02/01/2011 4:12PM

Doctor Peach needs to extend his speed


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Seven of the 10 members of the starting lineup for Thursday’s $55,000 optional claiming and allowance feature at Gulfstream Park have graded stakes experience. But none of that group will be able to keep up with Doctor Peach if the improving colt can carry his speed a mile and three furlongs on the turf.

Doctor Peach is far and away the least experienced member of the field in Thursday’s main event, having made just six starts for trainer Nick Zito, only three of which have come on grass. He is also the hottest, having posted impressive victories in each of his last two starts, including a wire-to-wire, two-length victory going 1 1/16 miles over the turf in his local debut under first-level allowance conditions here on Jan. 5.

Doctor Peach does have the breeding to suggest he might get the route. His sire, Tiznow, won four Grade 1 races at 1 1/4 miles, including two Breeders’ Cup Classics, while his older brother Your Round ran third in Woodbine’s Grade 2, 1 1/4-mile Sky Classic.

If Doctor Peach does get leg-weary down the stretch, the race is wide open.

Lignon’s Hero is a proven stayer and gets some class relief after taking on Grade 3 competition in each of his last two starts. But Lignon’s Hero has not won since capturing a Group 3 race in his native Brazil going 1 1/2 miles during the summer of 2009.

Slammy Boy, sixth in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby 10 months ago, steps up in company after easily defeating entry-level allowance company going 1 1/2 miles over the Churchill Downs slop in his 2010 finale.

Uncle Indy has tailed off a bit since finishing fifth in Calder’s 12-furlong, Grade 3 Pan American in March but does own a win over the course.

Mr. Universo turned in one of the best races of his career when finishing fourth at the same 1 3/8-mile distance as Thursday’s feature in the Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap during the fall of 2009 but has not won a race at any distance since 2008.

Oil Man is also trying to recapture the kind of form that made him good enough as a 3-year-old in 2009 to win Hollywood Park’s Grade 3 Cinema Handicap and finish fourth in the 10-furlong, Grade 1 Secretariat later that same summer.