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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Cara Oliver’s Hear My Prayer looms large as the outside speed threat in Saturday’s $100,000 Ladies’ Turf Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
The Ladies’ Turf Sprint is a 5-furlong grass dash restricted to fillies and mares ages 4 and up. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on a 12-race card and has a local post time of 5:17 PM.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Ladies’ Turf Sprint:
1. Victory Kingdom 5/1 – She makes her second start of the form cycle after rallying strongly to finish second in the Abundantia Stakes over this course and distance on New Year’s Day. The Australian-bred raced in her home country until last summer, when she joined trainer Rudy Brisset. Her best effort since arriving was a neck defeat in the Ontario Fashion Stakes (G3).
2. A Bit of Both 9/2 – She makes her seasonal debut after finishing fifth in December’s Pan Zareta Stakes at Fair Grounds, her first defeat in 3 starts for current trainer Mike Maker. She won a pair of 5 1/2-furlong turf stakes and a 6-furlong synthetic stakes in 2019, and her career-best Beyer Speed Figure (90) came going 5 1/2 furlongs on Keeneland’s lawn in her debut for Maker.
3. Tracy Ann’s Legacy 12/1 – Perhaps the most consistent runner in the field has never missed the board in 8 starts over this course and distance, winning 3 of those including against optional claimers last December. She weakened to finish third after pressing the early pace in the Abundantia, and unfortunately, this field looks like it has even more speed signed on.
4. Double Medal 20/1 – She steps up to the stakes ranks despite an eighth-place finish over this course and distance against Florida-bred optional claimers, though in her defense, she had a terrible trip from start to finish. She rallied from last to finish third by 3/4 of a length in a similar race 1 month earlier behind a next-out winner, but this is a much tougher class test.
5. Miss Auramet 6/1 – She finished last of 10 in the Abundantia after getting bumped back at the start and forced to run wide while cornering, which hindered her normal front-running style. She’ll have a much better chance to win with a cleaner start, but there’s still a lot of speed drawn to her inside that may again force her to run awfully wide in the far turn.
6. Lagertha 8/1 – She won her first 2 career starts while racing in her native Chile, but her next 13 tries failed to put her back into the winner’s circle. She came stateside last summer and joined trainer Amador Sanchez, who cut her back to 5-furlong sprints for her 2 most recent efforts, both runner-up efforts against optional claimers. Sanchez hits at 25% in turf sprints.
7. Lady’s Island 5/2 – She gives turf a try for the first time since wiring optional/starter allowance rivals at Gulfstream Park West in October 2019, her only success on grass. She has a strong chance to pull the upset if Saturday’s expected rain forces this race onto the main track; she has a 9-6-1-1 record on wet dirt. She wired the Sugar Swirl Stakes (G3) last time out.
8. Hear My Prayer 3/1 – She returned from a 3-month break to whip some of these same rivals by 2 1/2 lengths in the Abundantia, her first start at age 4. She won all 3 prior starts over this course and distance, including the 2020 Melody of Colors Stakes, and she should have a chance to avenge her loss 2 starts back when her rail draw forced her to head straight to the lead.
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