Hero's Tribute Leads Balanced Field in Gulfstream Handicap

John Oxley's Grade II winner Hero's Tribute has been installed as the lukewarm 5-to-2 morning-line favorite in a wide-open field of nine older horses set to go 1 1/4 miles in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park Saturday.

Hero's Tribute exits a second-place finish behind Harlan's Holiday in the Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream on Feb. 22. Prior to that he finished fourth in the Jan. 11 Hal's Hope Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream.

The John Ward-trainee has won six of 21 career starts with stakes wins coming in the 2001 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) and last year's Black Tie Affair Handicap at Arlington Park. The 5-year-old son of Sea Hero has earned $652,890 in four seasons of racing.

Also in the field are multiple Grade III winner The Judge Sez Who and Joseph Shields Jr.'s Puzzlement, who finished third in the Donn last time out.

The Judge Sez Who has been off since a fourth-place finish in the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. Classic Stakes Jan. 25 during the Sunshine Millions program at Gulfstream Park.
Owned by Sez Who Racing, the 4-year-old son of Judge T C hit the board in 10 of 11 starts as a sophomore with wins in the Oklahoma Derby (gr. III), Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) and Migrating Moon Stakes at Calder among his four victories for the year.

The Milton Wolfson-trainee has eight wins in 21 career starts during three seasons of racing and has earned $730,476.

Puzzlement finished second to Gulfstream Handicap rival Blue Burner in a Jan. 25 allowance race at Gulfstream prior to the Donn. The 4-year-old son of Pine Bluff won three of nine starts a year ago and finished second Sunday Break (Jpn) in the Peter Pan for trainer Allen Jerkens.

The field in post position order with jockey, weight, and morning line odds:
1. Bonus Pack, Jesus Castanon, 113, 10-to-1;
2. The Judge Sez Who, Jose Santos, 117, 3-to-1;
3. Puzzlement, Cornelio Velasquez, 114, 6-to-1;
4. Strive, Jerry Bailey, 114, 5-to-1;
5. Hero's Tribute, Edgar Prado, 115, 5-to-2;
6. Learned, Calvin Borel, 115, 12-to-1;
7. Windsor Castle, Eibar Coa, 115, 8-to-1;
8. Aeneas, Rene Douglas, 112, 20-to-1;
9. Generous Rosi, Mark Guidry, 114, 8-to-1.