Saturday Derby Preps Filled with Gulfstream Alumni
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL –Some of the more promising 3-year-olds that competed this winter at Gulfstream Park – including champion Hansen, Dullahan, Howe Great and Ever So Lucky – will be in key preps Saturday for the Kentucky Derby (G1).
And Gulfstream will be the place to wager and watch all the action in Florida’s most luxurious surroundings.
Gulfstream’s Silks Simulcast Room will open at 11 a.m. for fans to watch and wager on races from around the country, including the $750,000 Blue Grass (G1) from Keeneland and $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) from Oaklawn.
Fans can watch from the comfort of Silks or while dining at Ten Palms American Kitchen and Stone Crab Parlor. The Blue Grass is expected to go off at 6:18 p.m. while the Arkansas Derby has a post of 6:45 p.m.
The Blue Grass, which attracted a field of 13, will feature seven starters who wintered at Gulfstream or its satellite training facility Palm Meadows. Those seven include Hansen, last year’s 2-year-old champion and Gotham Stakes (G3) winner who began his 3-year-old season with a second-place finish Jan. 29 in Gulfstream’s Holy Bull (G3).
Hansen will be joined in the Blue Grass by Howe Great, an impressive winner across Gulfstream’s turf this winter of the Palm Beach (G3) and Kitten’s Joy. Dullahan, who ended his juvenile campaign with a fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), will head into the Blue Grass off a second-place finish March 11 in the Palm Beach after spending the winter training across Gulfstream’s main track.
Other winter residents of Gulfstream and Palm Meadows in the Blue Grass include Heavy Breathing, who started his career with two victories at Gulfstream this winter for trainer Todd Pletcher; Politicallycorrect, who won sprinting here Feb. 26 after finishing seventh in the Gulfstream Park Derby; Ever So Lucky, who finished third in the Swale (G3), and; Gung Ho, who spent the winter at Palm Meadows and Gulfstream for trainer Mike Maker before finishing second March 24 in the Rushaway at Turfway.
In the Arkansas Derby, Cozzetti, who trained at Gulfstream for Dale Romans, comes into the race off a third-place finish in the Tampa Bay Derby after finishing fourth in the Kitten’s Joy. Meanwhile, Pletcher will saddle Stat, who won at Gulfstream March 17 going a mile.
Before the Arkansas Derby, the $400,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) will be contested featuring Gulfstream’s Donn Handicap (G1) winner Hymm Book and Ron the Greek, who won the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) after finishing second to Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream in the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic.
Keeneland’s program will include an all-stakes Pick 4 culminating in the Blue Grass. Those stakes will include the Jenny Wiley (G1) featuring Tapitsfly, winner of Gulfstream’s Honey Fox (G2), and the Shakertown (G3) with Gulfstream’s Turf Sprint runner-up Great Attack.