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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Races of Interest Friday at Gulfstream and Santa Anita


By Dick Downey

The only race on the Derby Trail this weekend is the Grade II Rebel at Oaklawn Park, and entries for it close on Thursday. But there are a couple of interesting allowance races on Friday, even if not necessarily harbingers of Derby things to come.

The highlight allowance race is of course the one-mile affair at Gulfstream Park featuring Gemologist, Currency Swap and three others. It's race 3 on the card.

Gemologist won the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club last Fall and has put in a steady string of workouts at Palm Meadows starting Feb. 5 after a month of gallops. Originally pointed to a two-race pre-Derby campaign that was to start with the Rebel, Gemologist will stay put for now for trainer Todd Pletcher. The ever-hot Javier Castellano is in the saddle.

Currency Swap, the only grade I winner in the field, returns to action for the first time since winning the Hopeful on Sept. 5. He ran down Trinniberg, the recent Grade II Swale winner, to get that trip to the winner's circle.

Trainer Teresa Pompay said in mid-October that Currency Swap had a tiny ankle chip and would undergo surgery, then get about 60 days of down time before being pointed to the Gulfstream and/or Tampa Bay Downs meets. He started breezing at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 28 and has recorded seven workouts, including a six-furlong gate move in 1:11.40 (1/3), handily, last Saturday.

Facing those two will be Angel's Tune, Brother Pat and Jordan's Image.

Angel's Tune also comes from the Pletcher barn with different ownership than Gemologist. John Velazquez has the mount on the son of High Cotton. A veteran of six races, Angel's Tune broke his maiden at second asking last August at Delaware Park. Most recently, he was a stalking third to Tarpy's Goal at 7-5 odds going seven furlongs at Gulfstream.

Brother Pat is trained by Steve Dwoskin and has won twice at Calder. He's been freshened since running ninth behind Summer Front in the Dania Beach on turf without much exuse. Elvis Trujillo climbs aboard.

Jordan's Image, owned and trained by Angel Quiroz, will be ridden by Joe Rocco, Jr. The son of Hal's Image has raced 10 times at Calder, winning twice. He's run twice at Gulfstream with a fourth in the six-furlong Spectacular Bid in early December and a third in a seven-furlong allowance race won by Politically Correct on Feb. 26.

In the fourth going seven furlongs at Santa Anita on Friday, no less than three horses on our lists are in action: Consulado, Hierro and Night Tide.

Night Tide is an interesing case. Trained by Bob Baffert, Night Tide has worked out every week since Dec. 11 -- a total of 15 times. The son of Malibu Moon is a $150,000 purchase. Last year, he won his debut at Hollywood Park in June, then finished third to Majestic City in the Grade III Hollywood Juvenile Championship. That sent him on to Grade II Best Pal, but something went wrong -- he finished fifth, beaten 10 1/4 lengths. He hasn't raced since then. Baffert assigned Martin Garia on board Night Tide.

Rafael Bejarano, who often rides for the trainer, will be up on Brigand, another Baffert runner, that, like Night Tide, has put in a substantial series of works for his return to the races.

Consulado is the horse that Fed Biz blitzed in that February one-mile allowance race at Santa Anita. After his time of about 1:35.90 in that race, Consulado cuts back two one turn running slightly furthen than the distance he employed in his maiden-breaker. David Flores will be up.

Hierro, who drew the rail in this race, disappointed mightily when he finished last of five under Julien Leparoux in the Grade III Sham Stakes. This is his first race back for trainer Steve Asmussen. Corey Nakatani rides.

Eight were entered in the race.

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