Balto Star Leads Field for Appleton

Balto Star Leads Field for Appleton
Photo: AP/Danny Johnston
Balto Star, winning the 2001 running of the Arkansas Derby.
(Track Report)
Some of the top turf horses and sprinters on the grounds get their day in the sun at Gulfstream Saturday, as the second day of the 2003 meeting is highlighted by two graded stakes events -- the $150,000 Appleton Handicap (gr. II) and the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III).

In addition to the stakes events, the third race on Saturday's card brings together a field of six 3-year-olds with designs on Gulfstream's rich series for sophomores that culminates with the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) on March 15. Awesome Time, Roaring Fever and Indy Dancer, all nominated to the Florida Derby series, top the field in the mile and a sixteenth test.

The 52nd running of the Appleton Handicap, which honors owner-breeder Arthur I. Appleton, has drawn an overflow field of 14 horses to go one mile on the grass, but only 12 will be allowed to start. It will be run as the 10th event on an 11-race card. The race drew the topweighted Balto Star (118 pounds) and also lured North East Bound (116) who was second in last year's running.

The Mr. Prospector, which honors the very talented racehorse and sire who still holds a share of Gulfstream's six-furlong track record (1:07 4/5), will have its 48th running Saturday. The six-furlong event for older horses drew a field of six, including Out of Fashion, who will be the starting topweight at 115. It goes as the eighth race on the program.

In the Appleton, Balto Star drew the extreme outside post (12), which will not enhance his chances. The 5-year-old son of Glitterman, owned by Anstu Stables and trained by Todd Pletcher, likes to run on or near the pace, and getting to the lead will be a problem with the short run to the turn. John Velazquez will have the mount.

DeMarco and Disano's North East Bound is a dedicated front-runner and will have to gun from post 10 if he's to make the lead. He had inside posts in his best races here last season. Trainer Bill Perry has named regular rider Jose Velez Jr. aboard.

Peter Crane's Hail the Chief, trained by Niall O'Callaghan, goes from Post 6 with Jorge Chavez in the irons. The English-bred has never won on turf in the U.S. since arriving from Europe in the fall of 2001. He is one of three at 115 pounds in the handicap, along with Stronach Stables' Krieger and Gary & Mary West's Baptize.

Krieger, trained by Joe Orseno, has won his last two starts on turf, including the Grade 3 Tropical Park Turf Handicap at Calder last out on Dec. 7. Eibar Coa has the mount again as Krieger breaks from favorable post 2.

Baptize has not started since Oct. 5, but has been working steadily at Payson Park for trainer Jim Bond. Edgar Prado, who was aboard in an allowance victory in September, has the call.

The other last-out winners in the wide-open field are K.L. and Sarah Ramsey's Bail Out the King, and Attfield, Werner and Windhaven Farm's Red Sea.

Bail Out the King, trained by Dale Romans, goes from the rail Saturday with Pat Day in the Irons. The 5-year-old son of Kingmambo won an allowance event at Churchill on Nov. 29.

Roger Attfield trains Red Sea, who won the Labeeb Stakes at Woodbine in his last 2002 start on Nov. 3. Cornelio Velasquez rides for the first time.

The others entered are Santangelo, Solondz, Kimmel & Moelis' Illusionary, Mark Guidry; Brian Klatsky's Autonomy, Rene Douglas; D. Soblick's Good Boy Sam, Manny Aguilar; Cavanaugh & Early Morning Farm's Marquette, Tommy Turner; and Joseph Allen's Saint Verre, Jose Santos.

The also-eligibles are Team Valor's Point Prince and Peter Vegso's Maumee.

In the Mr. Prospector, M. Gill's Out of Fashion, the starting highweight, and Overbrook Farm's Day Trader, who gets in at 114, are the likely choices.

Out of Fashion, trained by Mark Shuman, carried 128 pounds last out when he was fourth behind True Direction in the Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct on Nov. 28. He won twice in allowance company at Delaware before that. Edgar Prado takes the mount for the first time.

The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Day Trader has had some bad luck in his last two starts, with less-than-ideal starts in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) and the Great State Challenge Sprint. When he gets out of the gate in good order, however, Day Trader can be a bear, as he proved in winning the Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III) last fall at Turfway. Pat Day, who has been aboard in the colt's most recent scores, has the mount again.

$100,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III), 4 & up, 6 furlongs
PP Horse, Wgt., Jockey
1 Out of Fashion (KY), 115, Edgar S. Prado
2 Day Trader (KY) , 114, Pat Day
3 Bet On Joe (KY), 112, Eibar Coa
4 Baileys Edge (KY), 114, Gary Boulanger
5 Harmony Hall (KY), 112, John R. Velazquez
6 Friendly Frolic (KY), 113, Cornelio H. Velasquez

$150,000 Appleton Handicap (gr. IIT), 4 & up, 1 mile
PP Horse, Wgt., Jockey
1 Bail Out the King (KY), 114, Pat Day
2 Krieger (KY), 115, Eibar Coa
3 Illusionary (KY), 113, Mark Guidry
4 Autonomy (IRE) , 113, Rene R. Douglas
5 Baptize (KY), 115, Edgar S. Prado
6 Hail The Chief (GB), 115, Jorge F. Chavez
7 Good Boy Sam (KY), 113, Manuel Aguilar
8 Marquette (FL), 113, Tom G. Turner
9 Red Sea (GB), 113, Cornelio H. Velasquez
10 North East Bound (KY), 116, Jose A. Velez, Jr.
11 Saint Verre (FL), 113, Jose A. Santos
12 Balto Star (KY), 118, John R. Velazquez
AE Point Prince (FL) , 112, Manoel R. Cruz
AE Maumee (IRE), 112, Jorge F. Chavez

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