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Gulfstream Park 4/17 Race 2 Preview: Juvenile Boys to Take First Steps of 2020
Trainer Wesley Ward is as ready as anyone for the 2020 juvenile racing season to begin (Credit: Coglianese Photo)

Gulfstream Park 4/17 Race 2 Preview: Juvenile Boys to Take First Steps of 2020

A day after sending out his filly Lime in the year’s first race for 2-year-olds, trainer Wesley Ward will saddle the well-bred Golden Pal in the first juvenile males event of 2020. The boys will go off in the second on a 10-race card with a local post time of 1:34 PM Eastern.

To no one’s surprise, Golden Pal is the 7/5 morning line favorite, and not just because of Ward’s prowess with juveniles. His sire, Uncle Mo, won all three starts at that age, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), en route to being named the Champion 2 Year Old Colt of 2010.

“He’s very fast,” Ward said of Golden Pal. “Obviously, pedigree-wise, he’s a lot stronger than the filly (Lime) on that side of things. But they’re equally as talented; they’re both very fast, very forward, very smart, and very well-schooled, being at different tracks. They’re going to bring their ‘A’ games to the races.”

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1. Hall Rich Legacy (20/1) – Owner Jamdown Stable is hoping for a quick return on the $1,000 paid last October for this son of Field Commission, who has produced winners from 10% of his first-time juvenile starters. A steady string of recent works suggest that Hall Rich Legacy is ready to be trainer Seymour Bennett’s first-ever juvenile runner.

2. Testified (20/1) – Three straight breezes from the gate seem to have Testified prepared for his unveiling. Even if this son of Admiral Kitten does not win here, pay close attention to him moving forward: trainer Angel Rodriguez has triumphed in 21% of his 2-year-old entries over the past five years.

3. Gatsby (7/2) – Heading into this week, trainer Juan Alvarado is winless in 12 starts over the past five years with debuting 2-year-olds, but that has not stopped him from entering Gatsby after several strong recent local works. Riding the Arindel homebred is Emisael Jaramillo, who is 25% with a $3.55 ROI since 2019 when riding for Alvarado at Gulfstream Park.

4. Peppi (6/1) – Those looking for value on Friday may look to Peppi, one of two Shadybrook Farm homebreds debuting in this race for trainer Michael Yates. This son of Cajun Breeze will hope to improve upon his sire’s 8% success rate with first-time juvenile starters, though if he misses, note that Cajun Breeze juveniles win 18% overall.

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5. Just Right Mike (9/2) – The other half of the Shadybrook Farm/Yates contingency, Just Right Mike worked heads up with Peppi most recently, with each son of Cajun Breeze posting a co-best-of-32 time of :35.00 for 3 furlongs. In the past five years, the Yates barn has won 13% with first-time starters and 16% with 2-year-olds, though only 8% when those juveniles are unveiling.

6. Poseidons Myth (20/1) – Owner/trainer Lester Barbazon III has yet to run over dirt, having posted three recorded works over the all-weather track at the Ocala Training Center prior to his debut. Foals of his sire, Poseidon’s Warrior, win just 5% as first-time 2-year-old starters, and neither of Poseidons Myth’s older siblings won as juveniles, so he will have a tough mountain to climb on Friday.

7. Golden Pal (7/5) – He is the deserving favorite based on a combination of his connections, a strong work pattern leading up to his career debut, and his stellar pedigree. His dam, Lady Shipman, won her second start at age 2, captured a total of 11 stakes in her career, and missed winning the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) by a neck. All signs point to him being ready to fire; just do not expect anything close to 7/5 when he breaks from the gate.

8. First Navy Admiral (6/1) – This Jacks or Better Farm homebred is a son of third-crop sire Fort Loudon, who has yet to send a single 2-year-old to the winner’s circle, but his grandsire, Awesome of Course, has seen his juvenile foals win 19% of their career debuts. First Navy Admiral comes from the same family as Awesome Feather (by Awesome of Course), whose initial start at age 2 began a 10-race win streak that included the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).

9. Bailey (6/1) (Also Eligible) – This son of Brethren will have to luck into another rival scratching in order to make the entrance gate, but if he does, he has a shot at a price. Brethren debut juvenile offspring hit at a 6% rate and his full older sister, Awesome Mass, earned a career-best 80 Beyer speed figure when she broke her maiden at third asking as a youngster. Also, because he has the same connections as Gatsby, if that colt scratches so that Bailey can run, watch out.

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