Sullivan Lane Stable and Vincent Scuderi's highweighted Classic Endeavor will carry Eclipse Award-winning rider John Velazquez and an impost of 118 pounds against a well-matched and familiar group of older horses in Saturday's Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II). The strong card features the prestigious Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) and Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. III) for the 3-year-old set.
Bred in Florida by Diane Flowers, the 7-year-old son of Silver Buck will be making his 58th trip postward, three of those resulting in grade III stakes wins. The $40,000 2-year-old sales graduate will take his career earnings over the $1 million dollar mark with a score.
Claimed last summer at Saratoga by Richard Dutrow on his owners' behalf, Classic Endeavor finished a decent third over the track last time out in the Sunshine Millions Classic, but prior to that had showed top form in back-to-back stakes wins at Aqueduct in the Queens County and Stuyvesant Handicaps (both gr. III) to end his 2004 campaign.
He will break from the far outside nine post.
Wilmott Stables' always-classy Eddington will challenge from post four with Eibar Coa in the irons. Bred in Kentucky by Carl Rosen Associates, the strapping chestnut son of Unbridled notched his lone stakes win last year over the grass in the Calder Derby (gr. IIIT), but placed in several grade I affairs both on last year's sophomore campaign, as well as the Donn Handicap (gr. I) over the Gulfstream main track in early February.
A $450,000 Keeneland July sales graduate in 2002, Eddington prepped for his Donn appearance (third behind Saint Liam and Roses in May) with a rout in an allowance contest over the track and should be able to compete with this group. Trainer Mark Hennig tuned him up with a quick breeze (:36.80) over the surface on Thursday, and his pedigree says he should appreciate the distance.
Adding some interest to the contest will be Paul Pompa Jr.'s 4-year-old Zakocity. Bred in Florida by the late John Franks, the son of Precocity
finished just a neck behind upset winner Musique Tujours in the Sunshine Millions Classic, and scored a big win last year in the Discovery Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
Zakocity has hit the board in 14 of his 24 trips to face the starter and has earnings in excess of over $500,000. He will carry Javier Castellano and a second-highweight of 117 pounds exiting post seven.
Multiple stakes-winning millionaire and stone closer Freefourinternet; Robert LaPenta's Fred Hooper Handicap (gr. III) winner Pies Prospect (Crafty Prospector
); and Joseph Shield's fast-improving Kennel Up (Joyeux Danseur), and group I winner in Argentina Contante make for an interesting running.Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II), 3-year-olds and upward, 1-3/16 miles, $300,000, 5:13 PM EDT.
PP -- Horse, weight, jockey
1--Seek Gold, 113, Larry Melancon
2--Kennel Up, 111, Jorge Chavez
3--Contante, 114, Ramon Dominguez
4--Eddington, 115, Eibar Coa
5--Freefourinternet, 113, Cornelio Velazquez
6--Pies Prospect, 113, Pat Day
7--Zakocity, 117, Javier Castellano
8--Collateral Damage, 113, Brice Blanc
9--Classic Endeavor, 118, John Velazquez