By Jim Freer
Gulfstream Park will begin its racing season for 2-year-olds in Thursday’s fourth race.
The track’s first juvenile race will be a $47,000 maiden special weight at 4 ½ furlongs on dirt. There are eight entrants, including two fillies.
Trainer Wesley Ward, whose program is geared toward early success with juveniles, entered Animal Quiet, a son of Iqbaal that he bred and owns. The Florida-bred gelding drew the outside post position. Carlos Hernandez has the mount.
PTK LLC and trainer Dane Kobiskie have entered a pair of juveniles–Da Meister, a son of Bodemeister, and I Shod the Sheriff, a son of Caleb’s Posse. Both colts have a series of four works at Payson Park.
In 2012, Bodemeister finished second to I’ll Have Another in the Kentucky Derby and in the Preakness.
Tyler Gaffalione was named to ride Da Meister, while Nik Juarez is slated to ride I Shod the Sheriff.
Gulfstream’s condition books through May 15 show six other 2-year-old races.
It will have races open to males and fillies on April 28, May 12 and May 13. It will have races restricted to fillies on April 26, May 6 and May 11.
At this early stage of the racing season some 2-year-old fillies have matured quickly, compared with males, and it is common for some trainers to run fillies in races with colts and geldings.
Juvenile Racing Schedule
Gulfstream’s juvenile racing program is a highlight of its spring and summer meets and of the Gulfstream Park West meet that it will hold in October and November at Calder Casino & Race Course.
In each of the past two years, Gulfstream has had more 2-year-old races than any other U.S. track.
As always the highlight will be the Florida Sire Stakes series, which is restricted to sons and daughters of Florida-registered stallions whose owners have nominated them for the program.
There are three races for males and three for fillies.
This year’s Florida Sire Stakes schedule:
*Aug. 6 – Dr. Fager for males and Desert Vixen for fillies; both have $200,000 purses and are six furlongs on dirt.
*Sept. 3—Affirmed for males and Susan’s Girl for fillies. Both have $300,000 purses and are seven furlongs on dirt.
*Oct. 1—In Reality for males and My Dear Girl for fillies. Both have $500,000 purses and are 1 1/16 miles on dirt.
— Photo on Home Page by Barry Unterbrink