Laue Stable's grade I winner Gun Salute will be one of the top choices Saturday with jockey Cornelio Velasquez aboard in the evenly matched $250,000 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) at 1 7/16 miles.
Trained by Bill Mott, Gun Salute makes his first start since finishing eighth in the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) at Belmont Park on Oct. 29. The Kentucky homebred son of Military
was a four-time stakes winner last year, establishing himself as one of the nation's top 3-year-old turf runners. His biggest victories came in the American Derby (gr. IIT) and Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park.
Also making his first start of the year in Saturday's three-turn test is Shadwell Stable's 5-year-old Mustanfar, third beaten a half-length as the favorite in this race last year for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Javier Castellano has the mount.
Mustanfar is a Kentucky homebred by Unbridled who finished fifth in the 2004 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) at Lone Star Park. The veteran performer ran only twice after the Gulfstream Breeders' Cup last year, most recently a ninth-place effort in the Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont Park in June.
The most intriguing runner in the field of eight older horses is Midnight Cry Stable's 4-year-old Brazilian-bred Einstein with jockey Rafael Bejarano getting the return call from trainer Helen Pitts. He makes his stakes debut after just five career starts.
As a South American-bred, Einstein is actually six months younger than his 4-year-old counterparts in North America. He is by 1985 Kentucky Derby winner Spend A Buck, who spent the final years of his stud career in Brazil. Einstein has already won twice at the meet in allowance races on dirt and turf.
Go Deputy, Honor in War and Request for Parole finished second, third and fourth, respectively, in the 11-furlong Mac Diarmida Handicap (gr. IIIT) over the course on Jan. 29.
Go Deputy is a 6-year-old homebred by Deputy Minister trained by Todd Pletcher who will be ridden by John Velazquez. He also has run well in his two starts at the meet, winning a classified allowance and getting beat only a length in the Mac Diarmida.
Honor in War is a 7-year-old veteran of the turf stakes division and scored his most important career victory in the 2003 Turf Classic (gr. IT) on Derby Day at Churchill Downs for trainer Paul McGee. Shaun Bridgmohan will be aboard the chestnut son of Lord at War, who was beaten only 1 ½ lengths in the Mac Diarmida.
Request for Parole is a 7-year-old Judge TC
horse trained by Stan Hough who will have Edgar Prado in the saddle after a good fourth-place effort, beaten just two lengths for it all by Hotstufanthensome. The latter did not come back in Saturday's race.
Request for Parole hasn't won a race since capturing the United Nations Handicap (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park on July 3, 2004. In his best performance last year, he finished a good third as the defending champion in the United Nations.$250,000 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. IT, Race 10, 5:22 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 7/16 miles (turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey
1. Honor in War (KY), Shaun Bridgmohan
2. Broadway View (KY), Eddie Castro
3. Go Deputy (KY), John R. Velazquez
4. Einstein (BRZ), Rafael Bejarano
5. Continuously (KY), Brice Blanc
6. Request for Parole (KY), Edgar S. Prado
7. Mustanfar (KY), Javier Castellano
8. Gun Salute (KY), Cornelio H. VelasquezEach horse assigned 123 pounds.