Shadwell Stable’s 2006 Horse of the Year Invasor tops the imposing roster of nominations released for the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 3. The 5-year-old Argentine-bred is expected to be the marquee name on the most highly anticipated card offered in the nation this year.
The Donn Handicap at 1 1/8 miles will be the centerpiece of six graded stakes races that afternoon. The other highlights expected to include the 2007 debut of Live Oak Plantation’s Eclipse Award turf champion Miesque’s Approval in the $100,000 Canadian Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) and Elizabeth Valando’s top Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prospect Nobiz Like Shobiz starting in the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III).
George Klein and partners’ Premium Tap also was nominated to the Donn. A 5-year-old son of Pleasant Tap trained by John Kimmel, Premium Tap emerged as a major figure in the ranks of older horses late last year, finishing a good third behind Invasor in the Breeders’ Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Churchill Downs and coming back for a 7¼-length romp in the Clark Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill last out on Nov. 24.
Other probable or possible starters in the Donn are Lazy F Ranch’s 4-year-old Chatain, impressive winner of the Hal’s Hope Handicap (gr. III) in track record time at Gulfstream Jan. 6 for trainer Angel Penna, Jr.; John Oxley’s 4-year-old Strong Contender, winner of the Super Derby (gr. II) for trainer John Ward Jr.; and a trio trained by Anthony Sciametta, Jr., led by Elisabeth Alexander’s 5-year-old Magna Graduate.