Trainer Jim Bond is keeping his options open concerning the next starts for his pair, but both are being pointed toward the event.
Barbara Smollin's Sir Bear, hero of last year's Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. I) breezed one mile in 1:49 3/5 at Calder Race Course Wednesday in preparation for a defense of that championship. The 2002 edition of Gulfstream's 1 1/4-mile event for older horses will be contested March 30.Earlier this season, Sir Bear, a 9-year-old gelding, launched a bold bid in the stretch run to capture the Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) by a half-length Jan. 12. It was Sir Bear's third tally in the Skip Away, formally known as the Broward Handicap. Sir Bear had won that final prep for the Donn Handicap (gr. I) in 1998 and 1999 but opted to skip the 2002 edition. Also working toward the Gulfstream Park Handicap was Gary & Mary West's duo of Donn Handicap winner Mongoose and pace prompter Ubiquity, who each breezed at Payson Park Monday. Mongoose breezed five furlongs in 1:02 4/5. Ubiquity went a half-mile in :50 3/5.