06/09/2009 11:00PM

Gulf Cat poised for another big one


OCEANPORT, N.J. - The co-features Friday at Monmouth Park are turf and dirt divisions of a $41,000 first-level allowance for sprinters.

With heavy rain in the forecast, it would not be a surprise if both races wound up on the main track.

The dirt division attracted six for the six-furlong race, with Gulf Cat the likely favorite. Gulf Cat, one of two 3-year-olds in the field, turned in a sharp effort here on opening weekend. Setting an aggressive pace in a similar spot, he missed by only a head while earning a career-best 87 Beyer Speed Figure.

Chuckie Lopez has the return call for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr.

Bettors shopping for a slightly better price will give Net Present Value a look, following his pair of improving seconds for trainer Joe Orseno.

The 4-year-old gelding ran back on seven days' rest to finish sixth in the Sunshine Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 7, a move Orseno says was a "mistake."

"I took a shot because it was a Florida-bred stakes and was coming up a short field," he said. "I don't like to run them back that fast."

Given more than a month before his next start, Net Present Value overcame traffic to rally for second in a claimer at Gulfstream, replicating that effort in a first-level allowance here on May 10 at 6-1.

"This should be a good spot for him," Orseno said. "He's doing well, training great, and I expect a big race from him."

Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out Kickapoo following a second in the slop at Delaware Park last month.

In the 5 1/2-furlong turf division, trainer Tim Hills has the uncoupled duo of Ready Set Rule and Big City Pat.

Ready Set Rule has not run since January, only the third race for the 4-year-old.

"I need to get a race into him, so I'll probably run him, even if it comes off," Hills said.

The son of More Than Ready ran evenly to get sixth last time out in his turf debut going 1 1/8 miles.

"He really ran well in that race," Hills said. "It was a little far for him. He was a horse that got dinged up training over the Gulfstream track, so I decided to turn him out and bring him back for the summer. He's been training very well."