Gulfstream Park will have racing all three days on President’s Day weekend, starting with graded turf stakes the Mac Diarmida and The Very One on Saturday.
The weekend’s biggest attraction is two-time Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic winner Royal Delta, who will run in the $100,000 Sabin Stakes (Grade 3) at 1 1/16 miles on dirt for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up on Sunday.
Royal Delta is owned by Benjamin Leon Jr., the founder and chairman of Leon Medical Centers in Miami.
The race will be the first for the 5-year-old Royal Delta since last Nov. 2 when she won the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic at Santa Anita Park. She won that race in 2011 at Churchill Downs.
Monday is usually a dark day at Gulfstream. But on President’s Day it will have ten races with first post time of 12:45 p.m.
The $100,000 Mac Diarmida (Grade 2) is for males 4-years-old and up and the $100,000 The Very One (Grade 3) is for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up.
Both are scheduled for 13/8 miles on turf. If wet conditions prevent turf racing, both will be 1 1/4 miles on dirt.
Because of heavy rain, Gulfstream did not have any turf races on Friday.
Barring heavy overnight rain, Gulfstream officials expect that Saturday’s two stakes will stay on the turf.
Newsdad is the 3-1 morning line favorite in the Mac Diarmida. He finished second in the race last year and later won the Pan American (Grade 2) at 1 1/2 miles on turf at Gulfstream. Both races were on turf listed as firm.
Teaks North, Nikki’s Sandcastle, Twilight Eclipse and Ioya Bigtime loom as challengers among the ten entrants.
On Jan. 19 at Gulfstream, Teaks North led gate to wire and won the 1 1/8 mile Florida Sunshine Miliions Turf Stakes on a yielding course. Several horses, including Ioya Bigtime and Twilight Eclipse, could challenge him for the lead on Saturday.
Starformer and Closing Range are likely favorites in the The Very One.
Bill Mott trains the weekend favorites Royal Delta, Newsdad and Starformer.
Pick 6 Carryover
On Saturday, Gulfstream will have a carryover of $2,605,671 on its Pick 6 bet on the last six races.
The bet is 10-cents only, with multiple horses permitted in each race.
Gulfstream pays out the entire Pick 6 pool including the carryover only on days when there is just one winning ticket.
When there are multiple winners, such as on Friday, they divide 60 percent of the day’s new bets. The other 40 percent goes into the carryover..
Hialeah Closing Weekend
Hialeah Park will end its Quarter Horse racing meet this weekend.
Hialeah will have eight races on Saturday and ten races on Sunday, with first post time of 2 p.m. each day. The feature race on Sunday is the $100,000 South Florida Quarter Horse Derby, at 440 yards for 3-year-olds.