Stradivinsky Speeds Into Sunday's Turf Sprint
On paper, there appears to be a lot of speed in Sunday’s second running of the $60,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint.The fastest of the seven horses, however, appears to be 8-year-old Stradivinsky who is coming off a tiring 13th-place finish in the Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
“He’s come out of that race good,” trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. said. “He’s been training well.”
In May of 2010, Dutrow claimed Stradivinsky for $50,000 on behalf of a partnership of owners led by Michael Dubb, a deal that immediately returned dividends as the son of Stravinsky wired the field in the Grade 3 Jaipur in his first start for new connections.
In his first start of 2011, Stradivinsky will look to defeat a field that includes four other stakes winners:
Strike the Tiger captured the Windsor Castle Stakes at Ascot in 2009 for trainer Wesley Ward who also sends out four-time winner Great Attack. Yankee Injunuity won the Arlington Sprint Handicap in 2009. Ahvee’s Destiny is a multiple stakes winner for turf sprint specialist Linda Rice. Retire to What scored in the Fasig Tipton Dash in 2009.
“We’ll see when we get there if he’ll have to sit off the pace,” Dutrow said of Stradivinsky. “I don’t think it will be a problem, but we’ll tackle this issue if we get there.”
TRIO OF GRADE 1 WINNERS IN SUNDAY TURF ALLOWANCE
Sunday’s fourth race at Gulfstream Park is an allowance event on the turf with a field of seven.
Three of those seven, however, are Grade 1 or Group 1 winners making this race one of the more interesting races of the weekend.
Multiple Grade 1 winner – and two-time defending Mac Diarmida winner – Presious Passion will likely be out on his customary earlier lead, but chasing him will be a pair of international Group 1 winners.
Bernard Weill’s Never On Sunday has the distinction of being one of the only horses stabled in America to have beaten three-time defending Breeders’ Cup Mile champion Goldikova.
The 6-year-old won the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan in France in 2009 defeating Goldikova who came in seventh that day.
In four races since coming to North America and being switched to the barn of Patrick Biancone, Never On Sunday has raced exclusive in stakes.
Most recently, the son of Sunday Break finished a dull 10th in the Tropical Turf Handicap (G3) at Calder.
“He’s on the way back,” Biancone said. “This has pretty much been the year of the set-back for him. It can take a long time to come back from these things if you’re an older horse, but we’re happy with him. Hopefully, this is a race we can use to build off of.”
While Never at Sunday has run well in races from eight to 12 furlongs, Biancone believes it’s somewhere in the middle that his horse is best.
“I think he’s a mile and a quarter horse,” Biancone said. “But he won a Group 1 in Europe at a mile and an eighth so I don’t think this race will be too short for him.”
Completing the trio of Grade 1 or Group 1 winners is the Brazilian-bred Moryba. The 5-year-old son of Hard Buck is now under the care of trainer Bill Mott but accumulated a Group 1 and Group 2 win from 11 career starts in his native land.