11/02/2017 11:46AM

Competitive fields for turf stakes

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Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Kroy won his third consecutive start in September's Bear's Den at Gulfstream.

A pair of $75,000 stakes for 3-year-olds will share the spotlight on Saturday at Gulfstream Park West. The Showing Up and its filly counterpart the Cellars Shiraz will be contested over a mile on turf. Both races appear to be highly competitive events.

Post time for the first of 10 races is noon Eastern.

In the Showing Up, race 7, the Todd Pletcher-trained Lemonist will be making his first start since he finished a close fifth in the $100,000 Kittens’s Joy on Feb. 4. A son of Lemon Drop Kid, Lemonist was beaten only 1 3/4 lengths in the one-mile race on turf at Gulfstream Park. Finishing directly in front of him was Sonic Boom, who returned to win the $75,000 Columbia at Tampa Bay Downs on March 4. Sonic Boom also won the Grade 3 American Derby at Arlington Park.

Lemonist romped by 9 1/2 lengths in a maiden special weight race on Oct. 29 last year in his only start at Gulfstream Park West. He has been training forwardly for his return, and the past five years Pletcher has a 26 percent strike rate and $2.28 ROI with horses running in turf routes that were coming back in 180 days or more.

He has decent speed and will likely use it breaking from the rail with Victor Lebron riding.

Kroy is the “now” horse, with three straight wins, all at Gulfstream for trainer Armando De la Cerda. His latest was in the $100,000 Bear’s Den for Florida-bred 3-year-olds on Sept. 24. The Bear’s Den was originally scheduled for turf, but was contested over seven furlongs on the main track, which was rated good. Kroy is a three-time winner on grass, including a victory over Love Conquers in the $75,000 Tortugas Stakes on Aug. 19.

A son of The Factor, Kroy also has speed and figures to be in the mix soon after breaking from post 2 with Emisael Jaramillo riding again.

Fast and Accurate won the $60,000 Sage of Monticello on turf at Gulfstream Feb. 20 and followed it up with a victory on Polytrack in the Grade 3 Spiral at Turfway Park March 25. The Spiral was the last time he had his picture taken, though, and the Michael Maker-trained son of Hansen has been freshened following a tough campaign, which included a rough trip in the Kentucky Derby.

Pletcher has a good shot of winning the Cellars Shiraz, race 10, with Overnegotiate, who will be breaking from the rail with Lebron riding. The New York-bred daughter of Overdriven is coming off a win on grass in a first-level allowance race with an $80,000 claiming option at Belmont Park on Oct. 1. Overnegotiate is a four-time winner and the top money earner in the field with $219,900.

Ellery Lane could be sitting on a big effort in her third start in North America. She will be making her first start for trainer Brian Lynch after winning a first-level allowance race going seven furlongs on turf for Chad Brown at Belmont on Sept. 22.

Gran Cherry, trained by Victor Barboza, had a rough trip when she finished third as the favorite in the $100,000 Miss Gracie for Florida-bred 3-year-old fillies at Gulfstream on Sept. 16.