HorseracingFLA Staff Report
Gulfstream Park has a 12-race card on Saturday, with an early first post of 12:45 p.m.
The dirt track is listed as fast and the turf is listed as firm. Six races (the even numbered ones) are scheduled for turf with the rail at 108 feet. According to the Weather Channel there is just a 15 percent chance of rain during racing hours in Hallandale Beach, where Gulfstream is located.
There are no stakes races on the card.
There will be a carryover of $39,478 on the Rainbow 6 beginning on the seventh race.
On Sunday, Gulfstream will have eleven races with the regular first post of 1:15 p.m.
Again there are no stakes races.
But the seventh race will have a stakes-like atmosphere.
It will be the first race in more than two years for Little Mike, whose career includes wins in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Turf (Grade 1) at Santa Anita and three other Grade 1 stakes on turf.
Sunday’s seventh race is 1 1/16 miles on turf for 3-year-olds and up. It has seven entrants and is an allowance/optional claimer with a $44,000 purse and a $62,500 claiming price. Naturally, Little Mike is not in for a tag.
Little Mike, a gelding who is now nine years old, has not raced since May 17, 2014 when he won the Flying Pidgeon Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Gulfstream.
“He had tendonitis and an issue with the suspensory, but nothing happened that required surgery,” said Carlo Vaccarezza, Little Mike’s breeder and trainer.
Vaccarezza noted that a group of veterinarians have examined and treated Little Mike, finding nothing that mandated retirement. Dr. Larry Bramlage of the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., was among that group.
“I wanted to be 100-percent positive that it’s fine to bring him back,” said Vaccarezza, whose wife Priscilla owns Little Mike.
Should Little Mike win or otherwise run a strong race on Sunday, Vaccarezza will consider the Arlington Million (Grade 1) as a possible next race for Little Mike.
That race will be Aug, 13 at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill. Little Mike won the Arlington Million in 2012.