Horse Racing

Liquid diet works for Speechify, favorite in Mr. Prospector Stakes at Gulfstream Park

Speechify can’t eat solid food because of a swallowing disorder. But the eating impediment doesn’t cramp his racing style.

The swift colt is the 2-1 program favorite to win Saturday’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

“I’ve never had a horse like this,” trainer Ralph Nicks said.

Nicks said the 3-year-old “has an obstruction in his esophagus that prohibits him from being able to swallow properly.”

As a result, the colt is fed a soupy mixture that Nicks said is “somewhat similar to eating a bowl of oatmeal that’s got a lot of milk in it. It’s basically like pig slop or soup.”

Whatever it is, it seems to be working.

Speechify is coming off a convincing victory in the Kenny Noe Jr. Stakes at Gulfstream Park West on Nov.16 and has won four of his six races contested on dirt tracks in his career. He has three victories in four attempts at Saturday’s six-furlong distance.

The 62nd running of the Mr. Prospector is one of three stakes on Saturday’s card. The others:

▪ The $100,000 La Prevoyante Handicap, a Grade III event for fillies and mares at 11/2 miles on the turf. Irish Mission, who last raced in the Breeders’ Cup Fillies and Mares turf, finishing 11th, is the 5-2 program favorite.

▪ The $100,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap, another Grade III stakes at 11/2 miles on the turf course. Slumber is the 3-1 program favorite, with North Slope listed at 7-2 odds. Those two horses finished 1-2 in the Bowling Game Stakes at Belmont on Oct.19, with North Slope prevailing by a neck.