The 2012 Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (Gulfstream|Saturday|Race 8) has attracted 10 entries with Turf Classic winner Get Stormy listed as the 121 lbs. high weight. The nine furlong turf race carries a purse of $300k. Recent winners include Breeders’ Cup Mile victors Kip Deville and Court Vision as well as multiple Grade 1 winner Einstein.
Silver Medallion (Badge of Silver x Another Vegetarian by Stalwart) will break from the rail for trainer Todd Pletcher. The four-year-old has posted consecutive wins against Grade 3 company on the grass. He has looked well in both wins, but this will be a true acid test for him.
Big Blue Kitten (Kitten’s Joy x Spent Gold by Unaccounted For) gets Julien Leparoux in the irons this time as John Velazquez will ride another horse. Last out he closed from last to be third by 1 1/2 lengths after getting away from the gate a step slow. That optional claiming race was his first trip to the track in almost five months. Before that he reeled off five consecutive wins, including a victory in the Grade 2 Hall of Fame at Saratoga.
We last saw Boisterous (Distorted Humor x Emanating by Cox’s Ridge) in November when he won the Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct. Before that he won the Grade 3 Knickerbocker at Belmont. This is a good horse, but I ‘m not really wild on his chances. Sure, he could win, but at 3-1 I am going to pass him up. John Velazquez will get a leg up here from trainer Shug McGaughey.
Thomas Bush only wins 10% of the time with runners on a 90+ day rest. Throw in the fact that Get Stormy (Stormy Atlantic x Foolish Gal by Kiri’s Clown) failed in his 2011 debut and I can’t like him at a short price carrying more weight than anyone else in the field. Nice horse to be sure, but not worth a bet in this spot.
Bill Mott’s Al Khali (Medaglia d’Oro x Maya by Capote) has all the talent in the world, but just cant seem to win. He enters this race on a 4 month rest after failing to win in 2011. He did finish third in two Grade 1′s last year, but at a short price he is hard to justify here.
My top selection to win the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap is Big Blue Kitten. The Chad Brown trainee loves to win races and should be much stronger in his second race of the year. I also expect Julien Leparoux to position him well. You can bet this 12/1 shot at Twinspires.com where new players get a $100 sign up bonus!