OTB Race Previews & Odds
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Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 3 Hurricane Bertie Stakes comes our way this Saturday, February 14 from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Fillies and mares four years old and upward will be featured when they take to Gulfstream's dirt track and dash 6 1/2 furlongs for a purse of $150,000.
Seven older females will line up in the Hurricane Bertie - race 10 on Gulfstream's Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:00 PM. Let's take a look into the past performances of all seven combatants for this Grade 3 stakes.
Merry Meadow - multiple Grade 3 winner Mark Hennig trained filly placed in six of eight starts last year - two straight wins ahead of this race. Last time out was a nice win in the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl Stakes here after a win by 1 3/4 lengths in the minor Sky Beauty Stakes November 1 at Gulfstream Park West. Before that was a somewhat disappointing fourth in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap September 20 and a third in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga July 28. She looked good before that as well - a second in the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses Handicap in June and a terrific win - in the Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap by 3 3/4 lengths at 6-1 odds May 17. She has 25 career starts with seven wins, 10 seconds and five third place finishes and will be looking to make it three straight wins Saturday. Merry Meadow has placed in 22 of 25 and has six top three finishes in seven tries at this distance. Leading Gulfstream rider Javier Castellano will be in the saddle of the 121 pound highweight from gate 4 Saturday.
Centrique - Martin Wolfson trainee finished third in last year' Grade 3 Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel Park and has been up and down since. She does enter on a two race win streak - both Starter Optional Claiming races in gate-to-wire fashion on this track the last three months. Before that she failed to place in three straight including a fifth in the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl Stakes on this track December 13. She also had a two race win streak at this time last year here including a Starter Stakes in December, 2013. Centrique has 39 career starts with 12 wins, seven seconds and six third place finishes but looks for her first graded stakes score in her sixth try on a track she's won five of nine career starts - from post 6 with John Velazquez aboard.
My Pal Chrisy - Martin Wolfson trained mare won the Millions Distaff Preview Stakes November 9, 2013 after wins in the minor Musical Romance Stakes and the Pasadena Stakes - all results at Gulfstream. She went on to a third in the Grade 2 Go For Wand and has placed in five races after that - a third in the Ocala Stakes here December 29, a trio of seconds - the Florida Sunshine Million Filly and Mare Sprint, the minor Awesome Feather Stakes February 5 and the Grade 2 Inside Information Stakes at Gulfstream March 22 and a third in the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct way back in April. Last time out My Pal Chrisy raced for the first time in nine months and finished a disappointing eleventh in the Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff here January 17. She has three wins, four seconds and five third place finishes in her last 13 starts (all stakes races) but looks to rebound from a career worst effort last time out. Julien Leparoux will be in the saddle from post 3.
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Wildcat Lily - raced 14 times in 2013 - a good second in the Grade 1 Test Stakes in August, a second in the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes July 27 and her biggest victory to date - in the Grade 3 Azalea Stakes at Calder July 6 being the best results. She was off for nearly five months before returning to the track last February 9 with a respectable third in the 2014 Hurricane Bertie Stakes but failed to place in her next four starts including a distant eighth in the Grade 1 Madison Stakes in April. She enters off her first win in 20 months - a Starter Optional Claiming here by 9 1/2 lengths February 5 which followed a sixth in the Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff and a good second behind Merry Meadow in the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl Stakes here in December. Wildcat Lily has been fairly inconsistent and hopes a win and a second in her last three starts are a sign of thisgs to come. Rajiv Maragh gets the call from post 5.
Galiana - makes her graded stakes debut Saturday after 21 career starts produced 11 wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. She looked very good this past summer posting two minor stakes wins at Delaware Park including the Sashing Beauty Stakes and the Sweet and Sassy Stakes but has been up and down since. Last time out was a fourth in the minor Lightning City Stakes which followed a Starter Optional Claiming score January 3 and a second in an Optional Claiming in December - all at Tampa Bay Downs. She makes her Gulfstream debut Saturday in so-so form with Edgar Prado aboard from post 7.
More Than a Party - Edwin Broome trained filly has 11 career starts with five wins, two seconds and a third place finish - Saturday marks her graded stakes debut. She enters having won three of her last four starts - two straight Allowance Optional Claiming races here followed an OK third in the minor Eleven North Handicap at Monmouth Park in September and an Allowance score on that same track in August. She makes a huge step up in competition Saturday in decent form with Paco Lopez guiding her from the rail.
Streethomealabama - has 18 career starts for trainer William Heffner with two wins, six seconds and three third place finishes but has a win and a second already in two starts this year. Last time out was a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming after a win in a similar race January 11 - both results on this track. She has just one graded stakes start - a fifth in the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes in November, 2013 and has been up and down against lesser competition since. Streethomealabama has looked OK so far this year but will have her work cut out for her Saturday. Rafael Manuel Hernandez has the mount from post 2.