The feature race on Saturday's Attheraces Stateside is The Gulfstream Park Sprint (Grade 3). It features the return of a Grade 1 winner and a runner who could be destined for the top. Mind Your Biscuits proved his Breeders' Cup third was no fluke when taking down The Grade 1 Malibu in December. Unified hasn't won at the highest level yet but he has only had four races. He missed the second half of his three year old season and may be a contender for the top sprint/mile events in 2017.
The Gulfstream Park Sprint is the last of seven stakes and allowance events from two venues featured.
PAUL'S ANALYSIS FROM Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park
Saturday 25 February 2017
Aqueduct Race 3 (7.20pm)
Allowance Optional Claiming - New York bred - 4 year olds and upwards - 1 1/16 Miles - Dirt
Cause I'm Alex (4) has run two nice races since returning to New York. In the latest, he ran third in a similar event to this. He finished half a length in front of the pacesetting The J Y (2) with the late running Vincento (6) a never nearer fourth. That level of form looks on a par with Papa Shot (3). He was first past the post in five races at Finger Lakes from September to November. The five year has ran two big starts since coming here including an entry level allowance victory.
Riff Raff (5) may be the play at the likely odds here. He's been one paced in a pair of sprints since his only two turn start on dirt. In that event, he was hung wide around the turns and faded. He was a winner over a flat mile last year and is bred to stay.
Riff Raff (5)
Gulfstream Park Race 6 (7.30pm)
The Texas Glitter - A stake for 3 year olds - 5 Furlongs - Turf
There is plenty of early speed signed on. That may mean the class dropping Derek's Smile (6) is compromised on his return to the turf. It should favour Squadron (2) and Uncle B (3). The first named faded after setting the pace in a Grade 3 over an extended seven furlongs last month. The stakes winner over a mile is not short of natural pace. Neither is Uncle B. He won a restricted stake at Ocala in January and had some fine form on Tapeta at Woodbine. He may be worth siding with on his turf debut to get first run on Squadron.
Santini (1) posted a big speed figure when winning on debut last month. He has worked well since. Lack of experience and a rail draw is not always a productive combination. Strictly on speed figures, he's right up there.
Uncle B (3)
Reversed Exacta (2 bets): Squadron (2) and Uncle B (3)
Aqueduct Race 5 (8.20pm)
Allowance (entry level) - 4 year olds and upwards - 6 Furlongs - Dirt
The former Californian based Alright Alright (1) has really come to life since he ran in blinkers. He has won back to back races by an aggregate of 15 lengths. The five year old is wheeled back six days after a starter allowance victory and trainer David Jacobson elects to use a seven pound claimer. His chances of a hat-trick may depend on clearing fellow speedster Rectify (6) early on.
A speed duel up front and Divine Interventio (7) and Rich 'n' Tuck (5) are threats in deep stretch. The former is a progressive four year old. He ran second in a productive event last month where the winner and two beaten horses were successful next time out. He and Rich 'n' Tuck are deep closers. The last named only won a middle range claimer last time but he was much the best after finding all kinds of trouble late on. He has performed well at this level in the past.
Sat in between the pace brigade and the stretch runners will be Do Share (4). He is on a hat-trick after a claiming and a starter allowance win. His speed figures stack up well with the best of these. He could be the trip horse too.
Do Share (4)
Gulfstream Park Race 10 (9.35pm)
Allowance Optional Claiming - 4 year olds and upwards - 1 1/16 Miles - Turf
The comebacking Highland Sky (12) is the most interesting runner in here. As a three year old, he won a stake at Aqueduct last April. He followed that up with back to back Grade 3 and Grade 1 neck defeats to Camelot Kitten and Deauville. The worry with him the last of those starts was in July. He was been working super but this allowance event is not his target but he'll have to be near his best to win it.
Ice Cutter (5) has been freshened up since a neck defeat in December where he was clear of the third Dujac (1). He is in to be claimed for $62,500. As connections could lose him today, he is likely to be readied for this. He gets the nod in a competitive event over Zennor (7). The Godolphin owned five year won at the level below this on his local debut. He is progressing with racing.
Strike Midnight (11) has had a diet of seven straight stakes races since winning last June. He has by and large run well in most of them. He is worth a look on the class drop.
Ice Cutter (5)
Aqueduct Race 8 (9.50pm)
The Busher - A stake for 3 year old fillies - 1 1/16 Miles - Dirt
Yorkiepoo Princess ((3) has won her last three starts on dirt, two of them stakes. In the latest, she slammed Tiz Rae Anna (1), Banty's Girl (6) and a below form Bride Street (9) by seven plus lengths. That was over six furlongs. She did break her maiden by a dozen lengths over a one turn mile but was on off the turf event and she had only three rivals. Irad Ortiz Jr. is perfect in a trio of rides on her. The only question is her stamina.
There are some interesting and talented last time out maiden winners. Full House (5) may have benefitted from a good rail when she graduated. She did it by almost 14 lengths and the speed figure she earned is the highest in here. Not as high nor visually impressive was Spanish Harlem (8). It came on her second and she overcame a slow pace up front to get there late.
Tiz Rude (2) beat next time out winner Thirstforthecup (7) by almost three lengths to break her maiden last month. She looks a better filly than the one who lost to No Sweat (10) by a nose in November. She seems to be on the upgrade and draws well here.
Tiz Rude (2)
Gulfstream Park Race 11 (10.05pm)
The Melody Of Colors - A stake for 3 year old fillies - 5 Furlongs - Turf
Irish Fix (3) showed improved early speed and improved form when wiring a field of maiden claimers by four lengths over course and distance. She has the best form of the locals but others in here have had less chances. Morticia (6) broke her maiden second time out, six months after her debut. Attyia (7) made it back to back victories when edging out Richie's Sister (10) in an allowance event in December.
The locals are not unbeatable and there are a trio of who started their careers off in The UK entered. The former Richard Hannon trained Somebody To Love (9) never showed in a stake over further on her US debut. She was as usual off slowly. Her former stable mate Grizzel (5) was on the fringes many times in decent company in the second half of her juvenile season. She looks interesting under Jose Ortiz. So does Fields of Song (2). She progressed nicely in half a dozen starts for Kevin Ryan last year. Her first start Stateside was an inauspicious one, boring out on both turns. This shorter distance may be what she wants. If her waywardness was just a one off, she is a player at a big price here.
Fields of Song (2)
Combination Exacta (6 bets): Fields of Song (2), Irish Fix (3) and Grizzel (5)
Gulfstream Park Race 12 (10.35pm)
The Gulfstream Park Sprint (Grade 3) - 4 year olds and upwards - 6 ½ Furlongs - Dirt
Mind Your Biscuits (6) inproved towards the end of his three year old season. In his last two starts of 2017 he ran third in The Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint and won The Grade 1 Malibu both at Santa Anita. The runner up that day Sharp Azteca was a big winner of a Grade 2 here next time. Mind Your Biscuits didn't lag as far behind in his last start as he normally does. That may be crucial to his chances here as there is unlikely to be a complete pace meltdown.
Delta Bluesman (2) may find himself on the lead on his own. That was the case when losing by half a length to Early Entry (4) in a stake on his return last month. That victory meant the winner is now perfect in four starts at Gulfstream. He is a late bloomer and may not get the respect in the market he deserves.
Squadron A (5) has one standout effort to his name when running down Delta Bluesman to win a Grade 3 on New Year's Day. He is pretty exposed. That's not the case with Unified (1). He has only had four career starts. He lost his unbeaten record in a Grade 3 at Monmouth last June. Lack of a race since suggests he must have had a physical issue. Prior to that, he won a Grade 2 over nine furlongs and maybe more importantly, a Grade 3 over seven. He has natural pace and is proven fresh. He's been working really well for some time now. He will get first run on Mind Your Biscuits and could hold him off if back to his best.