It's no surprise Gulfstream Park's Jan. 9 Marshua's River Stakes (gr. IIIT) drew a crowd—filly and mare stakes on the turf at this meet usually do. The crew for the 2016 renewal worth $150,000 goes nine deep, with three main track only runners, and is wide with talented runners from the inside out. Gulfstream Park, Saturday, January 09, 2016, Race 4
On the rail is Al Shaquab Racing's Sandiva, from the power combo of trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Javier Castellano, who sports a 2-1-0 mark from three previous Gulfstream outings. Last season the now 5-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Footstepsinthesand (GB) won the Tropical Park Oaks—at the Marshua's River trip of 1 1/16 miles—and Suwannee River Stakes (gr. IIIT).
In her first start since June, Sandiva was a close-up third to Lady Lara and Marshua's River entrant Hope Cross in Gulfstream Park West's My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT) Nov. 21.
To her right in the gate will be Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's Partisan Politics, winner of last year's Pebbles Stakes at Belmont Park going a mile on the turf. The 4-year-old filly by More Than Ready makes her Gulfstream debut following a wide-trip fifth at Churchill Downs in the Nov. 15 Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT).
Further outside in the gate will be Quiet Kitten, winner of the Claiming Crown Tiara Stakes Dec. 5 while zinging along on the pace; Magalen O. Bryant's Hope Cross, who also ran second in the Dec. 12 South Beach Stakes at 71/2 furlongs; the South Beach winner Tuttipaesi; and grade III winner A Little Bit Sassy, from the barn of trainer Michael Matz.
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L 1 1Sandiva (IRE) Javier Castellano 119 Todd A. Pletcher 9/5 2 2Partisan Politics (KY) Irad Ortiz, Jr. 121 Chad C. Brown 4/1 3 3Shanon Nicole (KY) Corey J. Lanerie 119 Ian R. Wilkes 15/1 4 4Strike Charmer (KY) Julien R. Leparoux 119 Mark A. Hennig 12/1 5 5Quiet Kitten (KY) Angel Cruz 121 Marcus J. Vitali 15/1 6 6Devine Aida (KY) Luis Saez 119 Christophe Clement 6/1 7 7Hope Cross (IRE) Joe Bravo 117 Chad C. Brown 5/1 8 8Tuttipaesi (IRE) Christopher P. DeCarlo 121 William I. Mott 6/1 9 9A Little Bit Sassy (KY) Joel Rosario 117 Michael R. Matz 15/1 10 10Stiffed (NJ) Paco Lopez 119 John F. Mazza 10/1 11 11Can't Explain (NJ) Tyler Gaffalione 119 Ralph E. Nicks 12/1 12 12Gamblers Rose (KY) Corey J. Lanerie 117 Dale L. Romans 10/1
Gulfstream Park, Saturday, January 09, 2016, Race 4