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Older Colts Lining Up for 2011 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream


You couldn’t ask for a more exciting two days of racing than what was on display at Gulfstream last weekend. We had big upsets, break-out performances and plenty of hot payouts for the savvy handicappers. There’s even more up for grabs this weekend as the premier east coast-based older colts face off in the Donn Handicap.

This race has been a kingmaker for a number of top contenders on their way to impressive stud careers. The likes of Quality Road (Elusive Quality), Saint Liam (Saint Ballado), and Cigar (Palace Music) have all conquered this one in recent years.

While the four year-old division has been criticized for lacking quality in recent years, there is plenty of talent on display and punters can expect a tough battle over the 9f distance.

Morning Line (Tiznow) came back after a second place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile only to fade out over the final furlong in the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope Stakes at Gulfstream. He has flourish at 1m1f in the past and will likely be pleased to get back to his preferred distance. There is still plenty of upside to this colt and his ability to get to the front and dictate the pace will serve him well on the Gulfstream surface, which has been rewarding that type of running style as of late.

I Want Revenge (Stephen Got Even) comes back off a lengthy lay-off to jump right back up to Grade 1 level. That’s supremely ambitious and one wonders whether throwing the former Derby favourite in at the deep end after being off-track since August is the right idea or not. The Richard Dutrow-trained runner is now a full horse and will need to flash some real quality to be able to factor with that much time on the sidelines.

Multiple Grade 1-placed Fly Down (Mineshaft) gets his seasonal debut under way at Gulfstream after finishing a very respectable third to Zenyatta (Street Cry) and Blame (Arch) in the Classic. He hasn’t won since conquering the Dwyer last May but he can certainly hold his own against any others lining up here. He might actually want a little extra distance here, but punters can expect him to be a very strong play in the exotic pools.

Todd Pletcher’s Rule (Roman Ruler) got his campaign off to a decent start with his second place finish in the Hal’s Hope. He’d been laid–off since losing out to Ice Box (Pulpit) in the Florida Derby. If the track is wet, Rule’s profile will rise as quickly as his odds drop.

Square Eddie (Smart Strike)’s connections will be hoping he builds on his 6.5f allowance score at Santa Anita from three weeks back. He’s been laid-off an entire year and entering the pool from the shallow end may just pay bigger dividends than what I Want Revenge’s connections might wind up with. He looked sharp on the day and will likely enjoy the stretch out in distance. 

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