The Sunshine Millions Turf will run at Gulfstream Park this season, meaning that only Florida-bred horses will be eligible. This ungraded stakes race is a 1 1/16 mile haul for 4+ year old males, and offers a rewarding purse of $150,000. It’s a great opportunity for handicappers to get a grip on some of the lesser known runners out there.
Leading the charge from the posts will be Chad C. Brown’s Fundamental, who is still searching for his first win. A second place finish at the Commonwealth Derby (GR2) showed promise for the now four-year old colt in the fall portion of the 2015 season, but he tapered off throughout the later parts of the year. Fundamental placed 5th at the Bryan Station Stakes and 4th at the Hollywood Derby (GR1).
Brown has already picked up two wins as a trainer this season at a pair of grade-three stakes races. Flexibility clobbered the field at the Jerome Stakes and Life Imitates Art won the Dania Beach Stakes. He’s hoping that Fundamental will start to show the promise he once did back in September.
Rizwan looks to be one of the main challengers to star in the winner’s circle this weekend, and his experience at this track will certainly play a factor. The Florida mainstay ran 11 races in Florida last season, and 10 of those were at Gulfstream Park. Rizwan picked up victories at a February allowance and The English Channel and his overall experience will draw some action his way, despite drawing the inside post.
Old Time Hockey will also run at the Sunshine Millions Turf. Now a seven-year old, the son of Smarty Jones has been a star within the lower tiers. He bested One Step Salsa and Rizwan at a turf allowance last November, and is a favourite amongst Florida bettors. He picked up a win at the Turf Classic Stakes in Tampa after placing second in the Tampa Bay Stakes and the Challenger Stakes.
Reporting Star, who is known to travel north of the border to compete at Woodbine, will snowbird down in Florida as well. He finished fourth in the aforementioned turf allowance that Old Time Hockey won, and will look to secure his first victory since last August when the Play The King (GR2). Reporting Star is more of a sprinter than a long distance challenger, so it might be best to stray away from him at the Sunshine Millions Turf.
There’s good reason to at least keep track of the Sunshine Millions Turf results when the race runs this Saturday, January 16th. It’s an easy way to get a lead on a class of older horses that run in a popular circuit of stakes races down in the Sunshine State.