2016 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida will be the scene of the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on Saturday, February 6. Horses four years old and upward will be after the winner's portion of the $350,000 purse when they take to Gulfstream's dirt track and race 1 1/8 miles.

Eight older horses will line up in the Gulfstream Park Handicap - race 12 on Gulfstream Park's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 5:23 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all eight combatants for this Grade 1 stakes.

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2016 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap Race Preview

The Pizza Man - impressive Roger Brueggemann trained gelding has 16 wins (11 stakes) in 26 career starts to go along with two seconds and two third place finishes. He enters off a good win in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar November 26 after a slightly disappointing fifth in the Breeders' Cup Turf, a second in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile in October and three straight wins - the Grade 1 Arlington Millions in August, the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes Stakes in July (a race he won two years in a row) and the minor Opening Verse Stakes in May. He was very good last year placing in six of his last seven starts (four wins) and is expected to be competitive again Saturday as the only Grade 1 winner in the field. Javier Castellano rides the 122 pound highweight from gate 6 in his South Florida debut.

Lukes Alley - last year's Sovereign Award winner as champion older horse in Canada has been very good in limited action the last 18 months. He enters on the heels of three straight runner-up finishes - the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes here January 9, the Grade 2 Autumn Stakes November 8 and the Grade 3 Durham Cup Stakes October 3 after an Allowance score by 2 3/4 lengths September 12, and wins in the 2014 Autumn Stakes and 2014 Durham Cup Stakes. He has five wins and four second place finishes in his last nine starts overall - eight of which coming at Woodbine and is expected in the mix once again Saturday. Paco Lopez will be in the saddle in attempts to keep the roll going - from the rail .

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Takeover Target - Chad Brown trained colt makes his ninth career start Saturday having recorded four wins and a second place finish so far. He made his graded stakes debut in July and finished a somewhat disappointing fifth in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes Invitational and followed that with a good win in the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes in August, a sixth in the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes in September, a nice 1 3/4 length win in the Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont Park October 3 and a troubled fifth last time out in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes on this track January 9. Takeover Target has been a tad inconsistent but looks for his third graded stakes score overall Saturday from post 7 with Irad Ortiz in the irons.

Triple Threat - Bill Mott French bred entry made his North American debut June 7 and won the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes after 13 starts at home yielded three wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. He won the Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam-Grand Prix de Maisons-Laffitte in July, 2013 and did finish third in a Group 2 in April of last year at Longchamp. He was a somewhat disappointing sixth last time out in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine October 18 after an Ok third in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes September 13. Before that was an eleventh place finish in the Arlington Million Stakes August 15. Triple Threat has been a tad tough to figure out but a win four starts back and a third two starts back has him on the radar. Jose Lezcano has been tabbed to ride from post 3.

All Included - Todd Pletcher trainee has been OK in his 11 race career - four wins and two third place finishes. Last time out was a decent third in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes here January 9 which followed 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, an OK third in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga September 7 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score on that same track in July. All Included looks for his first stakes score Saturday having placed in six of his last nine starts and leaves from gate 4 with Luis Saez in the saddle.

Legendary - British bred Niall Saville trained gelding has 27 career starts with six wins, six seconds and three third place finishes. He has been up and down since shipping to North America - four wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 11 starts. He enters off a disappointing seventh in the minor Richard W. Small Stakes at Laurel Park November 14, a fourth in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker Stakes at Belmont Park in October, a decent second behind Mr Speaker in the Grade 2 Commonwealth Cup at Laurel Park September 19, a twelfth in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions August 15 and a third in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes in June. He also had a nice win in the 2014 Knickerbocker Stakes and in the minor Japan Racing Association Stakes at Laurel Park last September. Legendary will be after his first win since October 2014 and enters in less-than-spectacular form. Feargal Lynch will try to change all of that when they depart from gate 2 Saturday.

Shining Copper - Michael Maker trained gelding enters off an eleventh in the Breeders' Cup Turf in October which followed a fifth in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park September 26, an OK third in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions and a pair of pedestrian fourth place finishes in Allowance Optional Claiming races at Churchill Downs this past spring. He also had an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Fair Grounds last February. Shining Copper has five wins, three seconds and six third place finishes in 25 career starts and looks for his first stakes score Saturday from the outside gate 8 with Joel Rosario in the reins.

Eh Cumpari - Michael Dilger trained colt has just two wins in eight career starts but has failed to place in his last four starts overall. Last time out was a ninth in the minor Tropical Park Derby here December 19 after consecutive sixths - an Allowance Optional Claiming in November and in the minor Pennine Ridge Stakes in May and a fourth in the minor Woodhaven Stakes in April. He did post a win in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes on this track before that - in March, 2015. Eh Cumpari has been disappointing but hopes to get back on track Saturday from post 5 with John Velazquez guiding him.

2016 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap Entries & Odds

Race 12 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:23 PM.

Entry Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Lukes Alley Paco Lopez Josie Carroll
2 Legendary (GB) Feargal Lynch Niall Saville
3 Triple Threat (FR) Jose Lezcano William Mott
4 All Included Luis Saez Todd Pletcher
5 Eh Cumpari John Velazquez Michael Dilger
6 The Pizza Man Javier Castellano Roger Brueggemann
7 Takeover Target Irad Ortiz, Jr. Chad Brown
8 Shining Copper Joel Rosario Chad Brown

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