04/10/2006 11:00PM

Full In the favorite in claimer on the turf


When Gulfstream Park revamped and widened its turf course prior to the 2005 meet, the goal was to allow the track to run at least three grass races daily, and up to four when there was a need. Now, late in the 2006 meet - with many dirt races failing to attract enough horses - the course is getting used even more.

Five of Thursday's nine races at Gulfstream are on the turf, including the seventh race, a $75,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds at a mile that serves as the feature on a day in which there is not a single allowance race on the program.

Turf racing begins in the opener - a $32,000 claiming race for fillies and mares - and continues with every odd-numbered race on the nine-race card. Each of the four dirt races is sandwiched between two turf races. Six races are either maiden claiming or claiming races.

In the seventh, , a $40,000 claim earlier in the meet, is expected to start as the favorite.

Trained by Mike Mitchell for owner Landman Racing, Full In has blossomed in recent months. His current connections claimed him in February. In two starts since, he ran a close second for $40,000 and won a similar race by 3 1/2 lengths on March 22, earning a career-best 82 Beyer Speed Figure. That Beyer is the highest of all entrants in the nine-horse race.

Eddie Castro rides Full In, a gelded son of Snuck In.

, unbeaten in two turf starts, is the principal threat to Full In, despite not having run since late last year at Calder. A winner of 1 of his first 4 starts, he has since won two straight starts on turf, the last coming by disqualification.

In that race, at Calder Dec. 28, he crossed the wire second but was moved up to first on the disqualification of World Battle, who beat him by a head. Clinton Potts rides Croton Road for trainer Ronald Spatz.

In addition to Full In, another successful claim runs at Gulfstream Thursday - Amon, in race 3, a starter allowance for horses that have raced for a claiming price of $16,000 or less in 2005-2006. Claimed for $14,000 at Arlington Park July 4, Amon has since won 5 of 8 starts for owner Frank Calabrese and trainer Wayne Catalano.

Pitchnicholas, fourth in a two-other-than allowance April 1, is Amon's chief rival in the 1 1/16-mile grass race.