Devil's Cave, 3 1/2-length winner of the Feb. 16 Sabin Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, heads a field of eight including multiple graded stakes winner Unlimited Budget in the $150,000 Rampart Stakes (gr. III) March 29 at the South Florida oval.
The 1 1/8-mile Rampart, with an estimated post time of 1:22 p.m. EDT, kicks off the Besilu Stables Florida Derby (gr. I) card at Gulfstream, and has trainers Marty Wolfson and Todd Pletcher saddling half of the entrants between them.
Wolfson trains 2-1 morning line favorite Devil's Cave, a 4-year-old Put It Back filly who secured her first graded stakes score for Alpha Delta Stables in the Sabin. He will also send out Chasing Tail Stables' Gamay Noir, an allowance-winning daughter of Harlan's Holiday who ran fifth in the Sabin and came back with a fourth in the March 15 Wayward Lass Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. Javier Castellano gets the mount from post 2 on Devil's Cave, highweight at 123 pounds, while Paco Lopez rides Gamay Noir, carrying 117, from the 6 hole.
Pletcher has Repole Stable's Unlimited Budget, the 4-year-old Street Sense filly. In 2012-13, she strung together victories in the Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II), Rachel Alexandra Stakes (gr. III), and Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) off her maiden score. She then ran third in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and sixth against males in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Unlimited Budget came back from a layup after running fifth in the July 20 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) with a fourth in a seven-furlong allowance event at Gulfstream on March 8. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez gets the mount in her return to stakes company; Unlimited Budget carries 119 pounds and is 3-1 on the morning line.
Pletcher will also send out Siena Farms' homebred allowance winner Private Ensign, an A.P. Indy filly who looks to rebound from an eighth in the Sabin last time out. Joel Rosario rides from post 5.
Outside the Wolfson/Pletcher vanguard, four others look to improve. They are allowance winners Oasis At Midnight, Molly Morgan, Call Pat, and Triple Arch; the latter was third in the Sabin but seventh in the March 15 Honey Fox Stakes (gr. IIT) last time out over the Gulfstream lawn.
$150,000 Rampart Stakes (gr. III, race 4, approximate post time 1:22 p.m. EDT), fillies & mares 4YOs & Up, 1 1/8 miles (dirt)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, Odds
1. Oasis At Midnight (KY), J. Bravo, 117, J F Orseno, 15-1
2. Devil's Cave (FL), J. Castellano, 123, M D Wolfson, 2-1
3. Triple Arch (KY), O. Bocachica, 117, M J Vitali, 6-1
4. Molly Morgan (KY), C.J. Lanerie, 117, D L Romans, 5-1
5. Private Ensign (KY), J. Rosario, 117, T A Pletcher, 8-1
6. Gamay Noir (KY), P. Lopez, 117, M D Wolfson, 10-1
7. Call Pat (KY), L. Saez, 117, J Navarro, 8-1
8. Unlimited Budget (FL), J.R. Velazquez, 119, T A Pletcher, 3-1