Midnight Cry Stable's 5-year-old Brazilian-bred Einstein, the defending champion in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), is on target and ready to go for Saturday's renewal of the 1 3/8 miles fixture for 4-year-olds and up.
“He's doing good and his last work was beautiful,” said trainer Helen Pitts of the Spend a Buck son, who worked five furlongs Sunday on the main track here in a bullet 1:00 flat.
Einstein capped a three-race win streak with his wire-to-wire victory in this race last year. His running style was changed for the Pan American Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream and later for the $400,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs, and he settled for fourth in both races.
After encountering trouble in his seasonal debut in a Jan. 31 mile turf event, Pitts remains confident Einstein still has the versatility to handle whatever unfolds in this year's contest.
“That's the beauty of this horse,” she said. “He’s not a horse that definitely has to have the lead. He's the kind of horse that can do whatever you want to with him. He can be right there on the lead, or he can sit just off it. It's the kind of thing that gets decided as soon as the gates open.”
The Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup also attracted a track favorite. The popular mare Honey Ryder, trained by Todd Pletcher, has won three graded stakes at Gulfstream, including last year's Orchid Handicap (gr. IIIT) in course-record time of 2:23.07 for 1 1/2 miles. She hasn't been out since running third in the Nov. 4 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) and will receive five pounds from her male rivals.
Ramazutti deserves an extra close look. Trained by Todd Pletcher, he is one of only two starters going into the race off a stakes win. He won the Jan. 28 Mac Diarmida Handicap (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream. The other, Revved Up, trained by Christophe Clement, won the Bonnie Heath Turf Cup Handicap at Calder Race Course in November.
Gulfstream Park BC Turf (gr. IT) Race 9 Post 4:54
All carry 123 pounds, except the mare Honey Ryder (at 118)
Post / Horse / Jockey
1 Dynantonia - Cornelio Velasquez
2 Honey Ryder - John Velazquez
3 Jambalaya - Javier Castellano
4 Go Between - Edgar Prado
5 Fri Guy - Manoel Cruz
6 Ramazutti - Christopher DeCarlo
7 MustanfarvFernando Jara
8 Revved Up - Eddie Castro
9 Embossed - Mark Guidry
10 Einstein - Rafael Bejarano
11 Interpatation - Tom Turner