Edited from Gulfstream Park track notesSan Dare Won't be Overlooked in The Very One Handicap
San Dare was overlooked when she won the Honey Fox Handicap (gr. III) in her last start at Gulfstream Park at odds of 11-1, but you can bet she won't be overlooked in Saturday's $100,000 The Very One Handicap (gr. III). The affair for fillies and mares will be run at 1 3/8 miles on the turf course.
"She's as good now as she's ever been," said trainer Rick Hiles, "and she's getting better with every race. She's been training excellently and she's as ready as she can be (she worked a half-mile in :49 4/5 breezing on Tuesday)."
San Dare raced in claimers earlier in her career and came under Hiles' shedrow about a year ago. Under his tutelage, San Dare has won two stakes and been stakes-placed on three other occasions. Besides the Honey Fox 'Cap, San Dare won the Kentucky Cup Ladies at Kentucky Downs last September and was second last year in the Cardinal Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, the Dowager Stakes at Keeneland, and the Kentucky Cup Ladies at Kentucky Downs.
The Honey Fox was at 1 1/16 miles and Saturday's stakes is at 1 3/8 miles but that doesn't worry Hiles, who said, "The distance is no problem. She was a game second in that stakes (Dowager) at Keeneland last year and it was at a mile and a half. She can run all day and I just hope that Mark (jockey Mark Guidry) can have a clean trip. If he does then she'll be right there."McGaughey Will Saddle Vespers for Sabin Handicap
Trainer Shug McGaughey wouldn't mind if the racetrack came up muddy when they run the $100,000 Sabin Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream on Saturday because the mare he will saddle in the 8 1/2-furlong test for distaffers, Vespers, has a stakes win in the mud.
"She won a stakes (Memories of Silver on Nov. 27) at Aqueduct in the mud," McGaughey said. "So it wouldn't bother me if it rains. But, she can run on a fast track and she was second on a fast track in her last start here. She's training well and Johnny (jockey John Velazquez) will ride her."
Vespers has won four of her 14 lifetime outings with her biggest win coming in the one mile Memories of Silver Stakes. She also has a pair of wins on the turf course to go with one win on a fast track. Her last race also was on a fast track when she was second in an allowance race at Gulfstream on Jan. 20.
McGaughey had Vespers work at Gulfstream on Monday and she was timed in :35 2/5 breezing for three furlongs. It was the second best of 23 horses working that distance that day.
McGaughey also worked Storm Flag Flying, the champion 2-year-old filly in 2002, a half-mile in :51 breezing at Payson Park on Tuesday. Storm Flag Flying might make her seasonal debut in the $100,000 Stonerside Forward Gal Stakes (gr. I) at seven furlongs on March 14.