A full gate of 12 will face the starter with Carlos Guerrero’s Max West the 2-1 morning line favorite. The big gray 7-year-old gelded son of West by West had the best season of his career in 2006, winning three times in eight starts, including a victory in the $100,000 Turf Monster Handicap at Philadelphia Park. He also ran second in the Mo Bay at Delaware, second in the King Bold Reality Stakes at the Meadowlands, and third in the John McSorley at Monmouth. The Gatto will be his ’07 debut and jockey Rodrigo Madrigal, Jr. has been named to ride.
A horse that has seen Max West before and beaten him is Jack Queen’s Bingobear. The 6-year-old gelded son of Polish Numbers has yet to record a stakes victory, but he does have five turf wins to his credit including a third level allowance at Colonial last June and a $60,000 handicap at Laurel in late September. He was also in the McSorley last year and ran second at 8-1, finishing behind Terrific Challenge and just in front of Max West. Jockey Joe Bravo is scheduled to come in for the ride for trainer Mark Shuman.
Another interesting entrant is Patricia Generazio’s Tune of the Spirit. The 6-year-old gelded son of Concorde’s Tune has earned better than $217,000 in his turf career and kept some very fast company last year. After winning a fourth level allowance at Delaware in June, he went on three months later to miss by just a nose at 40-1 in the Cliffhanger Stakes (gr. IIIT) at the Meadowlands, making him the only graded place winner in the field. Trainer Stacey Parker has worked him steadily at Delaware for his return and has named Felix Ortiz to ride.
$50,000 Tony Gatto Dream Big Stakes (Race 7, 6 p.m.), 3 & Up, 5 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. Sandys Gold (VA), Harry Vega, 120, 8/1
2. Chief Outsourcer (MD), Kendrick Carmouche, 118, 10/1
3. Walden Pond (WV), Anibal Prado, 118, 15/1
4. Southern Missile (KY), Channing Hill, 120, 6/1
5. Rahy's Chance (VA), Nick Santagata, 118, 9/2
6. Max West (KY), Rodrigo Madrigal, Jr., 124, 2/1
7. Bingobear (MD), Joe Bravo, 120, 3/1
8. Bold Decision (NY), Victor H. Molina, 118, 10/1
9. Who's Bluffing (KY), Thomas Clifton, 120, 8/1
10. Freedom's Honor (NJ), Carlos M. Cruz, 118, 6/1
11. Midnight Express (NJ), David Mello, 118, 20/1
12. Tune of the Spirit (FL), Felix L. Ortiz, 118, 10/1