Jay Manoogian's grade I winner Kela, who was runner up to Speightstown in the 2004 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Lone Star Park, tops a field of seven in Saturday's $100,000 Deputy Minister Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
Trained by Mike Mitchell, the experienced Kela, now 7, will be making his first start of the year from post two under Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey.
The son of Numerous enters the race off a fourth-place finish in the Dec. 5 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park. His previous graded stakes wins came last summer at Del Mar over Domestic Dispute in the Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) and against Pohave in the Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I).
Bred in Kentucky by Cypress Farm, Kela has won eight of 25 starts and earned an impressive $1,011,527. He will carry 119 pounds.
Although he didn't start his race career until 2004, Robert N. Clay's homebred Medallist comes to Gulfstream with three stakes wins. Trained by Allen Jerkens, Medallist had a hot 3-year-old campaign, showing his speed with wins in the Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont and the Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
Jose Santos was aboard for the son of Touch Gold
's 4 1/2-length score in the Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap in his previous start and has the mount again. Medallist will break from post five carrying 115 pounds.Deputy Minister Handicap (gr. III), Gulfstream Park, $100,000, six and a half furlongs, 3-year-olds and up, Saturday, Feb. 5, post time: 4.23 p.m. EDT
PP – Horse, Weight, Jockey
1 -- Paradise Dancer, 113, Cecilio Penalba
2 -- Kela, 119, Jerry Bailey
3 -- Mister Fotis, 113, Jorge Chavez
4 -- Forest Danger, 112, John Velazquez
5 -- Medallist, 115, Jose Santos
6 –- Voodoo, 114, Eibar Coa
7 -- Nightmare Affair, 112, Eddie Castro