Saturday’s feature at Gulfstream Park is the $75,000 Sunshine Forever, a 1 1/16-mile turf test that drew a solid field of 10 led by Appleton (G3) winner Social Paranoia.
The Mark Casse trained War of Will, the 2019 Preakness Stakes (G1) winner was set to go but will scratch according to his trainer. The colt will be pointed toward the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita later this month.
The Sunshine Forever is the ninth race on the card and part of the Jackpot 6 mandatory payout. The wager went unsolved Friday for the 12th consecutive racing day since an April 19 mandatory payout, leaving a carryover jackpot of $1,481,488.75 heading into Saturday’s 12-race program.
The pool could rise up to $6-$7 million. With just two thoroughbred racetracks in action this afternoon due to the pandemic, it would not be surprising to see the pool even higher.
The Todd Pletcher trained Social Paranoia is coming off a victory in the Appleton (G3) where he rallied form last to first under jockey Florent Geroux. It was his first start off a 6 1/2 month break.
Admission Office is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The five-year-old was the runner up in the Mac Diarmida (G2) in his last outing on Feb. 29. Jockey Joel Rosario has the call for trainer Brian Lynch.
I am looking for some value and landed on El Tormenta, last year’s Woodbine Mile (G1) upset winner. He faded to finish 12th last out in the Appleton in his first start off the bench.
Let’s head out to Gulfstream Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Gulfstream Park Race 9 The Sunshine Forever Post time 4:59 ET
3 El Tormenta 12-1
9 Social Paranoia 3-1
11 Admission Office 5-2
6 Halladay 4-1
This gelding pulled off a shocker in the Woodbine Mile (G1) last September at 44-1. He followed that up with a sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) where he prompted the early pace and weakening to finish 4 ½ lengths back of the winner. Last out in his return race off the bench here in the Appleton (G3) he drew a tough spot and was away last. He rushed up to grab the lead as they headed into the back stretch and he was done by the far turn. It was his first start off a 4 ½ month break. The blinkers come off and he figures to be more settled here as he was in his big win at Woodbine. Looks capable of moving forward second off the bench and is going to be a generous price in this spot.
The Pletcher trainee came from last to first to win the Appleton in his first start off a 6 ½ month layoff. He graduated here last year and he won just one of his next five starts but ran well in all, his win coming in the Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs. He earned a career top speed fig in his win last out and the extra half furlong here suits him. The colt will get some pace to run at as well. As good as Pletcher is off the bench his numbers do drop quite a bit with runners making their second start off a +180-day layoff, hitting at just a 12% clip.
The five-year-old earned a career top speed fig in his runner up finish in the Mac Diarmida (G2). The Lunch trainee was reserved near the back of the pack early, came with a good move and took over the lead but could not go with the talented Zulu Alpha late, beaten a length for the top spot while nearly four lengths clear of the third place finisher Sadler’s Joy. He is now 0 for 7 in takes races, landing in the money in six of those outings. He is cutting back in distance here while drawing a tough post. His best puts him in the mix, but his price may end up on the light side.