Trainer Mark Hennig thinks there are two factors in favor of his sprint star Gygistar as he heads into a rematch with Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Cajun Beat in Saturday's $100,000 Deputy Minister Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
That gives Hennig reason to be positive five weeks after Cajun Beat beat Gygistar handily in the Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III).
"I hope there's enough pace in there to go with (Cajun Beat)," said Hennig. "My horse was getting to him pretty good last time. The extra sixteenth of a mile will help."
Seasoning should also be a factor. Gygistar was returning from a four-month layoff in the Mr. Prospector. With that race under his belt, the 5-year-old gelding has been further tightened with some strong works for Hennig during the past two weeks.
"The fact that my horse hadn't raced since September had to be a factor last time," said Hennig. "He was still going pretty good at the end, and he's getting more weight this time, too."
Cajun Beat was assigned 123 pounds for the 6 ½-furlong contest, two more than his last race. Gygistar stays at the same level and totes 118.