By Jim Freer
Amigo and Megeve, two horses that are dropping in class, are among likely favorites in Saturday’s tenth and featured race at Gulfstream Park.
It is one mile on turf for three-year-olds and up, with a $43,000 purse and $16,000 optional claiming price.
First post is 12:35 p.m. for a 12-race card.
The dirt track is listed as fast and the turf is listed as firm. Six races are scheduled for turf, with the rail at 115 feet.
The Weather Channel forecast for rain ranges from zero percent to 20 percent during racing hours in Hallandale Beach where Gulfstream is located.
Gulfstream has not had to take any races off the turf since June 11, a span of 33 racing days.
The tenth race has ten entrants, including Maritime Pulpit, who would run only in the unlikely event that it is moved to the dirt track.
It will be just the sixth start this year for Amigo, who is owned by Arindel Farm and trained by Ronny Werner. Three of his 2016 races were turf stakes, including two graded stakes, in which he did not hit the board.
In his other two 2016 starts, Amigo finished second at 1 1/16 miles on turf in $25,000 optional claimers. He was not in for a tag in those races or today.
Tyler Gaffalione, who leads summer meet jockeys in wins with 45, will ride the five-year-old Amigo.
Megeve has raced six times this year, all on turf in stakes or higher end allowance/optional/claimer races at Gulfstream
He has one win and has not finished worse than fourth.
Cornelio Velasquez will ride Megeve for trainer Phil Gleaves and owner Keith Long.
Megeve and Amigo both have late-running styles.
Diaz, Lay It Down and Dave Hoeght are moving up in class and are win threats
Dave Hoeght has two wins and a second place finish in his last three starts, all on turf at Gulfstream.
Lay It Down’s last eight starts have been on turf at Gulfstream. He has a win, four second place finishes and two third place finishes.
Diaz has won two of his four races on the Gulfstream turf this year. He can be expected to battle for the lead with likely longshots Fire on Fire and Mongolian Sunday.
* The Saturday card has a carryover of $19,609.47 on the Rainbow 6, on races seven through twelve.
Saturday’s Rainbow 6 races have 67 entrants including also eligibles and main track only.
*Gulfstream will have eleven races on Sunday with first post of 12:50 p.m. There are no stakes races on the card.
Two More Race Days
Gulfstream is adding two live racing days to its summer meet schedule.
It will have live racing on Wednesday Aug. 24, and Thursday Sept. 8, which were previously scheduled as dark days.
With the two added days, Gulfstream will have 62 days in its summer meet that ends on Oct. 2.
Gulfstream will hold its third annual Gulfstream Park West meet at Calder Casino & Race Course from Oct. 5 to Nov. 27.
Acclaimed Racing Stable’s Mr. Baker made a sizzling return from a 22-month layoff Friday at Gulfstream, speeding six furlongs in 1:09.27 while capturing the featured third race by 2 ½ lengths over Master Blender.
Mr. Baker, the even-money favorite, took the lead from Speechify after a half mile and drew away to victory in the $44,000 allowance/optional claiming race. Speechify finished last in the five-horse field.
Edgard Zayas rode Mr. Baker for trainer Ralph Ziadie.
Mr. Baker, a 7-year-old non-gelded son of Imperialism, hadn’t run since finishing sixth in the Phoenix (G3) at Keeneland on Oct. 3, 2014.
“It was a long wait,” Acclaimed Racing’s Mike Berry said. “He had a bunch of different problems. Look how big he is. If you were that big, you’d have problems, too. He ran fantastic.”
Mr. Baker was claimed by Acclaimed Racing for $16,000 out of a race at Gulfstream on Feb. 23, 2014. Before being sidelined, he won four straight races. That included one stakes at Gulfstream and one stakes at the Gulfstream Park West meet at Calder.