By Emily Shields
Although the main event at Gulfstream Park is Saturday’s 2020 Pegasus World Cup (G1), the 12-race card features nine stakes races total, and a pair of maiden special weight races for well-bred three-year-olds.
The $150,000 World of Trouble Turf Sprint goes as Race 3 and is the first stakes on the card. Shekky Shebaz drew the rail and is an 8-5 favorite in a field of eight, which includes Pay Any Price who is riding a two-race win streak.
The $150,000 Ladies’ Turf Sprint has the speedy Girls Know Best, 7-5 on the morning line with two wins in four starts over the course and five wins at the distance. Jean Elizabeth is on a five-race win streak, and retains jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.
The $150,000 South Beach Stakes drew 12 with an also-eligible of Ebullient. Hidden Facts was second here, beaten just a head, on January 5. Mitchell Road was a stakes winner here over a mile on December 14 and has never been worse than second in five starts over the course.
The $150,000 Fred W. Hooper (G3) is wide open, with 14 horses set to go to the post and Free Enterprise the favorite at 4-1 for trainer Chad Brown. Seven Trumpets is 6-1 morning line for trainer Dale Romans and is rounding back into form after a Churchill Downs allowance win on December 1 over six furlongs.
The $200,000 La Prevoyante Stakes (G3) features the Aidan O’Brien-trained shipper Simply Beautiful, who comes in from Ireland and will be ridden by Ryan Moore. Graham Motion has a pair in Mean Mary and Touriga who are both unbeaten in one try each over the surface. Chad Brown is formidable as always on the grass with Lady Paname, 3-1 despite being off 13 months.
The $200,000 Inside Information Stakes is seven furlongs on the main track. It features the return of Spiced Perfection, who scratched out of a two-turn event at Santa Anita two weeks ago. She was last seen winning the Go for Wand (G3) at Aqueduct in December and is a dual grade 1-winner.
The $200,000 W. L. McKnight Stakes (G3) is bookended by strong contenders. Red Knight is 3-1 and breaks from the rail for trainer Bill Mott. American Tattoo drew post 12 and is 7-2 for trainer Todd Pletcher. He is coming off a win in an off the turf event here December 28 over several of today’s rivals.
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