01/22/2015 11:38AM

Barbados targets back-to-back stakes wins in Hutcheson

Barbara D. Livingston
Barbados, winner of the Spectacular Bid, will try to back up that effort Saturday when he goes in the Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Assuming that outside posts are preferred for one-turn races such as the seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes, the setup couldn’t be much better Saturday at Gulfstream Park for Bluegrass Singer, who was assigned the far-outside post in a field of eight 3-year-olds.

However, trainer Marcus Vitali said he is leaning toward scratching Bluegrass Singer from the Grade 3, $150,000 Hutcheson in favor of the Holy Bull Stakes an hour later on the card. If that happens, then Barbados inherits the far outside in post 7.

“Bluegrass Singer obviously is a nice horse,” said Mike Tomlinson, the trainer of Barbados. “You’d prefer that he scratches, all things being equal, because it does increase your chances of winning.”

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Vitali said a decision on which race he will choose for Bluegrass Singer might not come until Saturday. Either way, Tomlinson is happy with Barbados, a three-length winner of the six-furlong Spectacular Bid Stakes here three weeks ago.

“He’s done just great since then,” said Tomlinson, who sent out the colt for an easy three-furlong breeze here Tuesday with exercise rider Simon De Donato up. “All I wanted to do was put a little air in his lungs the other day. We’re good to go.”

As for other Hutcheson entrants, Dom the Bomb figures as a major threat with Javier Castellano named to ride, assuming trainer Larry Rivelli opts for this race instead of the Holy Bull. Dom the Bomb looked terrific in ending his 2-year-old campaign with two easy scores against Illinois-breds at Hawthorne.

This is the 66th running of the Hutcheson, which goes as the seventh race and is the first of five straight 3-year-old stakes ending the 11-race Saturday card. The scheduled post time is 3:30 p.m. Eastern.

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Key contenders

Dom the Bomb (Last 3 Beyers: 83-91-72)

* Hawthorne romps make him somewhat difficult to gauge against open 3-year-olds, but the feats of Work All Week and other Illinois-breds in 2014 lend him a further degree of credibility toward this. He shows a couple of decent works in preparation for this for Rivelli, a perennially high-percentage trainer on his home circuit.

X Y Jet (Last 3 Beyers: 88-72-88)

Gulfstream West-based gray gelding has earned a couple of 88 Beyers in the sprint ranks for Jorge Navarro, who continues to excel at all levels. Just missed in a recent non-graded sprint stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and figures among the pace players once again.

Barbados (Last 3 Beyers: 95-81-57)

Purchased for $340,000 out of the WinStar dispersal in November, this colt was very impressive in his Spectacular Bid victory, and Tomlinson is noncommittal on what might come next.

“I have no delusions about him getting a distance, although we’re probably going to let him give it a try,” he said.

Bluegrass Singer (Last 3 Beyers: 92-90-83)

Clearly would be a major player under Rafael Hernandez if Vitali opts for this race, but he said running in the Holy Bull might be the preferred spot because it offers Kentucky Derby qualifying points and the colt would have Castellano riding.