Monster Racing Stables' Delta Bluesman will seek a return to winning form in Sunday's $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park after a disappointing sixth in the $2-million Breeders' Cup (G1) Sprint.
The Jorge Navarro-trained gelding bumped with eventual winner Drefong shortly after the start of the Sprint at Santa Anita Nov. 5 and finished a disappointing sixth.
“Right after the Breeders' Cup I was scratching my head. The horse was training so good, there's no way he could run sixth,” Navarro said. “I looked down and the horse had a big cut on his ankle that needed five stitches. The next day I went to the barn and he couldn't walk with the stitches. But he ate up and was fine. Right now he's back to being himself.”
The soon-to-be 7-year-old gelding, who has been training sharply at Gulfstream Park West, earned his way into the Breeders' Cup Sprint with a triumph in the Smile Sprint (G2), a ‘Win & You're In' race on the July 2 Summit of Speed program at Gulfstream Park.
Emisael Jaramillo was named to ride Delta Bluesman.
Navarro also entered Shaft of Light in the Mr. Prospector, which drew a field of six when entries were taken Thursday.
Monster Racing Stables' Shaft of Light, who finished second in the ungraded Mr. Prospector Stakes at Monmouth Park during the summer, is coming off an impressive front-running score in the $110,000 Claiming Crown Rapid Transit on the Championship Meet's Opening Day Dec. 3. Edgard Zayas has the mount.
Although both Navarro trainees have shown versatility, they both have employed front-running styles in most of their respective races. Should a heated pace between the stablemates somehow develop, it would likely benefit N.T.S. Stable's Yourdreamsormine and K. Town Partners' Candip.
Yourdreamsormine has finished no worse than second in eight starts since being privately purchased and transferred to trainer Milt Wolfson. The son of Mr. Sekiguchi, whose four victories include two stakes wins, is coming off an allowance victory at six furlongs Dec. 4. He is slated to make his graded-stakes debut in the Mr. Prospector.
“He deserves a chance to run in a graded race. I wouldn't have done it unless he had won that six-furlong race the way he did,” said Wolfson, who named Paco Lopez to ride Yourdreamsormine. “He usually comes from the back of the field, but he was closer.”
The Michael Tomlinson-trained Candip captured the $200,000 Fabulous Strike at Penn National Nov. 23. The son of Candy Ride raced twice during last season's Championship Meet, capturing a graded-stakes quality allowance prior to finishing second in the Gulfstream Park Sprint Stakes (G3), 1 ¼ lengths behind X Y Jet.
Tyler Gaffalione is named to ride Candip.
Passion Stable's El Deal has demonstrated a versatile running style that should aid his chances for a victory in the Mr. Prospector. The son of Munnings has won six of 11 starts during a career that was launched with four straight victories that included a victory in the Gold Fever Stakes at Belmont last year. The Francisco D'Angelo trainee is coming off a third-place finish in the Gin Rummy Stakes at Gulfstream Park West. John Velazquez has the riding assignment.
Carolyn Vogel's Squadron A, who captured an optional claiming allowance race at Churchill Downs in his 2016 finale, rounds out the Mr. Prospector field. The Dale Romans-trained veteran finished second in the Sir Shackleton Stakes at Gulfstream Park on the 2016 Florida Derby Day program last April. Corey Lanerie has been named to ride the son of Unbridled's Song.
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