The GP Sprint Championship- Grade III
GP Race 5 6.5F Dirt
Purse $100.000 for
Four Year Olds and Upward
A full field with a mix of established veterans and up and comers goes to the post at Gulfstream Park in a hotly contested Grade 3 race. The favorable weight conditions has everyone on equal footing so this will be about who has the best horse and gets the best trip. We will take a glimpse at each of the contestants and see if we can pick the victor.
1 Through The Tulips, trained by Fractious
Purchased for the bargain price of $20.000 back in October and has raced well for his new owner in the two races since. Has not had any success at the graded stakes level though so this will be a major test for him. Is an impressive 5 for 5 on wet tracks but since there is no rain in the forecast it seems like he will be at a disadvantage.
2 Bonnie Prince, trained by Asgar
Has won 7 of 18 career starts but most of those have come in claimers and starter allowances. Did run well in the Grade 3 Midnight Lute at today’s distance and has speed ratings that are comparable to others in the field. My feeling is that this group may be a little too tough for him.
3 Served Up, trained by Mb Stables
The first entry from leading trainer Mb Stables is a lightly raced colt out of top sire Commanding. Has only 6 lifetime starts but included in there are second place finishes in the Grade 1 Vosburgh and Grade 3 Toboggan. Although I think he is the weaker half of the entry he still should be a major player here.
4 In Captivity, trained by Mb Stables
The second Mb entry who has been in the money in 10 of 11 career runs. His last outing was a very impressive win in the Grade 1 Cigar Handicap in early December. Certainly the class of the field but will be coming in off a 3 month layoff so only question will be if he is fit.
5 Expressly, trained by Wolfs Den
Interesting entrant due to the fact that almost all of his races have been routing and most of those have been on the turf. He did work a nice mile on the dirt in preparation for this so perhaps turf to dirt will work here. Looks like he may be part of the pace but I do not think he will be able to hold off the closers.
6 Viking Fuse, trained by Delta Farms
Very consistent sprinter who always seems to be right there at the wire. Like Served up he comes into this out of the Toboggan where he finished a game third after setting the pace from the far outside. With a better post today he should be able to rate off the lead and make a good run.
7 Swamp Fox, trained by Blushing Meadows
This seven year old gelding will be heading to the post for the 51st time on Saturday and has earned an impressive $1850 in the process. While most of his success has come on the turf he did win the Fall Highweight Handicap on the dirt impressively rallying from last to get up by a nose. I think he will get a decent pace to run into today but he will have to avoid a lot of traffic to get home first.
8 Out On A Limb, trained by Smokey Stover
Coming off a long campaign in 2017 where he raced 12 times the final effort being in the BC Dirt Mile where he ran a very impressive 2nd from a difficult outside draw. Due to that strenuous workload he has been given a 4 month rest leading into this and has very few public works for us to gauge his fitness. Had a lot of success sprinting early in his career so if he is ready he should be a contender.
9 Mancini, trained by Our Athletes
Another entrant that put in a lot of races in 2017 as he was on the Derby trail. Has faced off with Out On A Limb several times but has not been able to get the best of him. Most recent effort was also in the Toboggan where he finished just behind Served Up and Viking Fuse so while we cannot rule him out others seem to be just a little bit better.
10 Commanding Brit, trained by Lemax Farms
Has only managed to win 2 of 16 career starts but in constantly knocking on the door with 7 seconds and 4 thirds. His workouts are fast and he has been competitive at the graded level but with this outside post he may be pushed to go too fast early.
11 Neto, trained by RNP Stables
This 5 year old gelding has never visited the winner’s circle on the dirt. He did participate in the Toboggan where he ran decently but finished behind several of today’s rivals. With this outside post and his limited dirt success I have a hard time envisioning success for him today.
12 Saturday Khartoum, trained by Rousee
Our final entrant has been very consistent since being gelded finishing in the money in all 6 starts. His last outing was a FL bred stake where he was able to win in impressive time. His only attempt in graded company results in a game second where he set all the fractions and was caught late. With a better post I would give him a chance but I am concerned he will be used early from out here.
With the natural speed of Commanding Brit and Saturday Khartoum I see them being pushed to the front from the outside and setting a good pace. This should enable the Mb entry and Viking Fuse to sit in a good spot while Out On a Limb and Swamp Fox are further back. I think it will be close at the end but if In Captivity is in form he will be hard to beat.