Sprint stakes galore on Saturday at Gulfstream, Santa Anita

Gulfstream Park plays host to the “Summit of Speed” this Saturday, co-anchored by the Grade II Princess Rooney and the Grade III Smile Sprint. Both events carry a $250,000 purse and are “Win and You’re In” races for the Breeders’ Cup in November. The Princess Rooney is for fillies and mares going seven furlongs, while the boys go six in the Smile. Not to be outdone, Santa Anita presents the Grade II, $250,000 San Carlos Stakes, a seven-furlong heat for open-company sprinters. We’ll take a look at all three races here; be sure to bookmark this column if you’re playing FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

Gulfstream Race 12 (Post Time 5:34 p.m. EST)

The Grade II Princess Rooney Stakes

#3 DEAREST (4-1) dueled longshots into defeat before wilting late in the Inside Information last time out. She gets a rider change to Emisael Jaramillo today, suggesting the “hell for leather” approach will be abandoned. She usually does her best work when allowed to press early and pounce late. She could get a chance to do that today. The March layoff is of no concern, as she typically runs fresh and is firing bullets for her return.

#4 DISTINTA (8-1) was the beneficiary of the Inside Information pace duel but is certainly capable of winning again. She’s hit the money in each of her last six races, five times at the seven-furlong distance. Edgard Zayas will have the assignment.

The play: $6 exacta 3/4, $4 exacta 4/3 ($10)


Gulfstream Race 13 (Post Time 6:06 p.m. EST)

The Grade III Smile Sprint

#2 IMPERIAL HINT (9-5) is clearly the horse in the sharpest form and lures Javier Castellano for this. He hasn’t been seen since February, when he ran his winning streak to three in the General George, but is training extremely well at Parx. Whether Castellano opts to make the lead early or draft off #6 CORONADO AGAIN, there’s a strong possibility IMPERIAL HINT will find the winner’s circle.

#4 QUIJOTE (4-1) is trending upward after coming up empty in a stake at Sunland Park two-back. He notched his third win in four tries in the Big Drama Stakes at this course and distance last time out. Sharp local trainer Armando De la Cerda names Luis Saez to ride.

The play: $8 exacta 2/4, $2 exacta 4/2 ($10)


Santa Anita Race 4 (Post Time 5:30 p.m. EST)

The Grade II San Carlos Stakes

#1 DANZING CANDY (4-5) cuts back off open-length back-to-back scores, including the Grade III Lone Star Park Handicap last time out. Bob Baffert would probably pursue loftier goals with DANZING CANDY were it not for the presence of Arrogate and Mor Spirit, among others, in his barn. As a result, this seems like a “shoehorn” race for DANZING CANDY.

#3 RANSOM THE MOON (5-2) looks like the right one to take a shot with off two impressive victories at Santa Anita. He dusted a field far tougher than this in the Grade II Kona Gold when last seen. Flavien Prat will have to ensure that Mike Smith and DANZING CANDY don’t blast off early, but RANSOM THE MOON should have enough late fight in him.

#2 COASTLINE (8-1) may be a cut below these but if you can forgive his last couple (one off the bench and the other on turf) he looks like a logical trifecta horse. He was second in the San Carlos last year.

The play: $5 trifecta 1,3/1,3/2 ($10)

DFJ analysis: Edgard Zayas has a staggering 13 mounts, only three of which are listed at double-digit odds. His best chance to win has to be in the Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint with 3-5 favorite Pay Any Price. Zayas has two additional program favorites lined up, and his mounts in both featured races, the Princess Rooney and Smile Sprint, are live (8-1 DISTINTA and 3-1 AWESOME BANNER).

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