12/04/2014 1:57PM

Contention runs deep in 14-horse Claiming Crown Glass Slipper

Email
Barbara D. Livingston
Best Behavior will be looking for her first stakes win in the Glass Slipper.

On paper, fillies and mares racing a flat mile under a $12,500 starter condition seems like a good idea. And when the $110,000 Claiming Crown Glass Slipper is actually run Saturday at Gulfstream Park in south Florida, the concept might turn out even better.

An incredibly deep renewal of the Glass Slipper seems to epitomize the Claiming Crown ideal, with a full field of 14 set to compete. Best Behavior, Pebble Beach Baby, and Rebecca’s Surprise are but a few of the plausible winners in a fascinating match-up.

Earlier Saturday, the $110,000 Iron Horse opens the eight-race Claiming Crown series as the third of 10 overall races. Governed by a $7,500 starter condition, the 1 1/16-mile race figures to have J B’s Unc, Feisty Albert, and Gimmeadrink as favorites.

:: CLAIMING CROWN: Get PPs, watch Saturday's Gulfstream Park card live

Claiming Crown Glass Slipper, race 6

KEY CONTENDERS

Best Behavior (Last 3 Beyers: 82-88-83)

◗ The distance is an obvious question; whether she’s classy enough is not. She exits a rapidly run sprint stakes at Gulfsteam Park West in her first appearance for south Florida kingpin Marty Wolfson and boasts some of the best Beyers in this cast.

Pebble Beach Baby (Last 3 Beyers: 75-77-75)

:: DRF Live: Get real-time updates and insights from DRF reporters and handicappers on Saturday

◗ Hard-trying filly has a strong closing kick that will be well-served in case of a pace meltdown. Hails from a standout Parx barn and got a nice work over the local surface last weekend.

Rebecca’s Surprise (Last 3 Beyers: 80-79-80)

◗ Gray filly comes well-drawn to the outside, from where she and Paco Lopez are liable to get a nice stalking trip from just behind the faster ones. Two recent works at Palm Meadows should have her ready to roll for Kelly Breen.

Majestic Shoes (Last 3 Beyers: 74-63-70)

◗ Doesn’t seem to match up speed figures-wise, but she has been carefully prepped by Mike Maker, who has saddled more winners (12) than any trainer in Claiming Crown history.

Claiming Crown Iron Horse, race 3

KEY CONTENDERS

Francois (Last 3 Beyers: 85-86-85)

◗ Steadiness (first or second in half his 40 starts) is a hallmark for a Kentucky-bred gelding from a smaller Chicago stable that typifies the people for whom the Claiming Crown was created.

J B’s Unc (Last 3 Beyers: 85-84-87)

◗ Recent just-miss at Gulf West should set this one up for a peak effort for trainer Jorge Navarro, who is enjoying yet another banner year (more than $2 million in stable earnings); should be in a good spot throughout.

Feisty Albert (Last 3 Beyers: 90-87-89)

◗ Has come to peak form since being haltered by a top Maryland stable and clearly belongs with this crew; versatile running style should allow Gabriel Saez to place him where he needs to be.

Gimmeadrink (Last 3 Beyers: 80-88-95)

◗ Efforts on the Arlington Polytrack were just fine, but so were his races on the dirt at Tampa over the winter, both before and after Dale Bennett claimed him for $6,250. Exits a rugged Keeneland starter in which an awkward break didn’t help.