By Monique Welch
Delta Girl, an impressive winner in two of her three career starts, is among the key players in Thursday’s feature race at the Gulfstream Park West meet
Danessa Again and Teri’s Big Heart also appear to be strong win contenders.
They are in the third race with a scheduled post of 1:33 p.m.
There are six entrants in the one-mile dirt race for fillies and mares three years old and up. The purse is $35,000 with an optional claiming price of $62,500. None of the entrants are in for a g.
Gulfstream Park is holding the GP West meet at Calder in Miami Gardens
There is a carryover of $12,974 on the Rainbow 6, on races three through eight.
The dirt track is listed as fast and the turf is listed as firm.
The Weather Channel forecast is partly sunny with a high near 80 and a chance of precipitation ranging from zero to 10 percent throughout the day.
For more updated information, be sure to check out our blog during the afternoon.
Delta Girl, a three-year-old, has been the most consistent of the bunch with Brisnet speed figures above 90 in all her races (including a second-place finish).
She is definitely going to bring the speed and if she takes off early it should mean trouble for her competitors.
Her last race was a $16,000 optional claimer on Aug. 28 at one mile at Gulfstream. She won in the solid time of 1:36.58 and earned a 93 Brisnet figure.
Ralph Nicks trains Delta Girl, and for the fourth straight race has his go-to jockey Tyler Gaffalione riding her.
Danessa Again, another three-year-old, also has speed and brings in a two-race win streak.
She is trained by Gilberto Zerpa, who has five wins in 12 starts at GP West this year. Her jockey Edgard Zayas has a meet-leading 37 wins.
Danessa Again is in post one and Delta Girl is in post two, setting up the prospect of a speed duel.
Teri’s Big Heart has a win and two second place finishes in her last three starts. Everything were at levels similar to today’s race, but on turf.
If she adjusts to the surface switch, she should be closing at the end. Luca Panici will ride for trainer Steve Dwoskin.
Alto Belle and Screaming Skylar both have stakes experience and should be considered for the exacta and trifecta. Both are making their first starts in Florida.
Alto Belle, trained by the legendary Todd Pletcher, has speed and has won two of six starts.
She has not raced since April 6 when she finished fourth in the Weber City Miss Stakes at Laurel Park in Laurel, Md. She led through the first half mile of that 1 1/16-mile dirt race.
Eddie Castro will ride Alto Belle, whose backers will be hoping that she shows major improvements at a shorter distance.
The question about Screaming Skylar is how well she will adjust to the dirt track.
She spent most of her career in California racing in turf stakes. While she is dropping in class, it also should be noted that she is winless in four starts this year.
Owner Rockingham Ranch recently switched screaming Skylar from California-based trainer Peter Miller to Jorge Navarro, who was second to Pletcher in wins at Gulfstream’s 2015-2016 championship meet. Emisael Jaramillo will ride Screaming Skylar.
Caboclo do Rio is making her third U.S. start and will probably have the highest odds in the race.
She spent most of her career in Chile, with five wins in 24 starts and primarily in stakes. Her U.S. races were at Gulfstream where she finished eighth in a seven-furlong dirt stakes and sixth in a one-mile turf stakes. Jorge Ruiz will ride for trainer Tamara Levy.
–photo on home page by Barry Unterbrink