New York graded stakes winner Toll Taker and New York graded stakes-placed Alfonsina share the topweight of 119 pounds in Saturday's Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park. The 6 1/2-furlong event for 3-year-old fillies will go off as the third race on a star-studded card headlined by the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I).
Toll Taker not only is the sole graded stakes winner in the field, but also the only one with as many as three wins. Her added-money win came in the Astarita Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park following two consecutive wins at Monmouth Park by a total of 15 lengths. She hasn't started since failing to finish in the Showtime Deb Stakes at Hawthorne in November.
Alfonsina hasn't been out since running second in the Valley Stream Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct in November. In her other two starts, she won at Saratoga and Aqueduct.
Three of the remaining contestants--Portsea, Maddalena, and Glittering Tax--each boasts a win this year. Portsea's victory came in the Jan. 15 Sandpiper Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs by 5 3/4 lengths. Maddalena captured an allowance race at Gulfstream a day later by 6 3/4 lengths, and Glittering Tax won Jan. 22 at Tampa Bay by 4 3/4 lengths.
The remaining runners, Aspen Tree and Great Intentions, won last year. A winner at Ellis Park in her first start, Aspen Tree came within a nose of winning the Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs in November. Great Intentions, a 6 3/4-length winner in her sole race at two, was second to Maddalena in that Jan. 16 race.
Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) Saturday 3rd Race Gulfstream
Post Horse Weight Jockey Trainer
1 Alfonsina, 119, Cornelio Velasquez, Nick Zito
2 Toll Taker, 119, Eibar Coa, Timothy Hills
3 Aspen Tree, 115, Javier Castellano, Carl Nafzger
4 Portsea, 115, Christopher DeCarlo, Todd Pletcher
5 Maddalena, 115, John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher
6 Great Intentions, 115, Edgar Prado, Michael Hushion
7 Glittering Tax, 115, Cecilio Penalba, Larry Bates