After winning three graded stakes on turf last year, including the grade I Maker's 46 Mile Stakes at Keeneland, Data Link will make his 5-year-old seasonal debut Feb. 23 in the $150,000 Canadian Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park.
A homebred for Stuart Janney III, Data Link made his 2012 debut in the Canadian Turf, in which he finished third behind Doubles Partner and Trend. Data Link closed out last season with a victory in the Citation Handicap (gr. IIT) at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Trainer Shug McGaughey, who captured the Gulfstream Turf Handicap (gr. I) earlier in February with Point of Entry, conditions Data Link.
"He's a good horse," McGaughey said. "When he was ridden right last year, he always ran good."
Awaiting Data Link will be two other talented homebreds in Joseph Witek's Joes Blazing Aaron, a 5-year-old Graeme Hall gelding; and Live Oak Plantation's 5-year-old gelding Za Approval, a son of Ghostzapper . In an allowance-optional claiming race Jan. 5 on the Gulfstream turf, Za Approval edged Joes Blazing Aaron by a nose.
$150,000, Canadian Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT, race 10, approximate post time 5:05 p.m. EST) 4YO&Up, one mile (turf)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Joes Blazing Aaron (KY), J. Velazquez,117, E. Kenneally
2. Beau Choix (KY), L. Saez, 117, B. Tagg
3. Howe Great (KY), J. Rosario, 117, H. Motion
4. Data Link (KY), J. Castellano, 123, C. McGaughey III
5. Cash Rules (FL), E. Trujillo, 119, D. Fawkes
6. Empire Builder (KY), J. Castanon, 117, L. Duco
7. Global Power (KY), P. Lopez, 119, J. Gibson
8. Scatman (KY), E. Prado, 117, W. Mott
9. Night Party (KY), S. Sellers, 117, P. Huffman
10. Za Approval (KY), J. Bravo, 117, C. Clement
11. Gourmet Dinner (FL) (MTO), S. Madrid, B. Brown