Gulfstream Spot plays for Feb. 11, including the Turf Sprint S.

February 9th, 2023

The Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint Stakes and the $100,000 Ladies’ Turf Sprint Stakes highlight Saturday’s 12-race card at the Florida racetrack.

Below we offer spot plays for the above stakes as well as a few other races on slate this weekend.

Race 7: Ladies’ Turf Sprint S., five furlongs on turf, four-year-old and up fillies and mares

#7 Miss J McKay (7-5) returned from a three-month layoff to triumph by 1 1/4 lengths in the $100,000 Abundantia Stakes at Gulfstream on Dec. 24 while recording a 92 Brisnet Speed rating, the highest last race speed figure among the field. The six-year-old mare beat a number of today's race rivals, including second-place finisher #3 Imagery and #2 Stony Point, as well as fourth-place finisher #8 Mamba Wamba and #9 Spun Glass, who came home sixth. Miss J McKay rallied in the stretch to move from sixth to first, with a 100 Late Pace figure, and will have speed to chase again here. Trainer Christophe Clement is a 19% winner in non-graded stakes and an 18% winner with horses that won their last race, while new rider Joel Rosario is 4-for-10 paired with Clement over the last two months.

#5 Charlie T (12-1) is an intriguing longshot play in her second start off a layoff. The four-year-old Indian Charlie granddaughter flashed 102 and 104 E1 and E2 Speed figures last out when setting the pace in the 5 1/2-furlong Nelson J. Menard Memorial S. at Fair Grounds, but gave way in the final sixteenth to finish two lengths in second behind multiple stakes winner Oeuvre. In her two races prior, Charlie T won allowances at Remington Park when running today's distance and has never finished worse than second in five tries at five furlongs on turf.

Race 8: Allowance, 1 1/16 miles on all-weather, four-year-olds and up

Morning line favorite #3 Therapist (9-5) failed as the favorite last out in a 1 1/16-mile turf event at Gulfstream in which the closer rallied mildly to finish 1 3/4 lengths in third. The gelding was claimed out of that race by Mike Maker, a 22% winner with beaten favorites, and the Freud eight-year-old can improve with a rider switch to Javier Castellano in Therapist's first try on all-weather.

However, we'll look for value and back #4 Eamonn (4-1), a Pioneerof the Nile five-year-old who will drop in class here after finishing seventh in the 1 1/8-mile Buckland S. on Colonial Downs' turf and fourth in a one-mile handicap at Kentucky Downs last summer. Trainer Joseph Orseno is a 17% winner with horses switching from turf to all-weather, and new jockey Edgard Zayas is a 20% winner with routes. Three back, Eamonn won at today's distance in an allowance optional claimer on turf while posting an 85 Brisnet Speed rating and finished second in a 1 1/16-mile handicap on all-weather when recording an 87 BRIS figure. We'll play the presser type in his return to Gulfstream in his first start in five months.

Race 9: Allowance optional claimer, 1 1/16 miles, three-year-olds

#1 Webslinger (4-1) came home 11th in the one-mile Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at last asking but finished just four lengths behind winner Victoria Road. The closer will get some class relief here and will add Lasix for the first time, a winning move 19% of the time for trainer Mark Casse. The Constitution gelding out of a Hard Spun mare has the pedigree to enjoy the stretch out to 8 1/2 furlongs, and his two most recent workouts indicate the Nownownow S. winner is sharp and ready.

Pacesetter #5 Calycanthus (6-1) is also a viable contender out of Todd Pletcher's barn. The English Channel colt has a win at today's distance when breaking his maiden at Aqueduct two back and will add Lasix while dropping in class off a sixth-place finish in the Central Park S. on Nov. 26. The three-year-old will pick up jockey Paco Lopez, an 18% winner on turf.

Race 11: Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint S. (G3), five furlongs on turf, four-year-olds and up

#3 Belgrano (2-1) won by a head last out in the Janus S. at Gulfstream, finishing with a 98 Brisnet Speed rating over turf labeled good. The War Front gelding will now return off a nearly two-month layoff to make his third career start at the graded stakes level in the Turf Sprint S., a race in which he finished third last season to Yes I Am Free, who re-opposes here. Since that race, Yes I Am Free has gone on to win a listed stakes at this track, but he then struggled when shipping to Monmouth, with a ninth in the Get Serious S., and was eighth in a black-type event upon shipping back to Gulfstream. Last out, he won by a nose in an allowance optional claimer and will move back up in class here, but I will go against the reigning Turf Sprint S. champ and back Belgrano.

The nine-year-old owns a 16-6-3-3 record at today’s distance and will keep rider Paco Lopez, who is 4-for-14 over the last seven days. Belgrano’s 98 BRIS figure last out is also four points higher than the next closest last race speed rating among the field, and he posted a sharp, four-furlong workout ahead of this event.

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