US Stakes Racing Preview

Gulfstream takes center stage today with no less 8 stakes races.

Gulfstream Park – 13 race card starting 12 noon (ET). Going – Dirt Fast, Turf Firm. Weather mainly sunny – estimated top temperature – 72º F.

We will start with the Gulfstream Park Sprint, a Grade 3 race over 6 ½ furlongs. I know this is not the biggest race of the day but it does let us witness another chapter in the story of speedball, XY Jet. Connections are looking for another comprehensive win today which will most likely ensure he takes his place in the Golden Shaheen in the Dubai World Cup meet.

XY Jet has been devastating of late winning his last 3 races by a combined total margin of 18 lengths and his trainer, Jorge Navarro, feels there is more to come. So there will be huge expectations of this son of Kantharos come post time (1.27pm ET).

There is a minor concern about the trip. All his recent wins have been over 6 furlongs so he is stepping up another 110 yards today. He is also facing Ready for Rye, who easily beat him when they met at this course in the Swale Stakes last Winter. Ready for Rye’s issue is that he has been off since the Breeders Cup Sprint, when he was slightly disappointing and we don’t really know how ready he will be for this contest. Trainer Tom Albertrani has been non-committal in his comments.

XY Jet’s Morning Line price is evens and it will be interesting to note if the backers think that is a value price. In my opinion, his “off” price will be much shorter.

The feature race on the Gulfstream card is the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes, a $400k contest over a mile and a sixteenth with 85 Kentucky Derby points up for grabs. Mohaymen’s exploits have seen him move to the top of the betting for the Kentucky Derby but, in this contest, he faces his stiffest test to date.

Mohaymen likes to stalk a strong pace and the race should be set up for him with the likes of Awesome Speed, Awesome Banner and Zulu in the race. On the other hand, these horses are on the improve themselves and will provide serious opposition. I like Awesome Banner’s performance profile but the question is – will he get this trip on his first run over two turns.

All in all this looks a mouthwatering race. Will those of us with ante-post wagers on Mohaymen at fancy prices still be smiling after the Fountain of Youth? As always, time will tell.

There is plenty of turf stakes action in the under card including a 14 strong field for the Palm Beach Stakes, a Grade 3 contest for 3 year olds over a mile and a sixteenth. Azar has been a very consistent horse but has been handed the carp park draw in stall 14 and was not convincing last time out. Urban Bourbon may be the answer in an open race. He won a decent maiden two runs ago before an eye-catching run in the Dania Beach, when he was beaten by just 1 /2 a length despite a tough trip.

Elsewhere in the US, Sam Houston also have put on an excellent card with 4 stakes races, including the $100k Maxxam Gold Cup for 4 year olds and up over 9 furlongs.

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