The Donn Handicap, Grade 1 at Gulfstream Park; 1 1/8 miles on dirt for 4 YOs and up.
Another interesting race at Gulfstream. I'm looking out my window at the winter wonderland that is my yard and I'm really wishing I would have made plans to go to the Donn. It will definitely be on my next year's resolutions list.
Albertus Maximus just looms large. Wearing Shadwell Royal Blue and being saddled by McLaughlin for the first time today, he'd be a no brainer if this was fake dirt, but it's not, its honest to goodness real Florida Terra firma and the 5 YO is an unimpressive 0-3 on the real thing. All that said, and this is class personified. A real heavyweight and he should win this, no matter the surface, but....I like Anak Nakal to win this race. Besides having a name I'll never even try to pronounce, I like the current form and the placing of this horse to sneak in at >8-1 and make some noise. I'm swinging for the fences that most people won't place in their top four in this race, but I think he has a legitimate shot.
Arson Squad and Einstein are two other serious contenders for the big money. I think Einstein will gather alot of money on him and he should go off as the chalk. An impressive win in the Clark just after Thanksgiving, and just solid steady work that is indicative of a well deserved vacation but also good health for the 7 YO. Safe bet, little risk, little reward.
Arson Squad is a heavy hype horse. Just 2 wins in last 11 starts. Prado/Duttrow combo clicks at 27% of the time and Duttrow is 26% on dirt and 25% coming off a >60 day layoff. Last two races were speed burners, but I betting he doesn't come back at the same form in his first race back.
I think Bullsbay and A.P. Arrow can make an exotic ticket pay big. I think both are capable of place or show, but I wouldn't predict the wire for either. Bullsbay is just a steady eddie and A.P. Arrow is all over the board. We'll see.