01/31/2011 2:07PM

Doubles Partner set for return at Gulfstream


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Doubles Partner could have launched his comeback last weekend in the Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita or this coming Saturday in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. Instead, trainer Todd Pletcher has opted to take the more conservative route, bringing Double Partners back instead under high-priced optional claiming and allowance conditions in Wednesday’s $57,000 feature at Gulfstream Park.

Doubles Partner has not started since finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Colonial Cup on June 19. A son of Rock Hard Ten, he had become a Grade 2 winner six weeks earlier after rallying from far back to win the American Turf at Churchill Downs.

“He developed a saucer fracture in his left front shin after the Colonial Cup, but he’s come back really well,” said Pletcher. “We contemplated running him in the Sunshine Millions and probably would have if the race had been here. But I didn’t want to send him all the way out to California for his first start back. He’s been training extremely well, and I think he’s ready to run a big race off the layoff.”

Guys Reward, Mystic, and Don Cavallo last met in Churchill Downs’ Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf on June 13 when the finished second, fourth, and eighth behind Yankee Fourtune. Guys Reward is the only member of that trio to have raced since, returning 15 days later to defeat allowance company before finishing a troubled third against third level optional claimers here on Jan. 8.

Mystic concluded his 2010 season winning three of his last six starts while also finishing fourth at Saratoga in the Grade 3 Saranac.

Don Cavallo had a three-race win streak snapped in the Commonwealth, with each of those victories coming at Woodbine for trainer Roger Attfield. Don Cavallo may be able to control the early pace in Wednesday’s 1 1/16-mile main event in a field lacking any real early speed.

Baletti also gets some class relief, having faced Grade 3 competition in each of his last three starts including the Ft. Lauderdale here earlier in the session when he rallied to finish fifth behind Little Mike. Baletti won the Grade 3 Ft. Marcy at Belmont during the spring of 2010.

The 8-year-old Banrock is the senior citizen in the lineup and also the richest member of the field, having earned over $827,000, the majority of which was banked in 2009, when the New York bred won four statebred stakes.