Las Vegas, NV - Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida will be the scene of the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes on Saturday, January 10. Horses four years old and upward will be featured as they go 1 1/16 miles on Gulfstream's turf track searching for the winner's share of the $200,000 purse.
A full field of 13 plus one Main Track Only entry have been confirmed for the Fort Lauderdale - race 10 in Gulfstream's busy Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:01 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all 14 possible entries for this Grade 2 stakes.
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2014 Fort Lauderdale Stakes Race Favorite Entries
Lochte - Marcus Vitali trained gelding made his graded stakes debut one to remember - a win in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf at 39-1 odds and followed that with a good second in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita in March and a third in the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile in April. He has been up and down since - a disastrous thirteenth in the Grade 2 Monmouth in Stakes in June and an eighth in the Grade 3 Oceanport Stakes in July were the lowest point. He has been OK in his last three starts - a fourth in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap last time out followed a second in an Allowance and a nice win in the minor The Vid Stakes at Gulfstream September 13. He looks to gain back a little bit of his graded stakes mojo on a track he's recorded four wins and two seconds in six starts. Orlando Bocachica will be in the reins from post 2.
Za Approval - had a win, a second and a third place finish in six starts last year but enters this week in decent form. Last time out was a good second in the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar November 28 which followed a win in the minor Real Courage Stakes at Belmont Park September 7 and the third four back in the Grade 3 Poker Stakes. He was very good in 2013 - a second in the Breeders' Cup Mile, wins in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker Stakes, Grade 3 Red Bank Stakes and Grade 3 Appleton Stakes and he had two good runner-up finishes in Grade 1 races in 2013 as well - the Shoemaker Mile and the Woodbine Mile. Za Approval looks as though he is slowly rounding back into the 2013 form that saw him as one of the most impressive horses on the planet. He has been worse than second just once in six starts on this track. Joel Rosario will be in the irons from post 11 Saturday.
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Mshawish - Todd Pletcher trained colt has 15 career starts with four wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. He started his career overseas and had three wins and two seconds in 11 starts - the best of which was a Group 2 stakes race at Meydan in February. He has four North American starts - a sixth in the Grade 3 Metropolitan Jets Oceanport Stakes in July was followed by a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Saratoga August 30, another third in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker Stakes at Belmont Park in October and a nice win last time out in the minor El Prado Stakes on this track December 13. Mshawish has been trending upward ahead of this race and could be a factor with Javier Castellano aboard from gate 3.
Mutin - French bred Kiaran McLaughlin trainee has nine career starts with five wins including his North American debut - last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Aqueduct November 19. He did fail to place in his last four starts at home - a ninth in a Group 2 race was his best result over that span. Hopes are that shipping has made a difference for Mutin who will leave from post 12 with Irad Ortiz aboard.
Silver Freak - Brian Lynch trained gelding has 10 career starts with four wins, two seconds and three third place finishes. He raced in stakes company for the first time two back and recorded a disappointing tenth in the Woodbine Mile but followed that with a front running Allowance Optional Claiming score last time out at Churchill Downs in November. Before the Woodbine Mile as another Allowance Optional Claiming score at Saratoga August 6, and a pair of thirds in similar races. He races in stakes company for just the second time looking to erase the memory of her first step up. Julien Leparoux will be in the saddle from the rail as Silver Freak looks to place in his tenth race in 11 starts.
Mucho Mas Macho - won this race in 2013 at 41-1 odds after a good second in the Grade 2 WL McKnight Handicap in 2012 and finished eighth in the 2014 Fort Lauderdale. He has just three starts since last year's edition of this race - a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream Park West November 30 followed a fourth in s Starter Allowance February 27 and a sixth in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes last January. Mucho Mas Macho has proven tough in the past but enters this week in so-so form. Abdiel Jaen has the mount from post 9.
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Howe Great - had an impressive streak of four straight wins in 2013 and had some good results after that to go along with some poor efforts. He raced for the first time in 11 months December 13 and finished sixth in the minor El Prado Stakes here after consecutive sevenths at this time last year - in the 2014 edition of this race and the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap in November, 2013. Before those disappointing results were a third in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker October 12 2013, 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 21 career starts but hasn't placed in a race in 18 months. He leaves from post 4 with Paco Lopez guiding him.
Mosler - Bill Mott trained colt has three wins and a second place finish in six career starts. He makes his stakes debut Saturday off an Allowance Optional Claiming score, a second in a similar race at Belmont Park in October and an Allowance score in September. He has looked good against lesser competition and should be ready for his step up Saturday. John Velazquez gets the call in Mosler's turf debut from post 6.
Fredericksburg - has two seconds and three seventh place finishes in his last five starts - the seconds coming two and three back - in the minor Real Courage Stakes in September and the Grade 3 Oceanport Stakes at Monmouth Park in July. The sevenths came last time out in the minor El Prado Stakes here in December, in the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes in May and the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes in March. He has 17 career starts with three wins, four seconds and two thirds and enters in typically inconsistent form. Luis Saez rides from post 5.
Tesseron -Josie Carroll trained colt had a good second in the Grade 3 Grey Stakes on this track in October, 2012 - the only time he's placed in four career graded stakes start. He is coming off an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Woodbine November 14 after a sixth in the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes June 22, a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming June 7 and an Allowance score at Keeneland April 18. Tesseron has three wins and two seconds in 12 career starts and two wins and a second in his last four starts. Luis Contreras gets the call from post 10 as Tesseron looks for his first graded stakes score.
Grand Tito - won the Grade 3 Miami Mile in April after a fifth in the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes on this track. Since his impressive win Grand Tito has seven starts with a win (an Allowance in August), a second (the minor Skip Trial Stakes at Gulfstream in July) and two thirds - one coming three back in The Vid Stakes at Gulfstream Park in September and the other coming last time out in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap at Gulfstream Park West November 22. Sandwiched between the thirds is a fifth in the Grade 2 City of Hope Mile at Santa Anita October 4. Grand Tito had three wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 12 starts last year but enters in inconsistent form. Jose Lezcano will be in the saddle from post 7.
Shiva Ryan - has 13 career starts with just one win, a second and a third place finish. He enters off a sixth in an Allowance here December 7 which followed a tenth in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes in November and a third in the minor Showing Up Stakes in October. He looks overmatched in this one when she leaves from gate 8 with Diego Fernando Gomez in the saddle.
Golden Rifle - Martin Wolfson trainee has placed in nine of 11 career starts - four wins, three seconds and two third place finishes. He won three straight races at Belmont Park this past summer and has since posted two seconds and a third plat time out in Allowance Optional Claiming races. He steps into stakes company for the first time Saturday but enters in good form. Jermaine Bridgmohan has the mount from gate 13.
Prontonico - Main Track Only entry - Todd Pletcher trainee has eight career starts with four wins, a second and a third place finish. Last time out was a second in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap which followed a win in the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap, a seventh in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby and a win in the Grade 3 Smarty Hones Stakes in September. He has alternated wins and other showings in his career - if he races Saturday he should be due for a win.