In about the same time it would take to sing “Oh Canada”, the Dale Romans – trained Little Mike could go wire to wire in the Gr.3 Canadian Turf Stakes at Gulfstream on Saturday. Going a mile on the turf, Little Mike is back to defend his title. The race drew 32 nominees, but only 8 will start.
Drawn outside, expect the Spanish Steps Florida-bred gelding to get to the front , clear the field and play his favorite game of “catch me if you can.”
Others in the field are:
1. Doubles Partner is a Gr.2, winning 5 year old well-bred son of Rock Hard Ten. He has been on the shelf for 10 months, but should come back running. He will lay mid pack and will be looking to get up in the final strides.
2. Mutual Trust is a Group 3 winner in France. His comment line for his maiden breaking win in a 15 horse field says “brilliant win.” The Juddmonte homebred came right back to win 3 more in a row and was then thrown to the wolves in a Group 1 at Deauville. In that race, where the spectacular Goldikova finished 2nd, he was “hampered” and “eased.”He was freshened and sent here, to run with Lasix and he ran in the Gr 3 Ft Lauderdale, attending a slow pace, and with trouble, still only was beaten by 1& ¾ lengths. He has worked several times since then and is a threat to spoil Little Mike’s party.
3. Beau Choix is another coming back after a 6 month break .He is working well but might be in a little tough.
4. Data Link is definitely a “horse for course”, with 3 wins from 3 starts. He is taking a step up into Stakes Company for the first time, and his trainer is good at spotting his horses. He has a good chance with his closing kick.
5. Trend is another very consistent horse entering Stakes competition for the first time. Looks like a tough spot for him.
6. Seruni ‘s connections could well be praying for rain so the race can come off the turf. This would be his best shot.
7. Perfect Footprint is a nice enough horse, but seems overmatched in here.
Little Mike (#8) is the lone speed in here, and that is always dangerous. If he clears and is not challenged early, he can certainly take them all the way. Mutual Trust, Doubles Partner and Data Link will all be coming late. But I will be hoping that Little Mike holds on. He owns the turf course at Gulfstream and another good effort should give him his second Canadian Turf Stakes win.
I am always happy to be part of ThoroFan's Handicapping Corner. As always, check the weather, the course conditions any scratches or changes and always be sure to watch the post parade before making your final wagering selections.
For a whimsical look at Little Mike, visit artist Marcy Leonard’s dailyracefunnies.