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Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby at The Downey Profile®

Dick's Picks: Gourmet Dinner Tries to Sweep


The Florida Stallion In Reality Stakes affords us the opportunity to see a top Florida-bred juvenile in action at Calder on Saturday, Gourmet Dinner.

Gourmet Dinner, a son of Trippi, is undoubtedly the most exciting 2-year-old now in Florida, though that will change before long when the annual migration for the Gulfstream meeting begins--and sooner, if he gets beat on Saturday. Trained by Steve Standridge, who for some reason has replaced Peter Gulyas, Gourmet Dinner seeks to sweep the annual Florida-bred series.

In his last two starts, Gourmet Dinner and Sol Madrid have come from seven and eights lengths off the pace to win, not usually an easy task at Calder. And one of those closing efforts came on a sloppy track. Barring misfortune or distance limitations, Gourmet Dinner is the going-away winner. With Trippi being by End Sweep, perhaps this circle is unbroken.

Aldomear, a son of the Mr. Prospector sire Act of Duty, has run into trouble in two of his three starts, including a rough start from the gate last time out. In that race, he finished fourth behind Little Drama and Decisive Moment, both of whom are entered on Saturday. Assuming a better early placement, he stands a chance of hitting the board at Calder for trainer Eddie Plesa. He gets a new rider in Daniel Centeno, and he goes two turns for the first time.

Little Drama looks to rebound from his last tussle with Gourmet Dinner, when he finished sixth of seven in the second leg of the Florida Stallion Series, the Dr. Fager. Since then, he's won a hard-fought allowance going seven furlongs. Eibar Coa returns in the irons for the In Reality after one ride off. A half-brother to Big Drama, one would think he has the right stuff to win this race, but then again, my brothers are pretty good golfers.

If you like this horse, it might logically be due to the fact that his sole clunker came on an off track, and the weather forecast at Calder calls for 85 degrees and sunny skies.

Vee's Accolade has never finished off the board in six starts--he was disqualifed to fifth once, so he's officially five-for six--but he's still a maiden. Consistent but unable to beat Gourmet Dinner so far, Vee's Accolade would need to show an unlikely bump in his speed figures in order to break into the win column. But if any horse in here has a rider who can get the most out of him, it's Vee's Accolate, who has 23% Calder winner Manny Cruz aboard.



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