Itsmyluckyday Targeting $250,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Itsmyluckyday, a prominent participant in the 2013 Triple Crown, is one workout away from making his 2014 debut in the $250,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) on March 8.
“We’ll probably work him on Friday, and then we’ll make a decision,” said trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., whose 4-year-old is unraced since sustaining an injury last June.
Itsmyluckyday was a star at Gulfstream’s 2013 Champions Meet, capturing the Holy Bull (G3) and finishing second behind eventual Kentucky Derby winner Orb in the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1). The son of Lawyer Ron finished 15th in the Kentucky Derby (G1) due to an obvious dislike for the sealed sloppy track, but rebounded to finish second in the Preakness Stakes (G1).
Itsmyluckyday’s successful sophomore campaign came to an abrupt end at Monmouth on June 16 in the Pegasus Stakes (G3), in which he was pulled up and did not finish. It was later determined that the Kentucky-bred colt sustained a pelvic fracture.
“It’s been a long road back. We decided to take our time with him, and it looks like he approved of it,” Plesa said. “I will tell you, when he goes to the gate, no matter where he finishes, he’ll be 110-percent ready to run.”
Itsmyluckyday has been working steadily for his return and turned in a five-furlong bullet workout in 59.75 seconds last Thursday at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with how he’s been training,” Plesa said. “He’s just about ready to get started.”
If Plesa gives thumbs-up for the Gulfstream Park Handicap, Itsmyluckyday inevitably will clash with at least one Todd Pletcher-trained rival. Gulfstream’s 10-time defending champion trainer has nominated eight horses for the one-mile handicap, for which weight assignments will be released on Saturday. Among the Pletcher nominees are: Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice, 2013 Louisiana Derby victor Revolutionary, and up-and-coming allowance winners Golden Lad and Catron.
Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Alpha and Ken McPeek-trained Golden Ticket, who dead-heated for the win in the 2012 Travers Stakes (G2), are among the most prominent nominees for the 73rd running of the Gulfstream Park Handicap, along with Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3) winner Falling Sky and multiple-stakes winners Jackson Bend, Neck ‘n Neck and Uncaptured.