If there are any breeders, trainers, jockeys, or owners looking to pad their graded stakes earnings this year, this weekend will be the last chance to do it. On Saturday at Gulfstream Park, sprinters are in the spotlight in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector, where a half-dozen are entered in the six-panel fixture. Action Andy comes into this with a three-race win streak, all from stakes at Tampa Bay and Laurel. Most recently, he won the Dec. 8 Pelican, beating Indiano, also returning here. Also entered are Bull Dozer and Dreaming of Neno, both exiting optional claiming wins.
A full field of a dozen passed the entry box for Santa Anita's Saturday feature, the G3 Daytona, to be run on the unique downhill turf course. Great Mills, whose first appearance on the course was a fourth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at odds of nearly 30-1 is the morning line favorite. Given a rest after that effort, the Steve Asmussen trainee will seek his first graded stakes win here. Comma to the Top hasn't been able to capture the glory he enjoyed as a juvenile, but he does have three wins this year, all on different surfaces. His one try at the distance and course yielded a fourth in the G3 Eddie D Stakes. Capital Account makes his turf debut here; he most recently got the show dough in the G3 Vernon O. Underwood over Hollywood's synthetic track. Prior to that, he ran a poor 12th in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, the only race in 12 lifetime starts that he's run off the board.
The final graded stakes race of the year, the G3 Robert Frankel, is the highlight of the Santa Anita Sunday card. Trainer Simon Callahan has three of the nine entries, including Qaraaba, a winner last out in her U.S. debut. Among her foes are G1 Matriarch runner-up Tiz Flirtatious, and Halo Dolly, a seven-time winner this year, including Del Mar's G2 Yellow Ribbon Handicap.
The New Year opens with the G3 Old Hat at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 1. Good luck and good racing to all in 2013!
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