The Grade II, $200,000 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes anchors an 11-race Saturday card at Gulfstream Park. The 1 1/8-mile turf affair drew a field of 10, led by a pair of Breeders’ Cup class-droppers in FACTOR THIS and HALLADAY. Post time for the Ft. Lauderdale, Race 10 on the day at Gulfstream, is 4:40 p.m. ET.
#6 LARGENT (20-1) makes his graded stakes debut in Saturday’s Ft. Lauderdale, but he should not be overlooked here. The Todd Pletcher trainee has never missed the exacta in eight career starts, and his career record at Gulfstream is a robust 4-3-1-0. LARGENT is also not a “need the lead” type, like most of the favorites in this race are. Paco Lopez should have this son Into Mischief placed in an ideal spot just behind the dueling frontrunners.
#9 FACTOR THIS (5-2, morning-line favorite) was a disappointing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile last time out. However, his 8-5-1-1 record in 2020 inspires confidence, as does his career record at nine furlongs of 5-3-1-0. FACTOR THIS is a five-time stakes winner this year, so he can’t be taken lightly in the Ft. Lauderdale. Jose Ortiz will be in the irons for Brad Cox.
#10 HALLADAY (7-2) has been boom-or-bust in 2020, posting a 6-3-0-0 record. He drops out of a sixth-place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, where he went fast early and tired late. HALLADAY could have a hard time rationing his speed on Saturday under Luis Saez, considering his post and opponents. He’s also never traveled this far, but class and speed figures say he’s a contender.
#1 SOMELIKEITHOTBROWN (4-1) was able to win the Bernard Baruch and Mohawk Stakes earlier this year by controlling the pace, something that could be difficult to do in Saturday’s Ft. Lauderdale. However, he’s difficult to toss entirely based on his résumé as a whole. SOMELIKEITHOTBROWN will be piloted once more by Tyler Gaffalione.
The play: $2 exacta key box 6/1,9,10 ($12)
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