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Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap is on tap this Saturday February 7 from the great state of Florida. Horses four years old and upward will take to Gulfstream Park's turf track and go 1 1/8 miles for the winner's share of the $300,000 purse.
Nine older horses have been confirmed for the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap - race 12 on Gulfstream's busy Saturday card. Post time is 5:28 PM. Here is a glance into the past performances of all nine combatants for this Grade 1 stakes.
Mshawish - Todd Pletcher trainee colt has 16 career starts with five 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 last February. He has four North American starts - his last two have been very impressive. Last time out was a win in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes here January 10 after a win in the minor El Prado Stakes also on this track December 16. Before that was third in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker Stakes at Belmont Park in October and a sixth in the Grade 3 Metropolitan Jets Oceanport Stakes in July. Mshawish enters in the best form of his career and will have Javier Castellano aboard from the rail.
Lochte - Marcus Vitali trained gelding made his graded stakes debut one to remember - a win in the 2014 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 five starts - a terrific win last time out in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Stakes followed a fifth in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes, a fourth in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap, a second in an Allowance and a nice win in the minor The Vid Stakes at Gulfstream September 13. He has been a tad inconsistent but off a win has to be in the conversation Saturday - he has four wins, a second and a third in eight starts on this track. Paco Lopez has the call from gate 8.
Imagining - won two straight races in the summer of 2012 - both at Belmont Park and was out of racing for nine months. He then looked good at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 - a win in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes May 11 followed a second behind Lochte in the 2014 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap and a two race win streak - the 2013 Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct November 16 and the overnight Bowl Game Stakes at Belmont Park that October. He enters off a seventh in the Breeders' Cup Turf which followed a third in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and a good second behind Main Sequence in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer August 18. Imagining has placed in six of his last eight starts and looks to snap a four race losing streak when he departs from post 3 with Joel Rosario guiding the 120 pound highweight.
Grand Tito - won the Grade 3 Miami Mile in April and has eight starts with a win (an Allowance in August), two seconds (the minor Skip Trial Stakes at Gulfstream in July and last time out in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes) and two thirds - one coming four back in The Vid Stakes at Gulfstream Park in September and the other coming two back in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap at Gulfstream Park West November 22. He's also had some unflattering results in there too. Grand Tito had three wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 12 starts last year and has been OK in his last two starts. Jose Lezcano has been tabbed to keep the upward trend going from gate 4.
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Amen Kitten - Wesley Ward pupil has 19 starts with three wins, five seconds and three third place finishes. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score here December 28 after a disappointing eighth in the Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes back in April, a good second in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes on this track last February and a respectable third in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby December 1, 2013. He makes just his second start in 10 months but has placed in four of his last five starts. Amen Kitten looks for his first graded stakes score with Rafael Manuel Hernandez in the saddle from post 2.
Manchurian High - Lilli Kurtinecz trainee has 31 career starts with eight wins, three seconds and eight third place finishes and enters having placed in 11 of his last 12 starts. Last time out was a nice win in the minor Florida Sunshine Millions Turf here after a third in the Grade 3 WL McKnight Handicap at Gulfstream December 27 and another win in the minor Laurel Turf Cup in September. He looks for his fist graded stakes score however and based on recent results is a serious threat. Manchurian High leaves from post 5 with Luis Saez in the saddle.
Slumber - Chad Brown pupil had two wins, a second and two third place finishes in eight starts in Great Britain before debuting in North America in November, 2011 with a fourth in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby. In 2013 he had three starts - an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Saratoga being the best result. He had five starts in 2014 -a seventh last time out in the Grade 3 WL McKnight Handicap here December 27 followed an OK second in the minor Bowl Game Stakes in October, a third in the Grade 2 Pan American Stakes in March, a decent third in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes here February 15 and an OK fourth in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream January 11. Slumber has 17 career starts with four wins, two seconds and four third place finishes and will be looking for his first stakes score Saturday. He starts from post 7 with John Velazquez aboard.
War Correspondent - Christophe Clement trained raced just twice last year - the first being a four length Allowance Optional Claiming score at Monmouth Park September 13 and the other being a good second in the Grade 2 Autumn Stakes at Woodbine in November. Before that he had four career starts in France where he posted two wins, a second and a third place finish. War Correspondent makes just his third start in 17 months but has been solid when on the track - three wins, two seconds and a third in six career starts. Joe Bravo rides from post 6.
Golden Rifle - Martin Wolfson trainee has placed in 10 of 12 career starts - four wins, four seconds and two third place finishes. He won three straight races at Belmont Park this past summer and has since posted three seconds and a third in Allowance Optional Claiming races. He steps into stakes company for the first time Saturday but enters in good form. Edgard Zayas has the mount from the outside post.
Race 12 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:28 PM.
|1||Mshawish||J. Castellano||T. Pletcher|
|2||Amen Kitten||R. Hernandez||W. Ward|
|3||Imagining||J. Rosario||C. McGaughey III|
|4||Grand Tito||J. Lezcano||G. Delgado|
|5||Manchurian High||L. Saez||L. Kurtinecz|
|6||War Correspondent||J. Bravo||C. Clement|
|7||Slumber (GB)||J. Velazquez||C. Brown|
|8||Lochte||P. Lopez||M. Vitali|
|9||Golden Rifle||E. Zayas||M. Wolfson|
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