The weekend before Preakness Day has an action packed card at tracks throughout the US. Santa Anita Park, Belmont Park, Gulfstream Park, and Delaware Park all have notable stakes events on offer. Gulfstream Park is the biggest draw of the day. It’s been a while since Gulfstream has been the center of attention. Since the Florida Derby, Gulfstream Park has taken a backseat for the most part.
They haven’t stopped racing since this whole pandemic started, though. They have that going for them. I can’t recall a day that Gulfstream Park has taken off or forced to take off when sports were closed in March. They got some push back from local officials in Hallandale Beach, but nothing happened from it.
There are six stakes races at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, with two events worth $400,000 and the next biggest a $150,000 event. The $400,000 purses are the biggest of the day in North America. There are 11 races on the agenda in Hallandale Beach with a total of $1,334,000 available. Head below for our free Gulfstream Park picks for September 26, 2020.
Race 6 – Wildcat Heir Stakes
Post Time: 2:50 p.m. EST
We’ll start at Gulfstream Park with the running of the $150,000 Wildcat Heir Stakes in Race 6 on Saturday afternoon. We should have an entertaining battle between Jackson and Noble Drama in the stretch here. Jackson draws the No. 1 post position for Cristian Torres. Jackson is 6 for 17 in his career and coming off a layoff.
His last appearance was in the $75,000 Sir Shackleton Stakes (Black Type) on March 28. That didn’t go well, as Jackson finished last for 8th in the 7-furlong race. It was a much different story in his race before that bad showing. Jackson was a winner in the $100,000 World of Trouble Sprint Stakes (Gr. 3) on February 22.
He was a ¾ length winner as an underdog. Leading up to that win, Jackson won the $125,000 Marion County Florida Sire Stakes (Black Type) and 3rd in the $100,000 Sunshine Millions Spring STakes (Black Type). Jackson was in great form in 5-furlong workouts in the morning with recorded times of 59.25, 58.63, and 59.25 seconds.
He is coming off a 6-furlong workout with a time of 1:14.00 on September 19. It’s highly unlikely we see the same horse that had nothing to give and finished last in March. Noble Drama will be his biggest threat after what we saw on September 6. He is 6 for 21 in his career and fresh off a win on September 6.
Noble Drama was a 2 ½ length winner in the $75,000 Benny the Bull Stakes (Black Type). That was his first win since January 18 in the Sunshine Millions. He went 6th, 2nd, 6th, 2nd before snapping the skid on September 19. Noble Drama recently completed 4 furlongs in 49.11, 50.11, and 49.78 seconds. Nice horse, but I think there should be better value to be had on Jackson on his reappearance. He’s capable of a lot more than we saw in March.
Race 7 – Hollywood Beach Stakes
Post Time: 3:22 p.m. EST
We’re on the turf for the $75,000 Hollywood Beach Stakes in Race 7. There is a 40% chance of rain in Hallandale Beach today, so it could be moved to the main track if the grass is too much of a mess. If it goes to the dirt, then Tiger should be ready to pounce. However, a race on the turf should benefit Big Daddy Dave and Designed by Kitten.
Designed by Kitten is coming off an impressive debut and is poised to have a nice career. She was a 1 ¼ length winner over War Empress in her debut in a $126,800 maiden event at Woodbine in July. She was a slight favorite in that race and proved to be the best horse. For a $50,000 purchase last September, I think that Designed by Kitten has a good chance of surpassing those expectations in her career.
She looked good in two recent workouts, with recorded times of 47.90 seconds and 49 seconds at 4 furlongs in September. Expect her to run close with an opportunity to grab the win. Big Daddy Dave will likely give the filly the biggest scare in Race 7. He was in good form as a first-time runner in May, with a 2 ¾ length winner over Boomer in a $65,000 maiden event.
Big Daddy Dave made his stakes debut on August 29 in the $200,000 Affirmed Stakes and made his presence felt. He placed 2nd to beat seven horses, only falling to Breeze On By. Breeze On By is a really strong horse, so no shame in that loss. This should be an easier assignment than the Affirmed Stakes. Look for Big Daddy Dave to emerge with the win.
Race 10 – In Reality Stakes
Post Time: 4:59 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
The $400,000 In Reality Stakes is one of three feature events at Gulfstream Park on Saturday afternoon. It should be a good one with a pretty good field on the dirt for the 1 1/16 mile race. There is a fairly noticeable gap between Seazan and the rest of the field, though. Seazan runs out of the No. 9 post, so the young gelding will have to fight through from the outside.
He’s a three-time starter with finishes of 2nd, 1st, 3rd. Seazan placed 2nd in his debut on June 10 in a $44,000 maiden claiming race, and then followed up to win on August 1 by a length for a $65,000 purse. He made his stakes debut in his most recent showing on August 29. It was a decent effort by Seazan to get into the money for 3rd in the $200,000 Affirmed Stakes.
Nice effort to beat the majority of the field, but Big Daddy Dave and Breeze On By had no problems handling him.Big Daddy Dave was 2 ½ lengths up on Seazan, while Breeze On By blew them all out for a 7 ½ length win. In other words, Breeze On By had a 10 length advantage on Seazan. For a $10,000 purchase, Seazan is certainly exceeding expectations to be finishing in the top-3 in a $200,000 stakes race. Expect him to be involved in the stretch and pick up some of the prize money.
Breeze On By is a perfect 3 for 3 in his career with two stakes wins in the $100,000 Dr. Fager Stakes on August 1. He got that win by a length, and then followed up for the blowout win over Big Daddy Dave and Seazan on August 29. Breeze On By should be able to control this event and pull away in the stretch.