Reigning three-year-old champion Will Take Charge will make his 2014 debut and lead the field in the prestigious $500,000 Donn H. (G1) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. Trained by D Wayne Lukas, the superb son of Unbridled’s Song comes off a fine score in the Clark H. (G1) to cap his sophomore season and has trained well in advance of his four-year-old bow in making his first run on this main oval.
A strong group awaits the likely favorite and horse to beat, including the todd Pletcher-trained Revolutionary. The Grade 2 winner was third in the Kentucky Derby (G1) last year and had the benefit of a prep in a local allowance win here a few weeks back. The son of War Pass gets a lot of attention in this spot. Bourbon Courage ran a big one in this race a year ago when a strong second in this spot and he could be the value play of the field. The son of Lion Heart comes in fresh and has been firing bullets in advance of this. Romansh is a horse we think can have a superb 2014 and he belongs with this type for tom Albertrani. The well-bred son of Bernardini was last seen dominating the Discovery H. (G3) last time and could be ready for a similar showing today.
Grade 2 hero Uncaptured, Harlan’s Holiday S. romper River Seven, 2012 Indiana Derby (G2) star Neck n’ Neck, easy Hal’s Hope (G3) victor Lea and possibly Met Mile (G1) runner-up Private Zone, who would be the speed of the race for conditioner Doug O’Neill.
The undercard on Saturday is a very good one, with the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf H. (G1) leading the way. The Bill Mott-trained Amira’s Prince has been perfect from outings since coming to the U. S. and the five-year-old has proven his class with a pair of graded wins in preparing for this race. The bay son of Teofilo is two-for-two on this course and will be very tough with a top showing.
The Shug McGaughey-trained Boisterous bagged the Man o’ War S. (G1) this summer and comes in fresh as an obvious contender in this grassy contest. Seven-year-old bay has yet to win on this oval but comes in fresh and wouldn’t be a surprise in this run. Grade 1-placed stakes winner Charming Kitten, Red Smith H. (G3) standout Imagining, El Prado S. runner-up Salto and the consistently good Summer Front, top the list of likely runners.
Also on Saturday is the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship (G3) and $150,000 Suwanee River S. (G3).
Dual Champion Groupie Doll seems all set to make her career finale in the $150,000 Hurricane Bertie S. (G3) on Sunday. The $2.5 million earner has been a sensational performer over the past few years and it seems fitting that she would go out with a bang for conditioner Fred Bradley. The six-year-old mare by Bowman’s Band has never finished out of the money from four tries on this main oval and has trained well locally.
Test S. (G1) and Prioress S. (G1) runner-up Wildcat Lily, Group 1 queen My Wandy’s Girl, Sugar Swirl (G3) vixen Heart Stealer and Marty Wolfson’s Centrique, will hope to knock off the likely heavy favorite.
2014 G1 $500,000 Donn Handicap Information
Date: Sunday, February 9
Where: Gulfstream Park, Florida
Post Time: 6:01 p.m. ET/3:01 p.m. PT
Distance: 1 1/8 Mile Dirt
Conditions: FOR FOUR YEAR OLDS AND UPWARD
Donn Handicap wagering may include: $1 Exacta / $.50 Trifecta / $.10 Superfecta / $1 Super Hi 5
Field and odds for the G1 $500,000 Donn Handicap
|1||Uncaptured||4 C||L||116||Mena Miguel||Casse Mark E.|
|2||Will Take Charge||4 C||L||123||Saez Luis||Lukas D. Wayne|
|3||Revolutionary||4 C||L||119||Castellano Javier||Pletcher Todd A.|
|4||Neck ‘n Neck||5 H||L||116||Leparoux Julien R.||Wilkes Ian R.|
|5||River Seven||4 G||L||116||Rocco, Jr. Joseph||Gonzalez Nicholas|
|6||Romansh||4 C||L||116||Velazquez John R.||Albertrani Thomas|
|7||Viramundo||5 H||L||114||Lopez Paco||Wolfson Martin D.|
|8||Lea||5 H||L||117||Rosario Joel||Mott William I.|
|9||Bourbon Courage||5 H||L||115||Lezcano Jose||Gorder Kellyn|
|10||Macho Bull||5 G||L||112||Kappushev Magomet A.||Dorochenko Gennadi|
|11||Joshua’s Comprise||4 C||L||114||Maysonett Francisco Z.||Rose Barry R.|