By Emily Shields
Ten runners are entered for the $200,000 Kitten’s Joy Pan American Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. The race is part of a blockbuster card with ten stakes.
Zulu Alpha drew the nine post, and comes in off two straight victories at the meet. He first took the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) by two lengths over the globe-trotting Magic Wand, then came right back to win the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes by a length over a good field. Mike Maker trains the son of Street Cry (Ire), who has earned over $2 million with 11 wins in 32 starts. Tyler Gaffalione will be back aboard to try to win this horse’s fifth Gulfstream turf race in six starts.
Channel Cat drew the rail. The son of English Channel is just dollars away from being a millionaire, and has been top three in four of seven starts here. He has not been seen since finishing tenth in the Pegasus at 12-1. Last year he won only once, but it was the Grade 2 Bowling Green at Saratoga, and was Grade 1 placed. Joel Rosario will ride.
Trainer Brian Lynch has Spooky Channel, another English Channel son who won the W. L. McKnight Stakes (G3) in January. That was his first stakes win since moving from Arizona and Minnesota into the big leagues of racing. He was a stakes winner at Turf Paradise in 2019, and has won seven of 13 overall.
Current was once a Grade 3 winner at Keeneland, but the Todd Pletcher trainee has not won since. He only started five times last year, running second in the Jersey Derby at Monmouth and third in the Dania Beach here over a mile. This is a 1 ½ marathon. He will need a new jockey as Javier Castellano has tested positive for coronavirus.
Maker’s second horse Go Poke the Bear is coming off an allowance win here on New Year’s Day. He hasn’t run since but has had ten consecutive workouts. Paco Lopez will ride the former claimer, who has been in the barns of Pletcher and Brad Cox.
Stakes winner Galleon Mast has won over this course six times already in 22 starts. He has also been top three a whopping 20 times, but the seven-year-old gelding only won once in the last year, and that was across town at Gulfstream Park West.
Bemma’s Boy, Prince of Arabia, Manicomio, and defending champion Focus Group complete the field.
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