2YO Stakes Action Spices Up Saturday’s Tropical Turf Pick 3

December 8, 2023

Beach Cruiser breaking her maiden at Aqueduct November 12. (Adam Coglianese)

• Clement Doubles Up for $100,000 Wait A While
• Pletcher-Trained Noted Favored for $100,000 Pulpit
• Rainbow 6 Gross Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $75,000      
• Paco Lopez Rides Four Winners on Friday’s Card   

David Joseph/Gulfstream Park 

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Saturday’s 11-race program at Gulfstream Park will be co-headlined by the $100,000 Wait A While and the $100,000 Pulpit – a pair of turf stakes for 2-year-olds that will be featured in the sequences of both the $3 Tropical Turf Pick 3 and the 20-cent Rainbow 6.

The Wait A While will kick off the Tropical Pick 3, an innovative wager with a 15-percent takeout that will encompass turf events in Races 6, 8 and 11, as well as the Rainbow 6 in Races 6 through 11.

Trainer Christophe Clement is represented by two in a field of 10 juvenile fillies assembled for the 7 ½-furlong Wait A While, including 8-5 morning-line favorite Ozara. The Irish-bred daughter of Lope de Vega is coming off a second-place finish in the Chelsea Flower at Aqueduct. She previously graduated at first asking and finished fourth in the Natalma (G1) at Woodbine. Stablemate Beach Cruiser is coming off a maiden score while making her turf debut at Aqueduct in his second career start.

Mike Maker-trained Buttercream Babe is scheduled to make a quick return for the Wait A While after finishing off the board in the Nov. 3 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Santa Anita. The daughter of Twirling Candy had finished second in the Surfer Girl (G3) at Santa Anita in her prior start. Jack Sisterson, who saddled Seminole Chief for a triumph in last Saturday’s $300,000 In Reality, will send out Milliat, a debut winner in Ireland who will make her first U.S. start in the Wait A While.

The Pulpit, a 7 ½-furlong turf stakes for 2-year-olds, will anchor the Tropical Turf Pick 3 and Rainbow 6 sequences in Race 11. Noted, a son of Cairo Prince trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, is rated as the 8-5 morning-line favorite. Noted is coming off a bad-trip off-the-board finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) following a narrow loss in the Bourbon (G2) at Keeneland.

Mike Maker-trained Liam’s Journey, who finished third in the Pilgrim (G3) at Aqueduct, Brendan Walsh-trained Palm Tree, who ran into trouble in the Bourbon after breaking his maiden at Kentucky Downs, and Juan Alvarado-trained Prevent, runner up in the Armed Forces last time out; are also prominent in the field of 11. 

Race 8, the middle leg of the Tropical Turf Pick 3, may well prove toughest to handicap. The mile maiden special weight race for 2-year-olds drew a well-connected field of 12 as well as four also-eligibles.

Saturday’s 20-cent Rainbow 6 gross jackpot pool at Gulfstream Park will be guaranteed at $75,000 after going unsolved Friday for the third racing day following a mandatory payout that yielded multiple $50,999 payoffs.

Paco Lopez rode four winners on Friday’s program. Trainer Kelly Breen and Lopez teamed for a pair of victories Friday, scoring with Megan Makin Money ($6.80) in Race 2 and Speight’spercomete ($4.80) in Race 5. Lopez notched his third win of the day aboard Imaboutago (8.40), an impressive debut winner for trainer Wesley Ward, in Race 6, before taking the Race 10 aboard Scaramanga ($4.40).

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