New Year’s Day is also the official birthday for thoroughbreds, and on Tuesday Gulfstream Park will have a 10-race card exclusively for newly turned 3-year-olds.
Four of the races are stakes, including the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby at 1 1/16 miles on dirt. It is Gulfstream’s first prep stakes for the Florida Derby (Grade 1) on March 30.
First post time is 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday. Gulfstream will not have racing Wednesday.
The Gulfstream Park Derby has eight entrants, with no-clear cut favorite.
The other stakes for males is the $100,000 Mr. Prospector at six furlongs on dirt.
For fillies, Gulfstream has the $100,000,Old Hat (Grade 3) at six furlongs on dirt and the $75,000 Ginger Brew at 1 1/16 miles on turf.
Gulfstream Park Derby
The Gulfstream Park Derby is being run for the second time and is again getting national attention as “the first Derby of the year.”
None of the entrants are in any racing analysts’ early top ten lists of Kentucky Derby contenders. But several, including Purple Egg and Star Contender, are lightly raced and could have untapped potential.
Purple Egg is unbeaten in three starts, all at six furlongs on dirt. As a son of Lawyer Ron, his breeding indicates he might handle longer distances.
Purple Egg comes into Tuesday’s race after beating Brave Dave by a length after beating Brave Dave by a length in the inaugural Stakes on Dec.1 at Tampa Downs
Jane Cibelli trains Purple Egg, who will be ridden for the first time by Joe Rocco.
Itsmyluckyday and Sr. Quisqueyano are both coming into the Gulfstream Park Derby after winning two stakes at Calder Casino & Race Course in 2012.
Star Contender’s record includes a win in a 1 1/16 mile turf stakes at Woodbine in Etobicoke, Ont.
Undrafted is owned by New England Patriots’ wide receiver Wes Welker, a former Miami Dolphin.
Undrafted is the only horse in the race with a win at Gulfstream. That came in a turf allowance on Dec. 1.
The Gulfstream Park Derby will be the first dirt race for Star Contender and for Undrafted.
The field also has Uptown Anthem and Joshua’s Comprise, both stabled at Calder, and Almost English who is trained by Nick Zito.
Past performances indicate that Purple Egg, Star Contender and Undrafted could seek the early lead.
The Old Hat is headed by Kaiai Katie, the day’s best nationally known horse.
She won her first three races, all in sprints. In her latest start she finished fourth in the 1 1/16 mile Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Stake at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.
The six-horse Spectacular Bid has stakes winners Merit Man and Brave Dave, along with Little Distorted who in his only start was an impressive six-furlong winner at Belmont Park.
The Ginger Brew has 14 entrants — the maximum for a Gulfstream turf race.
Wave Theory, Discreet Marq and I O Ireland are among likely favorites.