Saturday Racing Picks: Gulfstream Park
Now that Oaklawn Park’s meet has ended and Santa Anita and Churchill Downs are still a week away from returning, weekend racing on TVG will be highlighted by the $75,000 Sunshine Forever Stakes at Gulfstream Park and the $2.1 million NHK Mile Cup (G1) in Japan.
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Sunshine Forever Stakes
In the only stakes race to be run in the United States this weekend, 2019 Preakness Stakes (G1) winner War of Will tries turf for the first time in this 1 1/16-mile race against 11 rivals at Gulfstream Park. The son of War Front removes blinkers for this, as does 2019 Woodbine Mile (G1) winner El Tormenta, who ran credibly in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Santa Anita in November before trailing the field over this course last out. Social Paranoia is unbeaten on this course and has won two in a row, including the rich Dueling Grounds Derby last September. He was Grade 1 placed at Belmont Park a year ago.
The 11th race on the Gulfstream card is an allowance optional claiming at the $16,000 level over six furlongs on the main track. I’ll Fight Dempsey is favored on the morning line, but Tap It to Win is interesting at 5-1. The Mark Casse trainee broke his maiden very impressively at Saratoga in August, then went straight to Grade 1 company at Keeneland. He is unraced since finishing last in stakes company at Churchill Downs in October, but has three bullet works in April alone.
NHK Mile Cup
The May 10 NHK Mile Cup (G1) over a mile will see Champion filly Resistencia taking on males for the first time. The unbeaten colts Satono Impresa and Luftstrom could be tough to beat, with Satono Impresa, by the last Deep Impact, a Grade 3 winner on March 28. Luftstrom is already a Grade 2 winner over the mile distance. Price play Succession has three wins over the distance already and was Grade 2 placed in March.
Racing is slowly returning around the world, with Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields, and Churchill Downs slated to open next week. Indiana Downs and Woodbine Racetrack are currently on track to open in June, with racing in Britain to return in May and racing in Ireland in June. French racing will return behind closed doors on May 11.