Forty Tales, Tuttipaesi likely favorites in Gulfstream stakes
A baker's dozen of three-year-olds will dash seven furlongs Saturday in the Swale, one of two Grade 3, $150,000 features at Gulfstream Park. The supporting feature is the Herecomesthebride, a nine-furlong grass test for three-year-old fillies.
Favoritism in the Swale is likely to fall on the Todd Pletcher-trained Forty Tales, a fast-closing second in the Grade 2 Hutcheson in early February. The Tale of the Cat colt had entered that seven-furlong fray undefeated in two starts, taking an Aqueduct maiden by 2 3/4 lengths and a Parx allowance by 3 3/4 lengths.
Off relatively slow from post 1 in the Hutcheson as the 9-5 favorite, Forty Tales was still down 4 1/2 lengths with a furlong to go and did well to shave four lengths off that deficit in the final eighth. Honorable Dillon, who held on for the win, is not among the entries for the Swale, but third-place finisher Undrafted and fourth-place finisher Merit Man are returning foes.
Undrafted, who has yet to win on dirt, has occupied the show slot in all three prior stakes outings. Merit Man, who was forced to steady around the far turn in the Hutcheson, previously landed the Tim Conway at Santa Anita and the Spectacular Bid at Gulfstream, and was beaten a nose in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint.
Gombey Dancer, a maiden winner last month by three lengths in his first start since August, should attract some play. The Eddie Kenneally pupil was a punctual odds-on choice in that February 3 heat off a close second-place finish in his Saratoga debut August 16.
Others of note in the Swale are Clearly Now, a distant third in the Grade 3 Holy Bull; Grade 2 Summer runner-up Are You Kidding Me, who makes his dirt debut here for trainer Roger Attfield; and Little Distorted, who has disappointed in two starts this meet after beating classic hopeful Revolutionary in his swift Belmont Park debut last October.
Tuttipaesi, who posted an 8-1 upset of the Ginger Brew on New Year's Day against a dozen rivals, will face only seven when she enters the gate as the likely favorite in the Herecomesthebride.
A two-time listed stakes winner in Italy at two, Tuttipaesi trailed the field in her pattern-stakes debut in the Group 2 May Hill at Doncaster in September. However, the gray perked up in her first U.S. start in the Ginger Brew, turning in a strong outside bid from 10th to win the 1 1/16-mile test going away by two lengths. Tuttipaesi races for Valor Ladies, an all-female partnership which is an offshoot of Team Valor.
Caroline Thomas, who missed by a half-length when third in the January 27 Sweetest Chant over a mile, leads an opposition that also includes Tokyo Time, a last-out maiden winner by 5 1/4 lengths for Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey. Also stepping up in class are With Sugar On Top and Coffee Clique, both of whom exit local allowance wins, and Grade 3-placed Kitten's Point, second to Coffee Clique in her sophomore bow.
Entered for the main track only is Sweet Shirley Mae, who placed last term in the Grade 1 Spinaway and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint.
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