Tomorrow fans will be treated to two thrilling races when the FHBPA-sponsored Martha Washington and Not Surprising stakes go off in a 12-race card at Gulfstream Park.
Going off in race 6, the Martha Washington has shaped up to be a competitive one. Nine lightly raced 3-year-old fillies will contend at one mile on the turf with a guaranteed purse of $100,000 and a $25,000 bonus for Florida-breds.
Last year Todd Pletcher-trainee Adorable Miss took the Martha Washington as a heavy favorite. This year trainer Oscar Gonzalez and Grupo 7 Racing Stables hope to repeat that feat with even money, morning line favorite Camila Princess.
Will a maiden pull off the shocker?
One intriguing entry is 15-1 morning line Strike My Fancy, owned by FHBPA board member Teresa Palmer and her husband David. This daughter of multiple champion sire Smart Strike is trained by Lilli Kurtinecz who pulled off a huge upset in last year’s Not Surprising with longshot General McGooby.
Another surprise in the Not Surprising?
FHBPA’s second sponsored race, the Not Surprising, closes the card as 13 colts scramble at a mile on the turf for $100,000 and a $25,000 bonus for Florida-breds.
Once again, Jud Van Worp and his wife Debbie will be on hand in the Ten Palms restaurant to witness the race named in honor of their champion. Here’s last year’s article on the incredible story of the Van Worp family and their champion horse.
Will the favorites run big?
Todd Pletcher’s Coltandmississippi is the 9/5 morning line favorite and starting from post 11. However, Efren Loza, Jr. trainee Silent Citizen might have something to say. The 3-year-old son of Hat Trick has won 5 of 6 his races with one disqualification, all on the turf.
Drawing the one post could be tough for Silent Citizen, he’ll need to break well. In fact, since 2014 the one post in one-mile turf non-graded stakes races at Gulfstream Park has produced just 7 winners in 50 starts. But, at the same time, Coltandmississippi’s 11 post-position has produced 0 winners in 22 starts in the same time frame. That could mean a good opportunity from a wagering perspective.
There are twelve races on the card for Saturday and post time for the first race is 12:45 p.m. (EST)