Trainers who think they might have one of the country’s top 3-year-old male sprinters or a top 3-year-old turf horse of either gender will get a chance to find out this weekend at Gulfstream Park.
Gulfstream will have two stakes races on Saturday and one stakes on Sunday. All are for 3-year-olds, with Grade 3 status and $150,000 purses.
The Saturday stakes are the Swale, at seven furlongs on dirt for males, and the Herecomesthebride at 1 1/8 miles on turf for fillies.
On Sunday, Gulfstream will have the Palm Beach Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf for males
The Swale will be a rematch for the second-, third- and fourth-place finishers in the seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes (Grade 2) at Gulfstream on Feb. 3.
Those horses are Forty Tales, Undrafted and Merit Man.
Honorable Dillon, the Hutcheson winner is not in the Swale.
His trainer, Eddie Kenneally, has decided to instead run him in stakes at a mile or longer.
Forty Tales finished second by just a half length in the Hutcheson, after starting slowly from the difficult rail post position. The race was his stakes debut following wins in his first two starts.
Forty Tales is the 3-1 morning-line favorite. He is trained by Todd Pletcher and will be ridden for the first time by Javier Castellano.
John Velazquez, who rode Forty Tales in the Hutcheson, is riding at Aqueduct on Saturday.
New England Patriots and former Dolphins wide receiver Wes Welker owns Undrafted, one of horses that probably will seek the early lead in the Swale
Tuttipaesi is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the Herecomesthebride.
On Jan. 1, she won the Ginger Brew at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Gulfstream. It was her first U.S. start after racing in Great Britain and Italy.
Alan Garcia has the return mount for trainer Graham Motion.
Tokyo Time, in her stakes debut, is 4-1 in the morning-line favorite. She is coming off a fast gate-to-wire win at 1 1/8 miles on turf at Gulfstream on Jan. 27.
Tokyo Time is trained by Shug McGaughey, a National Racing Hall of Fame member who saddled three stakes winners during the past two weekends at Gulfstream.
The most prominent is Orb, the winner of the Fountain of Youth (Grade 2) on Feb. 23 and a top contender for the Florida Derby (Grade 1) on March 30.
Tokyo Time finished fifth and second in her first career starts before McGaughey put blinkers on her for the Jan. 27 race.
“That seemed to help her stay focused,” McGaughey said. “I think she is ready to move up to a stakes.”
Castellano, Tokyo Time’s regular jockey, has the mount.
Calder Casino & Race Course on Friday released its schedule of stakes races for 2013.
Calder will open its season on April 6, with the $250,000 Calder Derby at 1 1/8 miles on dirt for 3-year-olds.
In 2013, the Miami Gardens track will have 50 stakes races with purses of $75,000 or more.
Highlights will include the multi-stakes Summit of Speed on July 6 and Festival of the Sun on Oct. 12.
Calder announced its stakes races one day after it and Gulfstream set up full schedules that will have them both racing afternoons every Saturday and Sunday during the 12 months beginning July 1, 2013
They were not able to reach a compromise on schedule issues that included division of weekend dates — and will have head-to-head race dates.