Trainer Manny Tortora is more than pleased with his 3-year-old colt Supah Blitz coming into Saturday's $250,000 Aventura Stakes. The Aventura will be run at 1 1/16 miles over Gulfstream Park's main track.
"He's doing great," said Tortora fo the 5-2 morning line favorite. "He worked on Sunday and went real good." Supah Blitz worked five furlongs in 1:01 handily with Rosemary Homeister Jr. aboard.
"He went awesome," said Homeister. "I didn't even ask him at all except maybe just the last little bit. He does everything so easy."
Supah Blitz finished fourth in his last race, the Florida Derby (gr. I) on March 15. He tired in the stretch rather than making his usual closing kick. A post-race endoscopic exam revealed that the son of Mecke had mucous in his lungs. Prior to the Florida Derby, Supah Blitz finished second to Trust N Luck in the Fountain of Youth (gr. I).
Bred in Florida by Bee Bee Stables and Equitor Farm, Supah Blitz is out of the Major Moran's stakes-winning mare Boots 'n Jackie.
"He is going to have to run a great race for us to take him to Kentucky," said Tortora of his Derby aspirations. "I think he can do it. If he doesn't, then we'll back off him for a little while and maybe put him back on the grass, he's won already on the grass. I think he's number 14 on the list for graded earnings for the Derby (the Kentucky Derby) so that shouldn't be a problem if we decide to go."
Tortora said he is concerned about the whole field in the Aventura but particularly the colt trained by Christophe Clement, Dynever. Jockey Edgar Prado took off of one of his better mounts of 2002, Take Charge Lady in the $500,000 Apple Blossom (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park, to ride Dynever in the Aventura.
The Aventura Stakes is part of the NTRA's National Pick 3 that includes the Illinois Derby and the Santa Anita Derby. ESPN will show all three races live from 5-6 p.m. EST on Saturday. First post time at Gulfstream Park for Saturday's live program is 12:30 p.m.
Aventura Stakes, $250,000, 3-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles
PP, Horse, Jockey, ML
1, White Buck, Roger Velez, 12-1
2, Valid Video, Cornelio Velasquez, 5-1
3, Dynever, Edgar Prado, 2-1
4, Valenzo, Elvis Trujillo, 20-1
5, Massive, Manny Cruz, 8-1
6, Popular Groom, Gary Boulanger, 12-1
7, Private City, Chris DeCarlo, 6-1
8, Unbridels King, Eibar Coa, 12-1
9, Supah Blitz, Rosemary Homeister Jr., 5-2