Donn Handicap (gr. I) winner Mongoose and Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) winner Sir Bear were both active during Gulfstream's two dark days following Florida Derby weekend.
Both prepped in anticipation of probable engagements in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. I) to be run at 1 1/4-miles on March 30.
Gary and Mary West's Mongoose, who came from off the pace to capture the Donn Handicap here by a neck on Feb. 9, breezed six furlongs in 1:16 at Payson Park on March 18. Working the same morning at Payson was the Wests' Ubiquity, who breezed five furlongs in 1:02 1/5. Ubiquity, who set the pace for Mongoose in the Donn, collapsed from heat stroke following the running of that race but quickly recovered.
Both Mongoose and Ubiquity are trained by Jim Bond, as is William L. Clifton's Pleasant Breeze, who breezed six furlongs in 1:18 at that same Palm Beach County training center on that day. Pleasant Breeze, a possibility for the Gulfstream Park Handicap, was second to Sir Bear in the 2001 renewal.
Sir Bear breezed five furlongs at Calder Race Course in 1:05 1/5 on March 19 in preparation for a title defense of the Gulfstream Park Handicap. After trailing the field early in this year's Skip Away, Sir Bear rallied for a half-length victory. The 9-year-old passed on the Donn in favor of pointing to the Gulfstream Park Handicap.