11 GP The Ft Lauderdale Stakes (GII)
$200.000 3yo&Up 1 1/8m Turf 3yo 120 lbs Older 123 lbs +penalties
It’s a big weekend of stakes races here in SoFla and we get a nice field of nine set to go the classic mile and an eighth in The Ft Lauderdale Stakes (GII). I’m leaning on the old man to get the job done in this one and took Lets Do It Big Boy as the top selection. The 7yo gelding is running big right now and I think this is a spot that he can put a bit more cash in the bank. Another that seems to be on his toes is Ranking Official. He comes into this with a pair of wins vs. NY-bred foes, but I like the way he’s going and will give him a shot to get the job done. You can certainly make a case for a bunch of these and it looks like a group where anyone could get to the winner’s circle.
Here’s the Field –
He won the Bay Shore (GIII) and the Stephens (GI) in NY, but was sold after running next to last on BC Day. Certainly nothing to be ashamed of, just being able to get there proves you are in the best of the best. Still, he’s had three off the board finishes coming into this one, so he needs to turn it around.
It’s been a solid season for the old boy as the 7yo has a pair of wins and three runner-up efforts to his credit. Add in a nice fourth in the BC Turf (GI) and you can see where patience does pay off. He just missed last out in the Seabiscuit (GII) at DMR, only beaten a neck in that one. He could be real tough today.
Got his first seasonal win last out taking the Point of Entry at BEL, going the marathon distance over that turf course. That was his best effort of the year, so maybe he is starting to round into form as the cold weather sets in. Just about every dime he has made has come on the weeds, so he’s at home here.
Won the Grand Prairie Turf Challenge for his only stakes win of the year, his other win came at the Alw level, and was close when third in the DMR Mile (GII) two races back. He was fifth at the Alw level in his most recent, and it isn’t getting any easier here today, so he needs to right the ship and get this thing turned around to be a factor.
Has three wins and three thirds on the year, and closed a bit to be fourth in the Hill Prince (GII) in his most recent. He’s usually around when they hand out checks, but will need his very best if he wants more of the same today. He does love the sod, so he’s in the right place.
Won a stakes back in the spring when in different hands, and got the job done last out at the $75.000 claiming level. That was his first trip over a route of ground in quite some time, but he certainly responded. This is an obvious step up in class from that, but he’s run with the big horses… can he find that old stride at the age of six?
Just missed in the Wise Dan (GII) at CD back in June and since that, it’s been a struggle for this one. He’s going to have to turn it around in a big big way or it’s going to be another long day at the office. His best makes him tough, but I’m not sure he has his best any longer.
The good news is he comes into this one with a two race win steak, taking down three of his last five. The other news is he’s done his damage at the tag/Alw level and struggled when facing graded horses. If he can run back to that Alw win at CD, he may be able to go with any type.
Looked good in his last two, getting his seasonal wins in those NY-bred races at BEL. He won on the main track vs. OptAlw types then won the Mohawk on a soft turf course, so he may be in his best form right now. He’s shown speed, and closed from off the pace and being that dynamic may be a good thing.
COZMAN 2 / 9 Willie’s Green Card 2 / 8
Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES