Juveniles will get the first stakes cracks over Gulfstream Park‘s refurbished turf course on Saturday. The most noteworthy of the entries is Delight, the likely favorite in the $75,000 Wait a While S. for fillies going 7 1/2 furlongs.
Owned by George Strawbridge, Delight turned heads two months ago when rolling to a five-length win in the Jessamine (G2) at Keeneland. Although she didn’t replicate that form in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) over the same course last month, finishing 10th in a field of 14, Delight figures prominently in the Wait a While despite drawing post 11.
Strawbridge and trainer Jonathan Thomas will also be represented by Born Dapper. One of the more experienced members of the field with five starts, Born Dapper was a last-out winner of the Selima S. at Laurel, a race that was transferred from the turf and run over a sloppy main track.
The uniquely-named Junipermarshmallow, who broke her maiden on debut over the Keeneland turf, hops right into stakes company for owner-breeder St. Elias Stable and trainer Todd Pletcher. A daughter of Quality Road, Junipermarshmallow is out of a half-sister to the European Group 1 stars Alpha Centauri, Alpine Star, and Discoveries.
The Mark Casse-trained Personal Pursuit, a daughter of Tapit who cost $500,000 at auction, was bumped hard leaving the gate in the Oct. 8 Matron (G3) at Aqueduct and only managed to rally for fifth going six furlongs. Personal Pursuit is kin to a pair of graded stakes winners. Isabel Alexandra, runner-up against allowance foes at Keeneland last out, is closely related to English sprint star Slade Power.
Earlier on Saturday’s card is the $75,000 Pulpit S. for two-year-olds, also over 7 1/2 furlongs. The field includes Congruent, victorious in an off-the-turf renewal of the Laurel Futurity two back, and the Pletcher-trained duo of Ari Gold and Sendero.