Quijote makes debut as leader in stakes race
The first of 10 stakes races catered to older Florida bred horses this summer will be run Saturday at Gulfstream Park with the inaugural running of the $100,000 Big Drama Stakes.
Afield of 10 geldings has drawn into the 7-furlong affair with no clear cut favorite. Quijote will start the day with the shortest odds at 4-1. The 4-year-old will be making his career debut at Gulfstream and his first start for trainer Armando De la cerda.
His most recent victory came in a 5 ½-furlong allowance race at the Fair Grounds in January that was pulled fromthe turf to the dirt and scratched down to a three horse field. Quijote will be seeking his first career stakes victory with meet leading jockey Tyler Gaffalione aboard.
Just behind at 9-2 sits French Quarter, who will also be seeking his first stakes win. His most recent win came at Gulfstream at 6-furlongs in March in allowance company. French Quarter will be saddled by David Fawkes, who will have extra motivation to win as he was the trainer of the race’s Frens namesake.
Abounding Legacy, at 5-1, is coming off of an April 23 win in a Gulfstream allowance race, where he edged French Quarterby a neck. Richard the Great finished a halflength back for show in that race. He will go to post in the Big Drama at 6-1 as will Wildcat Wish. Rounding out the field is Souper Lucky, Mo Cash, Hy Riverside, Aces for John and Very Very Stella.
The Big Drama kicks off the FHBPA/Gulfstream Park Spring/Summer Stakes Series. The series substitutes for the nowdefunct 3-year-old divisions of the Florida Sire Stakes, which for two years were conducted concurrently with the long-standing 2-year-old divisions.
The juvenile divisions will continue to be contested at Gulfstream, but earlier this month the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association announced that two new Florida Sire Stakes races for 3-year-olds will be run at Tampa Bay Downs in December.
Gulfstream will be hosting a Preakness Party Saturday as Florida Derby winner Always Dreaming will attempt to capture the second jewel in racing’s Triple Crown.
Individuals who purchase aDaily Racing Form or a Gulfstream Handicapper on track will receive a free Preakness Tshirt. Black-Eyed Susan cocktails will be available in an official Preakness glass for $10 and Ten Palms restaurant will offer a special Preakness buffet for $59.
Fans will be able to watch and wager on the entire day’s race card from Pimlico.
First post at the Baltimore track is at 10:30 a.m. with the Preakness scheduled to go off at 6:48 p.m.
First post at Gulfstream is 1p.m.