A field of eight has been entered to go 1 1/8 miles in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf (G1), one of two grass stakes at the Hallandale Beach, Florida, venue on Saturday. The $150,000 Suwannee River Stakes (G3) will send nine distaffers the same distance one race later.
Heart to Heart will attempt to get back to his winning ways in the Gulfstream Park Turf. The Brian Lynch trainee finished 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) to close out his six-year-old season last November and ran seventh while making his 2018 bow in the Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (G2) on January 13.
Heart to Heart, the 2014 Canadian champion three-year-old male, captured the Bernard Baruch Handicap (G2) and Canadian Turf Stakes (G3) last year, and placed in a trio of Grade 1 contests. Julien Leparoux was aboard the bay son of English Channel for the majority of 2017 and takes back the mount Saturday.
Money Multiplier is seeking a second stakes win while making his six-year-old bow for trainer Chad Brown in this spot. The Looking at Lucky ridgling earned his first black-type credit in his belated 2017 debut, the July 30 Monmouth Stakes (G2). He missed by only a half-length when second next out in the Sword Dancer Stakes (G1), but failed to factor when eighth in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) in late September.
The Kentucky-bred dark bay was a nice fourth, beaten only a length, in his final start of 2017, the Red Smith Handicap (G3), and keeps Javier Castellano in the irons on Saturday.
Channel Maker makes his four-year-old bow in the Gulfstream Park Turf for trainer Bill Mott off a runner-up effort in the November 25 Hollywood Derby (G1) that netted the gelding a 106 BRIS Speed rating. Only Money Multiplier’s 112 figure, earned for his 2016 Sword Dancer second, rates higher in this field. Channel Maker lived up to his 8-5 favoritism to take Woodbine’s Breeders’ Stakes, the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, last August. The English Channel chestnut gets Nik Juarez aboard here.
Hi Happy was honored as the 2015-16 Argentinean Horse of the Year, champion three-year-old colt and champion stayer before moving his game to the United Stakes. The Pure Prize chestnut failed to factor in his stateside debut, the 2016 Seabiscuit Handicap (G2) at Del Mar, but ran fourth in the San Marcos Stakes (G2) and Santa Anita Handicap (G1) last year before closing out his five-year-old campaign early with a neck third in the Tokyo City Cup Stakes (G3) last April. Subsequently switched to trainer Todd Plether, Hi Happy gets the services of Luis Saez in this season opener.
Kurilov has competed twice since shipping to the United States from his native Chile, where the Lookin at Lucky five-year-old is a Group 1 winner. He finished fourth against allowance/optional claiming rivals at Aqueduct in his debut for Brown on November 12 and closed out the year with a close third, beaten only a neck, in the Queens County Stakes back at that track on December 23. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call for the first time in this spot.
One Go All Go is no stranger to stakes competition. The six-year-old son of Fairbanks finished third by only two heads in the 2014 Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3) in his second career start and one year later wired the Commonwealth Derby (G2) at 35-1. The bay has been back and forth ever since then, either doing well against stakes rivals or being well-beaten. He transferred to trainer Charles Dickey last fall, and most recently ran second by a head in the Ft. Lauderdale. Chris Landeros stays aboard.
Rounding out the Gulfstream Park Turf field are the Shug McGaughey-trained Revved Up, third in the River City Handicap (G3) last November, and Grade 2 winner March, an allowance/optional claiming winner for conditioner Jonathan Thomas on December 29.
One race later, the Suwannee River features Kitten’s Roar and a trio of rematches.
Kitten’s Roar makes her six-year-old bow in this spot after closing out 2017 with a subpar eighth in the Matriarch Stakes (G1) at Del Mar. The Mike Maker charge captured the Goldikova Stakes (G2) prior to that and was a length second in the E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-G1) at Woodbine in mid-October. The dark bay daughter of Kitten’s Joy returns to Gulfstream Park for the first time since taking her maiden debut in April 2015. Luis Saez has the call.
Midnight Crossing captured the December 30 Robert J. Frankel Stakes (G3) by a half-length over Elysea’s World, and the duo line back up here. The Richard Baltas-trained Midnight Crossing tries Gulfstream Park for the first time under Emisael Jaramillo while Brown sends out Elysea’s World with Javier Castellano aboard for a second try in the Suwanee River following the mare’s runner-up effort last year.
Del Mar Oaks (G1) heroine Dream Dancing missed by 1 3/4 lengths as the 8-5 favorite to Ultra Brat in the Marshua’s River Stakes (G3) as the duo made their seasonal bows on January 13. Julien Leparoux takes back the mount on Dream Dancing for trainer Mark Casse while Nike Juarez stays in Ultra Brat’s saddle for conditioner Graham Motion.
Dream Awhile bested Westit by three parts of a length in the Tropical Park Oaks on December 30 in just her second start in the United States. The formerly French-based filly will have Irad Ortiz Jr. in the pilot’s seat for Brown on Saturday. Fellow French-transplant Westit was making her third stateside start in the Tropical Park Oaks for Motion and went on to be seventh in the South Beach Stakes two weeks ago. Edgard Zayas has the call on the gray filly.
Stakes winner Beauly, fifth in the La Prevoyante Stakes (G3) two weeks ago, and Grade 3 victress Flipcup, third in the Via Borghese Stakes in late December, complete the Suwannee River field.