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Mr. Prospector Preview: Haikal Returns Against Salty Group
Haikal winning the 2019 Jimmy Winkfield (Credit: NYRA / Chelsea Durand)

Mr. Prospector Preview: Haikal Returns Against Salty Group

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Shadwell Stable homebred Haikal, off since February’s Gulfstream Park Mile (G2), returns against a salty group drawn for Saturday’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

The Mr. Prospector is a 7-furlong dirt sprint open to horses 3 and up. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on an 11-race card and has a local post time of 4:43 PM.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Mr. Prospector:

1. Lasting Legacy 15/1 – His connections tagged him for $80k out of a rallying fourth-place finish in a Keeneland optional claiming event and brought him right back for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), where he finished ninth. Tough local jockey Paco Lopez has won all 4 prior starts aboard the 6-year-old intact son of Tapizar, as well as 8 of his past 31 rides for trainer Bob Hess Jr.

2. Cool Arrow 12/1 – A 3-time stakes winner heading into 2020, he won a pair of local 6-furlong dirt stakes tries this past summer after returning to Terri Pompay’s barn. Pompay lost him for $62.5k last December but claimed him right back for the same amount out of his next start and will leg up Edgard Zayas; she and Zayas have won 2 of their past 7 shared mounts.

3. Wind of Change 30/1 – The Brazilian-bred intact son of Forestry won 4 straight stakes before leaving his homeland last winter, then wired optional claimers in a local one-turn dirt mile in his second stateside start. He missed by just a head in August’s 7-furlong Russell Road Stakes at Charles Town and should be on the muscle in his first start after 3 months away.

4. Haikal 6/1 – His fifth-place finish in the Gulfstream Park Mile was his first time running off the board in 7 career starts, but he won 3 straight earlier including the 2019 Jimmy Winkfield Stakes and Gotham Stakes (G3). His first start for new trainer Todd Pletcher comes with Luis Saez in the saddle; Saez’s current jockey agent is Kiaran McLaughlin, Haikal’s former trainer.

5. Majestic Dunhill 10/1 – He makes another try at the graded stakes level after finishing last of seven in the Fall Highweight Handicap (G3), though he lost all chance while fussing in the starting gate. He won the Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) 2 starts back while much more forwardly-placed and has the tactical speed to run well wherever he falls – as long as he breaks well.

6. Last Judgment 20/1 – The Florida-bred 4-year-old gelding returns to Gulfstream Park after trainer Mike Maker claimed him for $62.5k out of a 6 1/2-furlong optional claiming score at Belmont Park. He’s only hit the board once in 5 prior stakes tries, a well-beaten third against his own kind in the Big Drama over this course and distance in May.

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7. Diamond Oops 3/1 – The multi-talented 5-year-old gelding has won graded stakes on both turf and dirt, including last year’s running of this race that he took by 1 length over Lasting Legacy and four other rivals. He’s won 5 of 8 starts over the local dirt and finished sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint after winning the Phoenix Stakes (G2) in his start prior.

8. Sleepy Eyes Todd 5/1 – He makes his Gulfstream Park debut seeking his fifth stakes score and second straight following the 7-furlong Lafayette at Keeneland on the Breeders’ Cup Saturday undercard. He won August’s Charles Town Classic (G2) for his first graded score and trainer Miguel Silva historically repeats 16% of the time with last-out winners.

9. Firenze Fire 5/2 – The classiest runner in the field has won a total of 11 stakes dating back to his juvenile season in 2017, which includes at least 2 scores each year. The Mr Amore Stable homebred has continued to thrive after leaving Jason Servis’ pharmacy stable in February and won the Vosburgh (G2) prior to finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint last out.

10. Ebben 20/1 – He won 3 straight this summer between Churchill Downs and Ellis Park, all with returning rider Corey Lanerie in the saddle, and finished fourth in the Lafayette last time out. That day, he was just a 1/2-length behind the runner-up True Timber, who returned to win the Cigar Mile (G1), but he’s yet to hit the board in 8 prior stakes attempts.

11. Zenden 30/1 – He sheds the blinkers for his third start of the form cycle and with current trainer Carlos David, who has 1 win from his past 5 tries when making similar equipment changes. His first 2 career starts – both wins – came over this course in 2018 and he nearly wired January’s Fred W. Hooper (G3) before finishing second by 1 length in the local mile-long try.

12. Mind Control 15/1 – The multiple Grade 1-winning sprinter is still seeking his first victory since March’s Tom Fool Handicap (G3), a win that pushed him into millionaire status. He scratched out of the Cigar Mile due to the unfavorable wet conditions, but he should get a much drier, faster surface Saturday. He’s won 4 of 9 tries at this distance and makes his local debut here.

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