Mac Diarmida Stakes 2016 at Gulfstream Park

Dave Bond | OTB Writer - The Grade 3 Mac Diarmida Stakes is on tap for this Saturday, March 5 from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. A purse of $200,000 will be on the line for horses four years old and upward when they take to Gulfstream's turf track and race 1 1/8 miles.

A quality group of seven have been confirmed for the Mac Diarmida - race 12 on Gulfstream's busy Saturday card. Post time is 5:30 PM. Let's take a look into the past performances of all seven entries for this intriguing Grade 2 stakes.

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2016 Mac Diarmida Stakes Race Preview

Twilight Eclipse - is the world record holder at 1 1/2 miles on turf when he won the Grade 2 William McKnight Handicap December 28, 2013 in wire-to-wire fashion by seven lengths. He's placed in 10 of 12 races ahead of this weekend - a seventh five starts back in the Grade 3 Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park June 7 and an eighth last time out in the Breeders' Cup Turf were the lone bad races over the last 18 months. Before the Breeders' Cup were a third place finishes in three straight races - the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, the Grade 1 Sword Dancer August 29 and the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes July 5. He also had a win in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes May 9, a third in the Grade 2 Pan American Stakes March 28, a second in the 2015 Mac Diarmida Stakes and a third in the 2014 Breeders' Cup Turf. He now has 29 career starts with seven wins, five seconds and seven third place finishes and will be after just his second win in 24 months despite looking decent. Twilight Eclipse has Luis Saez guiding him from gate 6.

Da Big Hoss - has eight wins, a second and three third place finishes in 16 career starts for trainer Michael Maker and enters off one of those wins - in the Grade 3 John B Connally Turf Cup at Sam Houston January 30. It followed an OK third in the Grade 3 WL McKnight Handicap at Gulfstream Park December 26 and a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Turf. Before that was a nice four race win streak - in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup September 14, in his stakes debut - the listed John's Call Stakes at Saratoga August 26, an Allowance Optional Claiming score in July 31 and a Claiming win in June. Da Big Hoss has won five of his last seven starts overall and bounced back in a big way last time out. Florent Geroux has the mount Saturday from gate 4 as Da Big Hoss tries to build another impressive win streak.

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Kaigun - 2014 winner of the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes at Woodbine, Mark Casse trained gelding ended 2014 with a terrific win in the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar. He also finished second in two other Grade 1 stakes in 2014 - the Manhattan Stakes in June and in the Maker's Mile. He has enters off three straight runner-up finishes - behind Da Big Hoss in the Grade 3 John B. Connally Turf Cup last time out January 30 at Sam Houston, in the Grade 3 WL McKnight Handicap at Gulfstream December 26 and the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct in November. Those results followed a pair of fourth place finishes in Grade 1 races at Woodbine. Kaigun now five wins, seven seconds and three third place finishes in 26 career starts, has been knocking on the door, has competitive virtually every time out and looks for his first win 15 months. Joe Bravo gets the call from the rail.

All Included - Todd Pletcher trainee has been OK in his 12 race career - four wins and three third place finishes. Last time out was a decent third in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap February 6 which followed another third in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes here January 9, a fifth in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap at Gulfstream Park West November 21, another fifth in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker Stakes at Belmont Park October 10 and an OK third in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga September 7. He also had an Allowance Optional Claiming score on that same track in July. All Included looks for his first stakes score Saturday and first win overall since July when he leaves from post 7 with John Velazquez guiding him.

Grand Tito - won the 2014 Grade 1 Miami Mile in April and has been up and down since. He won the minor Miesque's Approval Stakes at Gulfstream July 5 and an Allowance last August and has numerous runner-up finishes the last while as well - the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap September 7, the 2015 Miami Mile last April, the Grade 3 Canadian Turf February 21, 2015 and July and in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes in January of last year being the best results. He also has three thirds the last two years - one being the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes March 28. Grand Tito enters off an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track February 13 which followed an uncharacteristic eleventh in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile. He has placed in six of his last eight starts overall and enters in decent form. He hopes for his first graded stakes score since April, 2014 Saturday when he departs gate 2 with Emisael Jaramillo in the reins.

Mr Maybe - Chad Brown trained gelding has 13 career starts with four wins, a second and three third place finishes. He enters off the best result of his career thus far - a win in the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap on this very track November 14 after two straight Allowance scores in the fall. Mr Maybe is definitely peeking and off three straight wins could be a factor again Saturday. Javier Castellano has been tabbed with keeping the impressive roll going from post 5.

O'Prado Ole - Dale Romans trainee has just two wins, a second and three third place finishes in 18 career starts and has placed in just one of six graded stakes tries - a second in the 2014 Grade 3 Stars and Stripes Stakes at Arlington. He enters off a third place finish in an Allowance Optional Claiming race here February 3 which followed seven straight off-the-board finishes including a twelfth in the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes in September and a ninth in the 2014 Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International Stakes. He looks for his first win since an Allowance in October, 2013 when he leaves from post 3 with Jose Lezcano aboard.

2016 Mac Diarmida Stakes Entries & Odds

Race 12 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:30 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Kaigun 7-2 Joe Bravo Mark Casse
2 Grand Tito 10-1 Emisael Jaramillo Gustavo Delgado
3 O`Prado Ole 20-1 Jose Lezcano Dale Romans
4 Da Big Hoss 3-1 Florent Geroux Michael Maker
5 Mr Maybe 4-1 Javier Castellano Chad Brown
6 Twilight Eclipse 2-1 Luis Saez Thomas Albertrani
7 All Included 10-1 John Velazquez Todd Pletcher