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Gulfstream Park 5/7 Race 6 Preview: Octet of Florida-Bred Maidens Set to Sprint
Sandys Blaze (2) just misses to Nanahcub (5) by a neck in a MSW at Gulfstream Park on September 14, 2019 (Credit: Coglianese Photos)

Gulfstream Park 5/7 Race 6 Preview: Octet of Florida-Bred Maidens Set to Sprint

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – A group of eight Florida-bred maiden males ages 3 and up will sprint 6 furlongs on Thursday, May 7, as they seek to find the winner’s circle for the first time.

Five of the eight entries are homebreds, and all are competing for the victor’s chunk of the $41k purse. Here is a preview of the full field:

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1. Celtic Brotherhood (9/5) – The morning line favorite nearly got the job done on debut, breaking from the rail and setting the pace here on March 21 over the same course and distance against state-breds. Though he was outkicked late, jockey Luis Saez will likely employ similar tactics as last time – send from the gate and try to hold on late.

2. Carson and I (20/1) – One of two elder statesmen in the field, the 4-year-old son of Temple City made it to the gate just once in 2019 and never got out of last while sprinting at Laurel Park. New trainer Richard Ralph is winless in 21 dirt starts in the past year, but his damsire is the 2004 Kentucky Derby (G1) champion Smarty Jones, so he has talent in his bloodlines.

3. Grainger County (9/2) – The Jacks or Better Farm homebred will make his debut here after putting together four recent local works. Trainer Ralph Nicks and jockey Emisael Jaramillo have won 23% of their shared mounts dating back to the start of 2019.

4. Halo’s Dance (12/1) – He was a well-beaten fourth when debuting over this same course and distance against state-breds on April 12, though that may have been due to a rival knocking him sideways at the start. Owner/trainer Ernesto Ochoa is still seeking his first victory of 2020, though his barn’s other two starters finished second and third, respectively.

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5. Victory Town (2/1) – The Live Oak Plantation homebred has shown strong improvement as a 3-year-old, finishing third and second over this same course and distance. Tyler Gaffalione will be aboard for the third straight time for trainer Mark Casse, who is 5 for 16 over the past three years with older horses making the third start off of a lengthy layoff.

6. Chamberlain (12/1) – The Triple Crown-nominated Arindel homebred failed to finish better than eighth or within 10 lengths of the winner in a pair of local starts last year. Trainer Juan Alvarado has won 8 of 28 starts at the current meet, and with jockey Edgard Zayas in the saddle, his barn has won 5 of 31 Gulfstream Park starts since the beginning of 2019.

7. Sandys Blaze (8/1) – The Dr. Myron Wilson homebred just missed by a neck in his debut (seen above), a 7-furlong dirt sprint here last September against a field of Florida-breds that included a pair of next-out winners. He closed from over 8 lengths back to get the place in that event, so with this shorter distance, he will need to get involved earlier as he makes his debut for new trainer Antonio Sano.

8. Ominous (20/1) – The second of two Arindel homebreds running for trainer Juan Alvarado in this spot, Ominous finished a non-threatening seventh while running for a $12.5k tag over this same course and distance on April 25. Alvarado is adding blinkers to the 5-year-old gelded son of Scat Daddy and will leg up Fanny Olsson for the mount.

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