Augustin Stable's Rochester, a multiple stakes winner who ran into traffic problems in his last start, will carry highweight in Sunday's 1 3/8-mile Mac Diarmida Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the turf at Gulstream Park.
The race drew an overflow field of 14. Only 12 will be allowed to start, with the higher weights getting preference.
Rochester, a 7-year-old Green Dancer gelding trained by Jonathan Sheppard, will be the starting highweight at 117 pounds. Last out, he went off the 21-10 favorite from the rail in the gr. II William L. McKnight Handicap at Calder, but was hemmed in much of the way. He couldn't escape until it was too late, then made a strong late run to be third. Pat Day, who was aboard in that effort, gets the return call.
Runnin Horse Farm's Serial Bride, who was second in the McKnight, a length before Rochester, will be the second highweight in the Mac Diarmida. The route specialist, trained by Norman Pointer, carries 115 pounds with Eibar Coa in the irons.
the field, in post order:
1, Whitmore's Conn, 114, Prado
2, Mr. Pleasentfar, 113, Martin
3, Macaw, 114, Santos
4, Riddlesdown, 113, Velez
5, Whata Brainstorm, 114, Chavez
6, Quiet Ruler, 113, Velazquez
7, Just Listen, 113, Homeister
8, Marquette, 113, Turner
9, Rochester, 117, Day
10, Serial Bride, 115, Coa
11, Gritty Sandie, 114, Bailey
12, Williams News, 114, Husbands
AE, Maumee, 112, Douglas
AE, Zloty, 112, Ramgeet