By Monique Welch
The very experienced veteran Russian Greek and the three-year-old Vees Boy, trained by the legendary Todd Pletcher, are main players in Wednesday’s feature race at the Gulfstream Park West meet.
It is the seventh race with scheduled post of 4:26 p.m.
There are six entrants in the 1 1/16 mile dirt allowance for three-year-olds and up. The purse is $34,000 with a claiming price of $16,000.
First post is 1:15 p.m. for the eight-race card, at Calder in Miami Gardens.
The dirt track is listed as fast and the turf course is listed as firm. The Weather Channel forecast is for a 15 percent chance of rain during racing hours.
The Rainbow 6 has a carryover of $2,884 on the third through eighth races.
For more updated information, please be sure to check out our blog during the afternoon.
The seven-year-old Russian Greek is the only horse that can be claimed in Wednesday’s race.
He brings a history of speed and can be expected to seek the lead.
Russian Greek was never worse than second and finished second by two lengths in his last race. That was at one mile on dirt at Gulfstream Park on Sept. 16.
Russian Greek earned a Brisnet Speed figure of 90. That is the highest last-race figure for any horse in Wednesday’s race.
Cheech Thunder, who beat Russian Greek, has six wins and two second place finishes in his late eight starts—all at Gulfstream.
Russian Greek is trained by Efren Loza Jr., who has two wins in five starts at the GP West meet and will be ridden by five-pound apprentice Lane Luzi.
Vees Boy will be ridden by Edgard Zayas, who leads the GP West meet with 25 wins after 18 race days.
Vees Boy has one win in six starts. That came at one mile on dirt at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., on June 12.
In his last race he came in third at one mile on a sloppy dirt track at Gulfstream on Sept. 30. He earned an 88 Brisnet figure.
Verger will be making just his second start on dirt.
He has raced eight times on turf, mostly at higher levels than Wednesday’s race, with one win and two third place finishes.
Verger has shown a late-running style that should make him a threat to hit the board. Nik Juarez will ride for trainer David Cannizzo.
Verger will be dropping down in competition today.
Ender’s Cat also is dropping in class but will need to show improvement to contend with Russian Greek and possibly with Vees Boy. Marcos Meneses has the mount for trainer Mikhail Yanakov.
Running Mate likely will be a long shot. He is winless over the last two years in 13 starts, mostly on dirt. Miguel Vasquez is the rider for trainer Luis Luna
Tagore, a four-year-old, has raced just four times, and is the least experienced horse in the race.
He is coming off a win in a maiden special weight race at one mile at Gulfstream on Sept. 18. He earned a respectable Brisnet figure of 85, but now will be facing winners for the first time.
Luca Panici, fourth in wins with 14 at GP West, has the ride for trainer Pedro Castillo.
The key players are definitely Russian Greek, Vees Boy and Verger.