by Jerry Shottenkirk
March 24, 2018
While the longer stakes get the notoriety since they lead to bigger and better things, the sprints at Gulfstream Park also lure those that bring a lot to the table, and we’ll see several of those in the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes this afternoon.
It’s a short field of six but it’s a promising group, and some are stakes winners. Also seem suited for the six furlongs.
Impact Player, a Todd Pletcher trainee with a clear affinity for the local strip is the 9-to-5 favorite. He was winless in three starts in New York last fall, but broke his maiden in his first Gulfstream start but really improved in his second start and won a seven-furlong optional claiming race by 7 1-4 lengths.
Any Pletcher 3-year-old must be respected, but this is not a gimme by any stretch of the imagination. Four of the six starters are in play on the suggested Pick 4 ticket.
Tricks to Doo and Soutache enter with stakes wins. Tricks to Doo, an Arnaud Delacour trainee who was a $600,000 purchase as a 2-year-old, romped by 7 1-4 lengths in the Inaugural Stakes at Tampa and while winless in one Gulfstream start, that attempt came against big-time foes when he was fourth in the Swale Stakes. Strike Power won the Swale and followed with a good effort in the Fountain of Youth.
Soutache, trained by Ralph Nicks, broke his maiden against open company and later won pair of stakes races against Florida-restricted foes. He makes his first start of the year but has signaled his readiness with a long list of good works.
Madison’s Luna, trained by Philip Bauer, has made only one start, but it was impressive as he scored a professional 1 1-4-length length in a 6.5-furlong maiden race at Tampa. He went the distance in an ultra-rapid 1:15 3-5 and runner-up was 10 1-4-lengths ahead of the third horse.
Here’s the suggested Pick 4 ticket:
Race 10: #2 Elusive Hero, #6 Zippy Willy, #7 Union Ranks
Race 11: #2 Deeply Undervalued, #3 Rocketry, #7 Conquest Sandman, #8 J.R.’s Holiday
Race 12: #1 Impact Player, #3 Madison’s Luna, #4 Tricks to Doo, #6 Soutache
Race 13: #3 Christmas Treat, #4 Apatow.
50-cent Pick 4: 2-6-7 with 2-3-7-8 with 1-3-4-6 with 3-4 ($48).