Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
The $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) will headline Saturday’s 14-race program featuring 10 stakes, six of them graded, worth $2.2 million in purses at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. The 71st running of Gulfstream’s tradition-rich Triple Crown prep race will also anchor the all-stakes sequences of the 20-cent Rainbow 6, the Late Pick 5, and the Late Pick 4.
The Rainbow 6 gross jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $750,000 Saturday after going unsolved Friday for the 12th racing day in a row since the jackpot was hit for a $342,836.75 payoff.
The pools for both the Late Pick 5 (Races 10-14) and the Late Pick 4 (Races 11-14) will be guaranteed at $750,000.
The Curlin Florida Derby in Race 14 will feature a clash between Antonio Sano-trained Simplification, who captured the March 5 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream by 3 ½ lengths, and Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained White Abarrio, who returns to action for the first time since soundly defeating Simplification in the Feb. 5 Holy Bull (G3). Brian Lynch-trained Classic Causeway, who is coming off victories in the Sam F. Davis (G3) and Tampa Bay Derby (G2), is slated to tune up for a planned start in the May 7 Kentucky Derby in the 1 1/8-mile Curlin Florida Derby. Mark Casse-trained Pappacap, who finished second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), Todd Pletcher-conditioned Charge It, who is coming off a dazzling maiden win; and Gustavo Delgado-trained O Captain, who finished a late-closing third in the Fountain of Youth, are also prominent entrants in a field of 11 3-year-olds.
The Rainbow 6 sequence (Races 9-14) will be kicked off by the $200,000 Pan American (G2), a 1 ½-mile turf stakes featuring the 2022 debut of multiple Grade 1-winning Gufo. The Christophe Clement-trained son of Declaration of War, who won the Sword Dancer (G1) at Saratoga last year and the Belmont Invitational (G1) in 2020, is 3-for-3 over the Gulfstream Park turf. Pletcher-trained Abaan, who captured the Jan. 29 McKnight (G3), will seek to rebound from a troubled fourth-place finish in the Mar 5 Mac Diarmida (G2). Michael Maker-trained Temple, who captured the Mac Diarmida, also returns in the Pan American.
The $100,000 Sir Shackleton presented by New Holland, a seven-furlong stakes that will kick off the Late Pick 5 in Race 10, drew a field of nine older horses, including Bill Mott-trained Fortin Hill, the 5-2 morning line favorite who finished second in a March 4 optional claiming allowance in his first start since running in the 2020 Forego (G1) at Saratoga. Carlos David-trained Quick Tempo will try to make it two in a row off the $62,500 claim, while Joseph-trained Collaborate will wear blinkers for the first time following a disappointing effort in the Gulfstream Park Mile (G2).
The $100,000 Sanibel Island, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies that will kick off the Late Pick 4, follows in Race 11. Mott-trained Mischievous Kiss, who finished third while coming off a four-month layoff in the Herecomesthebride (G3), is rated as the 2-1 morning-line favorite in an evenly matched field of 10 fillies.
In Race 12, the $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), a 1 1/16-mile prep for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on Kentucky Derby eve at Churchill Downs, will be headlined by Shug McGaughey-trained undefeated Kathleen O., the 4-5 favorite in a field of seven 3-year-old fillies who tries two turns for the first time after winning the mile Davona Dale (G1) and Cash Run in her last two starts. Pletcher-trained Goddess of Fire, who finished a close second in the Feb. 19 Rachel Alexandra (G2) at Fair Grounds, is slated to make her Gulfstream debut in the Gulfstream Park Oaks.
The $100,000 Kitten’s Joy Appleton (G3), a mile turf race for older horses in Race 13, may well be designated as a ‘spread’ race by many bettors. The Brian Lynch-trained 3-1 morning-line favorite, Phantom Currency, is scheduled to make his first start since winning the 2021 Mac Diarmida. Graham Motion-trained English Bee, graded stakes-placed in two of his last three starts, is rated second at 7-2.
There will be a mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 pool Sunday, the final racing day of the 2021-2022 Championship Meet.
The Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot is usually only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool usually goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool. However, on mandatory-payout days, the entire pool is paid out to the bettor or bettors with the most winners in the six-race sequence.
The $100,000 Orchid (G3), a 1 ½-mile turf races for older fillies and mares, will be the first of 10 stakes in Race 3. The 57th running of the Orchid will feature Brendan Walsh-trained Family Way, who came up a little short in her 2022 debut while finishing second the the March 5 The Very One (G3), and Beautiful Lover, the La Prevoyante (G3) winner two starts back. The $100,000 Sanibel Island, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds, will be run as Race 5, followed by the $100,000 Ghostzapper (G3) in Race 6. Pletcher-trained Fearless, coming off second-place finishes Fred W. Hooper (G3) and Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) and McGaughey-trained Greatest Honour, the 2021 Fountain of Youth winner who returns to Gulfstream for his second start off a long layoff, are among the top contenders in the 1 1/8-mile stakes for older horses. The $100,000 Sand Springs, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for older fillies and mares, is carded as Race 7.