Whata Brainstorm returns to stakes company Saturday just in time to attempt to repeat as the winner of the Pan American Handicap (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream Park.
Whata Brainstorm won last year's 1 1/2-mile turf race by 2 1/2 lengths over Subtle Power before finishing fourth in the Explosive Bid Handicap (gr. IIT) in what would be his last start until last month. In that comeback race, Whata Brainstorm returned from the nearly 11-month layoff to finish second by a nose to stakes winner Stokosky in a 1 1/8-mile allowance race.
"I had planned on running Whata Brainstorm in the Canadian Turf Handicap," trainer Jimmy Picou said. "But the allowance race came up and there was a prediction for rain on the weekend. I was afraid they would take the Canadian Turf off the turf and I wanted to get a race under him so I thought it was best to run Whata Brainstorm in the allowance race. As it turns out, they did take the Canadian Turf off the turf and ran it in the slop."
Whata Brainstorm breezed a mile in 1:44 Monday.
"I didn't want to wait until Wednesday to work him on the turf, so I worked him a mile on the main track in company with another horse," Picou said. "He really went well in the workout and is right on track to run in the Pan American."
Picou said Whata Brainstorm was sidelined following last year's Explosive Bid while recovering from an injury.
"He suffered an injury to the top of his sesamoid bone in his left hind leg last year, and I wasn't able to get him back to the races until the allowance race," Picou said. "He came out of that race in great shape and has been doing well since then. Jorge Chavez is riding out of town, so I've got Rene Douglas to ride him on Saturday. Now we'll see if he can't win the Pan American again."
Trainer Michael Dickinson is bringing back Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) winner Cetewayo for Saturday's race. The 8-year-old son of His Majesty earned his first victory since November of 2000 in last month's race.
"He's in very good form and has been training well at our farm (Tapeta) in Maryland," said Dickinson. "The most encouraging part of that last race at Gulfstream was that he was so happy doing it. He enjoyed the whole experience of running, and it was his lifetime top Beyer figure as well."
The Pan American field will consist of:
1 -- Cetewayo, Cornelio Velasquez, 118
2 -- Drama Critic, Dale Beckner, 112
3 -- Backatitagain, Pat Day, 111
4 -- Craigsteel, Jean-Luc Samyn, 114
5 -- Zafonic's Song, Edgar Prado, 113
6 -- Honor Glide, Jose Santos, 115
7 -- Deeliteful Irving, Christopher DeCarlo, 112
8 -- Eltawaasul, Manuel Aguilar, 113
9 -- Whata Brainstorm, Rene Douglas, 115
10 -- Mr. Livingston, Mark Guidry, 112
11 -- Monkey Puzzle, Edward Nunez, 111