By Dick Downey
In addition to the Swale Stakes and Palm Beach Stakes, the Saturday card at Gulfstream Park includes a couple of other interesting contests for 3-year-old males.
Saturday's seventh race, a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight, is highlighted by the debut of Heyaarat, the most expensive yearling sold in the U.S. in 2012 -- Shadwell Stable bought him for $1.65 million at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
The bay colt is the first foal from Mushka, a daughter of Empire Maker whose career highlights included wins in the Spinster Stakes and Demoiselle Stakes and a second in the 2009 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. Mushka herself fetched seven-figure sums at auction, selling for $1.6 million as a yearling and for $2.4 million while in training.
Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Heyaarat has a progressive worktab at Palm Meadows and posted a half-mile drill from the gate in :48.60 on Feb. 22. He drew the nine hole and will have jockey Luis Saez aboard for his debut.
"He trains very well," McLaughlin said. "He's a good-looking horse. He should run well first time out; he's drawn outside, and I don't mind that. If you're inside, sometimes you're committed, and if you don't break sharp, you're going to get a lot of dirt in your face. I like that he's nine of 10. We don't often win first time out, but he trains like he could."
Also in that 10-horse field is Shug McGaughey trainee Peter Island. Sired by Tapit, the gray colt has worked in company with highly regarded stablemate Top Billing. His dam, the Pleasant Colony mare Resort, placed in a pair of grade 1 events and produced the graded stakes winner Sightseeing. Peter Island will break from post 6 and will be ridden by Joel Rosario.
Earlier on the card, Anchor Down and Saratoga Special third finisher Danza, a pair of Todd Pletcher-trained Triple Crown nominees, are entered in a seven-furlong, first-level allowance going seven furlongs. It's race 3.