2017 W. L. McKnight Handicap Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida will be the scene of the G3 W. L. McKnight Handicap Handicap on Saturday, January 28. Horses four years old and upward will be featured when they take to Gulfstream's turf track and race 1 1/2 miles.

12 older entries will line up in the W. L. McKnight Handicap - race 11 on Gulfstream's packed Saturday schedule. Post time is 4:50 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all 12 entries for this G3 stakes.

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2017 W. L. McKnight Handicap Entries at Gulfstream Park

Twilight Eclipse - is still the world record holder at 1 1/2 miles on turf when he won the 2013 G2 William W. L. McKnight Handicap Handicap December 28, 2013 in wire-to-wire fashion by seven lengths - he also won this race in 2012. He's placed in 15 of 20 races ahead of this weekend - a disappointing tenth last time out in the Breeders' Cup Turf followed three straight thirds - the G1 Joe Hirsch Classic October 1, in the G1 Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga August 27 and behind Flintshire in the G2 Bowling Green Stakes July 30. Before that was an Allowance score at Belmont Park July 8, a third in the minor Belmont Gold Cup Invitational and three poor results - a sixth in the G3 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland in April, a seventh in the G2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream March 5 and an eighth in November in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Turf. His last graded stakes score came in the G1 Man o' War Stakes May 9, 2015. Twilight Eclipse has been decent lately and will be after his first graded stakes score in 20 months (second overall) from post 7. Jose Ortiz has been tabbed with accomplishing that goal.

Charming Kitten - Michael Maker trainee and defending champion in this race raced to a ninth in the 2013 Kentucky Derby and has been inconsistent since. Other career highlights include a win in the minor Belmont Gold Cup Invitational June 6, 2014 and seconds in the 2013 G2 Virginia Derby and the G3 Hawthorne Derby in October, 2013. He hits the track for the first time in five months Saturday having spent some time in Europe - a fifth last time out in the Group 3 Irish St. Leger Trial in August followed a third in the minor Her Majestys Stakes at Down Royal in July. He was good in North America at this time last year as well - a win in the minor H. Allen Jerkens Stakes followed that W. L. McKnight Handicap score. Charming Kitten has quietly placed in three of his last four starts - in OK form ahead of his Title defense. He leaves from gate 6 Saturday with Mike Smith aboard.

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Mr. Maybe - Chad Brown trained gelding has 17 career starts with five wins, a second and four third place finishes. He was last seen finishing fourth in the G3 Knickerbocker Stakes at Belmont Park October 10 which followed a good win in the minor John's Call Stakes at Saratoga in August, a seventh in the G1 United Nations Stakes in July, a third in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream in March and his best result of his career thus far - a win in the G3 Red Smith Handicap November 14, 2015. Mr Maybe has failed to place in two of his last three starts overall but shoots for a second graded stakes win from gate 10 Saturday. Javier Castellano is scheduled to ride.

Sadler's Joy - Thomas Albertrani trained colt failed to place in his first three career starts but has won his other three ahead of this weekend. He makes his stakes debut off consecutive Allowance Optional Claiming scores in New York with the last coming November 9 and a maiden score at Saratoga in August. Sadler's Joy steps up in very good form and hopes his recent success translates to this weekend. Julien Leparoux gets the call from post 11.

Taghleeb - Michael Maker trainee has five wins, four seconds and four third place finishes in 24 career starts. He made his graded stakes debut in October and finished seventh in the G1 Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine and has since finished fourth in the G3 River City Stakes at Churchill Downs November 24 and a nice win last time out in the minor H. Allen Jerkens Stakes on this track - a local prep for this race December 31. He had a decent win in the minor Remington Green Stakes September 25 as well. Taghleeb looks for his first graded stakes try and enters in OK form. Tyler Gaffalione rides from the rail.

Hunter O'Riley - has placed in eight of 10 career starts for trainer James Toner - two wins, two seconds and four third place finishes. He makes his graded stakes debut Saturday on the heels of consecutive thirds in minor stakes action - the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes here December 31 and the Gio Ponti Stakes at Aqueduct November 24. Before that was an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Belmont Park October 23 and a third and a second respectively in another pair of Allowance Optional Claiming races. Hunter O'Riley has placed in five straight ahead of this weekend and hopes for a breakthrough in graded stakes company. John Velazquez has the mount from the outside gate 12.

Generous Kitten - Michael Maker trained gelding started 2016 with a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming scores - the last coming at Churchill Downs in May. He has been just OK since - a fourth last time out in the minor H. Allen Jerkens Stakes here December 31 followed an eighth in the G3 Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland October 20, a second in the minor Laurel Turf Cup September 10, a seventh in the G3 American St. Leger Stake at Arlington August 13 and a fourth in the G3 Singspiel Stakes at Woodbine in July. Generous Kitten looks for his first stakes score from gate 8 Saturday with Florent Geroux guiding him.

Montclair - Irish bred Christophe Clement trained gelding had two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 13 starts at home - the best of which was a win in a Group 3 race at Longchamp in April, 2014. He has nine starts in North America with varying results. He enters off consecutive seconds - the minor H. Allen Jerkens last time out on this track December 31 and an Allowance Optional Claiming at Aqueduct in November. He failed to place in his previous two including a fourth in his only graded stakes action to date - the G3 American St. Leger Stakes at Arlington in August. Montclair has been OK and will be out for his first win in nearly a year - from gate 2 with Edgar Prado aboard.

Diamond Bachelor - has just four wins and five second place finishes in 34 career starts. He seemed to be at his best at the end of 2016 - consecutive minor stakes scores - The Vid Stakes September 3 and the Mr. Steele Stakes October 1 - both on this track and a second December 3 in the Claiming Crown Jewel Stakes. He started 2017 with an eleventh in the G2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes here January 14 and has now failed to place in all seven graded stakes tries. Diamond Bachelor is tough to figure out and will have Luis Saez in the reins from post 3.

Danish Dynaformer - Roger Attfield trained colt has five wins, two seconds and a third place finish in 18 career starts. He won the G3 Singspiel Stakes in July but didn't look great after that - a sixth in the G1 Pattison Canadian International October 16, a fifth in the G1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes September 17 and another fifth in the G1 Arlington Millions in August. Last time out was an OK effort - a second in the G3 Red Smith Handicap November 12 at Aqueduct. He has now placed in just two of his last nine starts overall - inconsistent to say the least. Joel Rosario gets the call from gate 4.

Applicator - has 22 career starts for trainer Mikhail Yanakov with just two wins, a second and a third place finish. He enters off a sixth in an Allowance Optional Claiming here January 15, an eleventh in the minor H. Allen Jerkens Stakes on this track December 31 and a DNF in the G3 Harlan's Holiday Stakes here December 17. Before that was a fifth in the G3 Tropical Turf Handicap at Gulfstream Park West November 26, a seventh in the G1 Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga August 27, another seventh in his graded stakes debut - the G1 Belmont Derby Invitational July 9 and a career best effort - a win in the minor Gleaming Stakes at Gulfstream May 28 after failing to place in his previous seven starts. Outside of one start Applicator hasn't been great. He leaves from the post 5 with Leonel Reyes guiding him.

Patterson Cross - Bill Mott trained colt has just six career starts with two wins and a second place finish. He makes his stakes debut Saturday off an Allowance Optional Claiming score here December 15, consecutive fourths in Allowance races this past fall and an eighth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Belmont Park in September. Patterson Cross steps up in so-so form and will have Jose Lezcano in the irons from post 9.


2017 W. L. McKnight Handicap Odds & Entries

Race 11 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:50 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Taghleeb 6-1 Tyler Gaffalione Michael Maker
2 Montclair (IRE) 10-1 Edgar Prado Armando De la cerda
3 Diamond Bachelor 30-1 Luis Saez Patrick Biancone
4 Danish Dynaformer 5-1 Joel Rosario Roger Attfield
5 Applicator 50-1 Leonel Reyes Mikhail Yanakov
6 Charming Kitten 9-2 Mike Smith Michael Maker
7 Twilight Eclipse 4-1 Jose Ortiz Thomas Albertrani
8 Generous Kitten 15-1 Florent Geroux Michael Maker
9 Patterson Cross 20-1 Jose Lezcano William Mott
10 Mr Maybe 6-1 Javier Castellano Chad Brown
11 Sadler's Joy 8-1 Julien Leparoux Thomas Albertrani
12 Hunter O'Riley 15-1 John Velazquez James Toner

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