Faces Impact Player, Soutache, Three Others
Trainer Arnaud Delacour said he entered Tricks to Doo in Saturday’s six-furlong Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park with confidence of an improvement on his fourth place finish in the Feb. 3 Swale at seven furlongs.
“I think six furlongs is really his game. I think seven furlongs might have been a little too long last time,” Delacour said. “I’m very happy with the six furlongs for him.”
Tricks to Doo chased the pace into the stretch before fading to fourth behind victorious frontrunner Strike Power, the 4-5 favorite who went on to finish second in the Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth Stakes.
“I didn’t see any excuses. I thought we had a good trip. The seven-eighths was a little too far for him,” Delacour said. “The track was probably a little bit tiring. We had some rain the day before, but Strike Power is a very nice horse and I didn’t see any excuses. He always showed a lot of speed in his workouts, but I always had a question mark regarding his ability to go longer."
Tricks to Doo has been training at Classic Mile Training Center in Ocala, where he has breezed four times, including a pair of bullet workouts in his two most recent clockings.
“I’ve got a barn there, where I keep a lot of my horses. I like the fact that it is a little bit more quiet,” Delacour said. “For him, he was getting a little bit edgy, so I thought it would be good to be in a quiet environment.”
Tricks to Doo, who was purchased for $600,000 at the 2017 OBS March Sale, debuted with a third-place finish Oct. 7 at Keeneland before breaking his maiden by 5 3/4 lengths three weeks later at Laurel Park. The Kentucky-bred colt came right back to capture the Inaugural Stakes on Dec. 16 at Tampa Bay Downs. His first three races were run at six furlongs.
Irad Ortiz Jr. is scheduled to ride Tricks to Doo for the first time Saturday while clashing with five rivals, including 2017 Florida Sire Stakes star Southache.
Soutache is scheduled to make his first start since capturing the $300,000 FSS In Reality at Gulfstream Park on Sept. 17.
“He’s doing well; he’s moving well. He seems good. Hopefully, he makes the transition from 2-year-old to 3-year-old,” trainer Ralph Nicks said.
The son of Backtalk debuted at Gulfstream on July 2, scoring by three-quarters of a length over Pony Up, who finished second in the Jeff Ruby Steaks last Saturday. He finished third in the six-furlong FSS Dr. Fager, before winning the next two legs of the prestigious series for juveniles sired by accredited Florida stallions.
“It was amazing what he did in a short amount of time. He broke his maiden and went right into the Florida stallion series,” Nicks said.
In the In Reality, Soutache debuted around two turns with a length victory over next-out winner Tip Sheet.
“He showed a lot of courage. He had a lot of races together and it was his first start two turns,” Nicks said. “He showed a lot of courage getting it done.”
Tyler Gaffalione, who rode Soutache for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile In Reality, has the return mount.
Impact Player is slated to make his stakes debut in the Hutcheson after winning his last two starts at Gulfstream. The Todd Pletcher-trained colt broke his maiden at six furlongs on Dec. 13 before scoring by 7 1/4 lengths in a Jan. 17 optional claiming allowance at seven furlongs.
Luis Saez is slated to ride Impact Player for the first time.
Madison’s Luna, who was purchased for $400,000 by Rigney Racing at the 2016 Keeneland September Sale, is scheduled to make his stakes debut in the Hutcheson after debuting Feb. 10 at Tampa Bay Downs with a 1 1/4-length victory at 6 1/2 furlongs.
Julien Leparoux is scheduled to ride the son of Tapit
Bell Tapisserie, a Feb. 18 maiden winner who came back to finish second in a March 2 optional claiming allowance; and stablemate My Chinumado, round out the field.
Edited Gulfstream Park release