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A week after visiting the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle following Hades’ 9-1 upset victory in the $250,000 Holy Bull (G3), trainer Joe Orseno and owner Robert Cotran will seek to notch another stakes victory with Eamonn in Saturday’s $125,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint.
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Eamonn, a four-time winner at Gulfstream around two turns on turf, is scheduled to meet six other older horses at the five-furlong distance on turf.
“We decided to make him a sprinter this year, and we’re going to stick by that,” Orseno said. “I know he’ll stretch out a little bit more, but I’m determined to make him a sprinter. He’s doing everything right and has done everything I’ve asked him to do,”
Eamonn had some success at sprint distances on turf last season, scoring a five-furlong overnight handicap victory at Gulfstream Park in May before capturing the 5 ½-furlong Select Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Less than four hours after Eamonn captured the Aug. 16 Select Stakes, Orseno reached the 2000-win milestone at Gulfstream Park with Lord Eddard Stark’s 21-1 upset victory in the program finale.
Eamonn returned from a freshening of nearly three months with a late-closing third-place finish in the five-furlong Janus Stakes Dec. 21 at Gulfstream Park.
“His last race, he didn’t miss by much. Unfortunately, I’m only going to get five-eighths here. I’m setting him up for races in the spring at Keeneland at five-and-a-half,” Orseno said. “As soon as he starts doing that, I think we’ll start to see a different horse.”
Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano has the mount aboard the 6-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile.
Golden Kernel Racing Stable’s Panther Island, who rallied to capture the Janus, is scheduled to seek his third straight victory since returning from a long layoff in the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint.
Leonel Reyes, who has been aboard for his two recent scores, has the return call on the Laura Cazares-trained 5-year-old son of Speightstown.
William Branch’s Carotari has been no stranger to Gulfstream Park’s winner’s circle, having won multiple stakes at the five-furlong distance, including the 2021 Janus. The Brian Lynch-trained 8-year-old gelding will make his 10th start on Gulfstream turf after going unplaced just once.
Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount on Carotari, who fell just a half-length short of catching Yes I Am Free in the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint last year.
James A Shannon Jr.’s That’s Right is scheduled to make his first start for trainer Jena Antonucci Saturday. The 5-year-old son of Goldencents, who won the Turf Monster (G3) last year, will be coming off a six-month layoff in the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint under Jorge Ruiz.
Edge Racing and Bren Malmstrom’s Heaven Street, Hammer Time Stable and SOK Racing’s Coppola and Kick Start Farm LLC’s Hope in Him round out the field.
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