JEFF SIEGEL’S GULFSTREAM PARK BLACK BOOK
(For the week of March 30-April 3)
BROWN ALMIGHTY (April 3rd, 6th race) – Made his first start since September and his first since being claimed for $25,000 by Peter Walder and left his previous form far behind at 10-1 with a resounding 6 ½ length victory in what on paper looked to be a competitive one-turn mile. Was always close up, gained control when straightened for home and powered home impressively. Veteran son of Big Brown always has been genuine and versatile, able to win going short or long, turf or dirt. Given this performance, he’ll easily stand a raise in class for his high percentage connections.
DIG DEEP (April 2nd, 9th race) – Rapidly improving son of Candy Ride earned his diploma in his third career start, doing so in a fast, impressive one-turn mile affair that earned a Beyer speed figure of 94, identical to what was assigned Nyquist in his Florida Derby victory later in the program. Settled in the second flight to the turn, waited for room to develop into the lane, angled out and collared the equally promising Tarpys Zapper in the final furlong before drawing clear by two and one-half lengths in 1:35.85 over a wet track listed as “good.” Had previously finished second in a two-turn maiden event in late February to Majesto, the subsequent second place finisher behind Nyquist in the Florida Derby. Homebred colt isn’t Triple Crown nominated but he’ll clearly be stakes-quality before the spring is out.
GALILEO’S SONG (April 2nd, 4th race) – First-time starter by Galileo finished strongly to be fourth in a nine-furlong maiden special weight turf event without being knocked about and seems sure to improve big time in what should be a much more serious run next time out. The Chad Brown-trained sophomore filly was taken back and allowed to lag, then was asked for speed inside the furlong pole and the response was more than satisfactory. Next time, either at Keeneland or Belmont Park, beautifully-bred filly should be along in plenty of time. Excellent long distance turf prospect.
SONGOFICEANDFIRE (April 2nd, 11th race) – Lightly-raced five year old mare in the Bill Mott stable was a most unlucky runner-up in the Orchid S.-G3, winding up second after lacking room on the turn and then being jostled between horses entering the lane. Managed to take hold inside the furlong pole and finished fastest of all but simply ran out of room and fell three-quarters of a length short to favored Photo Call. This was only her eighth career start, so there’s still plenty of improvement available, and we wouldn’t be surprised if this daughter of Dynaformer becomes a major player in older filly and mare turf marathons in the near future.
U S ACADEMY (April 2nd, 2nd race) – Debuting son of U S Ranger was in a tougher-than-par race vs. maiden $50,000 claimers over a distance of ground, and ran as well as could be expected when splitting the field at 24-1. Showed good tactical speed to be within striking range to the head of the lane, briefly loomed a threat, then gradually weakened while in somewhat close quarters at the furlong pole and faded to be beaten almost eight lengths. We’d love to see him shorten to a turf sprint against similar company next time, as his pedigree suggests he might be more effective sprinting than route. However, at any distance, this Ralph Nicks-trained colt should improve a ton and figures to be a healthy price.