duluth Stakes at Aqueduct November 17 and a win in the minor Basket Weave Stakes on that same track October 24. Joha did have a third in the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes in September after a pair of seconds in minor stakes action but followed that with a fifth in the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park October 5. He has been competitive at times in his career but enters in so-so form.
Joes Blazing Aaron - Michael Maker trained gelding last raced in graded stakes company in September and recorded a DNF in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park and has just two starts since - a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming in November and a third last time out in a Claiming on this track January 19. He has just four wins, two seconds and three third place finishes in 29 career starts and will be looking for his second ever graded stakes score - the only one coming on this track March 12, 2012 in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes.
Suntracer - multiple stakes winner finished third behind Temeraine and Olympic Thunder in the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup but has struggled a tad in three starts since - a fourth in the minor Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland October 7, a seventh in the Grade 3 WL McKnight Handicap at Calder December 28 and another fourth last time out in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes here February 25. This summer he had a pair of seconds including the minor American St. Leger Stakes and the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes Stakes July 13 - both results at Arlington Park. Suntracer had two straight minor stakes wins in 2012 as well but hasn't tasted victory since. He has been a tad inconsistent but hopes are that he can regain form this weekend.
Russian Greek - has 17 career starts under his belt with just four wins and two third place finishes. He won an Allowance Optional Claiming at Delaware Park in June and has placed in just one of four starts since - a third in the minor Carl Hanford Memorial Stakes also at Delaware Park in August. Russian Greek has two straight starts at Gulfstream - an eighth last time out in a Starter Allowance February 27 followed a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming February 9.
Ocean Seven - has 33 career starts with just five wins, four seconds and three third place finishes. Last time out was a seventh in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track February 26 after a fourth in a similar race January 16. He has raced to a pair of fifths in his only ventures into graded stakes company and looks to be a huge long shot in this race.
Race 13 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:11 PM.
||Joes Blazing Aaron
||Amira's Prince (IRE)
||E. Coletti, Sr.
||Ocean Seven (IRE)
||P. Monterrey, Jr.