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Yorkton (Chiefswood Stables Limited) enters Saturday's $100,000 World of Trouble Sprint (G3) at Gulfstream Park as the only multiple graded-stakes winner in a field of eight older horses.
The 6-year-old son of Speightstown, however, will be on a quest to win his first graded stakes on dirt in the 6-furlong sprint that will highlight a 12-race card that will also feature the $75,000 Any Limit, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies.
Race 9 at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, February 22 - Post 4:04 PM
|1||Epic Dreamer||4-1||Jose Ortiz
|2||Lasting Legacy||7-5||Paco Lopez
|4||Admiral Lynch||7-2||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|6||Fast Pass||8-1||Cristian Torres
"We want to try these horses on the dirt. If they train well enough on it, we do try them. He's training really well on it," trainer Stewart Simon said.
Yorkton, whose greatest successes have come over Woodbine's synthetic surface, has run only four times outside of Canada, twice at Gulfstream Park in 2017. The Ontario-bred homebred raced on dirt for the first and only time Feb. 12, 2017, when he hit the gate at the start and lost all chance. He finished off-the-board in a 7 ½-furlong turf race in his next start at Gulfstream.
"When we ran him on dirt earlier in his life, he was young. I don't think we got a fair assessment," Simon said. "Based on how he's trained on it, we wanted to give him another try on it."
Yorkton, who captured the 2018 and 2019 Bold Venture (G3) at 6 ½ furlongs, has had a strong series of eight workouts at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream Park's satellite training center in Palm Beach County, including a 'bullet' half-mile breeze in 47.60 seconds last week.
Yorkton has won five stakes from his seven career triumphs, including a victory in the 2017 Charley Barley Stakes on turf.
"His biggest thing is: whatever the surface is, he doesn't like it deep," said Simon, whose trainee has run five times on turf, including a narrow loss in the 2018 Nearctic (G2). "When the turf is hard and fast, he'll run over the turf as well. He just got beat in a Grade 2 on turf and won another stake on turf. He runs well on synthetic too. He trains good on the dirt when it's fast, as long as it's not deep."
Yorkton has demonstrated a solid turn of early speed in the majority of his races, including front-running victories in the Bold Venture.
"He has a lot of speed, but he doesn't necessarily need the lead. He's pretty versatile that way too. He'll track or stalk also," Simon said. "He is a fast horse, so he'll find himself on the lead a lot too."
Chris Landeros has the mount aboard Yorkton, who will break from the No. 8 post position.
Gary and Mary West's Lasting Legacy will seek to return to winning form Saturday after finishing second in the Dec. 21 Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream, beaten only a length by Diamond Oops, who went on to finish fourth in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) presented by Runhappy Jan. 25.
Lasting Legacy had won three straight races, including the ungraded Mr. Prospector at Monmouth Park, after being transferred to trainer Jason Servis, who campaigned World of Trouble.
Michael Dubb's Admiral Lynch, a multiple stakes-placed 4-year-old son of Super Saver, is slated to make his first start for Servis in the World of Trouble.
Paco Lopez has the mount aboard the 6-year-old son of Tapizar, while Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call on Admiral Lynch.
Paradise Farms Corp. and Walder Racing's Fast Pass enters the World of Trouble off a powerful 3 ¾-length triumph in an optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream, rallying from last with a strong late run.
"He's awesome. It seems like he's become a fan favorite, a throw-back Silky Sullivan horse," trainer Peter Walder said. "I hope there's as much speed in the race as his last race."
Fast Pass earned an invitational to the Sept. 8 Korea Sprint in Seoul after winning three of four starts, including a victory in the Opening Lead Stakes and a third-place finish behind Diamond Oops in the Smile Sprint (G3). The 7-year-old son of Successful Appeal, who finished off the board in the race that was run over a muddy track, came back to finish second in the Claiming Crown Express, beaten by a nose, before returning to winning form in his most recent start.
"I think he ran his best race for us," Walder said. "It's amazing that he came back from Korea and run those two bang-up races."
Cristian Torres has the return mount.
Epic Racing LLC's Epic Dreamer, who will cut back in distance following an off-the-board finish in the Fred Hooper (G3); Tracy Pinchin's Jackson, a multiple-stakes winner against Florida breds; The Four Horsemen Racing Stable Inc.'s Sweetontheladies, a Grade 1 stakes-place sprinter who will come off a six-month layoff; and Maria Inez Mejia's Goldenlion; round out the field.
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