Allen Paulson Living Trust’s 5-year-old homebred A.P. Arrow should be a solid choice when he takes on eight challengers in the $150,000 Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
A son of A.P. Indy, A.P. Arrow finished a game third for trainer Todd Pletcher, beaten only three-quarters of a length for it all by the flashy Corinthian in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) in his last start on March 3. Edgar Prado has the ride on the 117-pound high weight in the 1 1/8-mile main track test.
Trainer Allen Jerkens starts Joseph Allen's Political Force, in search of his third straight victory this season at the South Florida track. The 4-year-old son of Unbridled's Song took a pair of allowance races at one mile on Feb. 7 and Feb. 28, and will now stretch to nine furlongs for only the second time in his 11-race career.
Political Force finished second in the 2005 Nashua Stakes (gr. III) behind eventual Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runner-up Bluegrass Cat and was expected to possibly be a factor on the Triple Crown trail after that. Instead, the colt has had to wait a year to show off his talent.
“He's going sounder and so far his disposition has been better in the starting gate,” said Jerkens on why he thinks the colt has been so strong this year. “He's been a lot happier. I hope he doesn't change on Saturday.”
Completing the field for the Skip Away are Jeffrey and Randolph Kellenberg’s Touched by Madness, Mauk One Racing Stable’s Tap Dancing Mauk, Haras Santa Maria de Araras’ Palladio, Centaur Farm’s Gotcha Gold, Carol and George Nyren’s Dry Martini, Stronach Stable’s Welcome Again and J. Robert Harris Jr.’s Rehoboth.
$150,000 Skip Away Handicap (gr. III, Race 10, 4:56 p.m.), 4 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Weight, ML Odds
1. Political Force (KY), Javier Castellano, 113, 6/1
2. Touched by Madness (FL), Rafael Bejarano, 114, 12/1
3. A. P. Arrow (KY), Edgar S. Prado, 117, 8/5
4. Tap Dancing Mauk (KY), Eduardo O. Nunez, 113, 20/1
5. Palladio (FL), Mark Guidry, 114, 20/1
6. Gottcha Gold (FL), Rene R. Douglas, 113, 12/1
7. Dry Martini (FL), Cornelio H. Velasquez, 114, 3/1
8. Welcome Again (ON), Victor Espinoza, 114, 4/1
9. Rehoboth (FL), Manoel R. Cruz, 114, 15/1