Gulfstream Today 2.6.2013
The Lead: Discreet Dancer made his first start in nearly a year in Wednesday’s second race at Gulfstream Park, and trainer Todd Pletcher found no easy spot for the return of the lightly raced but hugely talented 4-year-old.
“We were trying to get back to his normal condition eligibility, but unfortunately it was a pretty nasty spot for that kind of race,” Pletcher said of the six-furlong $57,500 optional claiming allowance race.
Unraced since finishing third in the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream last February, Discreet Dancer had to dig deep to prevail by a neck over a very game Candyman E, who also was returning to action off a layoff of nearly a year.
“I was proud of the race he ran to get 1:09 1/5 off the year layoff and run as well as he did. It was a big effort for him,” Pletcher said. “He was giving up a lot of seasoning to horses that have a lot more experience.”
The 3-5 favorite, who had only three races of experience going into Wednesday’s race, chased a fast pace contested by Quiz Whiz and Dreaming of Neno along the backstretch and around the far turn before being forced out by a rallying Candyman E leaving the turn into the stretch. The son of Discreet Cat went on to gamely grind out a narrow victory under Javier Castellano, who showed his mount the whip but did not use it on him during the stretch drive.
“It was not a great trip, but it was the kind of the trip we were forced to have from the post we had,” Pletcher said. “But overall I was really, really pleased with his race.”
Pletcher said that the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) on March 9 would be a likely next start for E. Paul Robsham’s homebred, who has won three of his four lifetime races.
Who’s Hot: Trainer David Fawkes saddled a pair of winners on Wednesday’s card: Defend ($11.40) in the third and Shock’emagain ($34.80) in the ninth.
50-cent Pick 5 Carryover: $60,762.83
10-cent Rainbow 6 Carryover: $1,547,800.59