02/10/2012 4:40PM

Gulfstream: Arch Traveler eased in comeback

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Arch Traveler, another highly regarded, stakes-winning sprinter with a fondness for the local strip who had been away since the Amsterdam, did not fare well when making his return in Friday’s allowance feature at Gulfstream Park. Arch Traveler was eased to the wire after seemingly struggling over the wet track in his first appearance since finishing fifth in the Amsterdam. Arch Traveler won a pair of races here last winter before finishing a distant sixth in the Florida Derby.

Will’s Wildcat outgamed Tahitian Warrior following a stirring stretch drive to capture Friday’s main event. Will’s Wildcat was returning to allowance company and shortening up to a sprint after being overmatched in each of his last starts in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs and the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope here earlier in the meet.

“I guess it shows he’s pretty superior on an off track,” said trainer Jimmy Baker. “It was impressive going a half in 44-and-1 [seconds]. I thought he was going to be third turning for home, but he hung right in there.”

Tahitian Warrior was game in defeat for trainer Tom Albertrani while making his first start since July 30. Tahitian Warrior, who was ridden by John Velazquez, had been purchased privately by Godolphin Racing from owner Frank Calabrese following his easy debut win here on opening day of the 2010 meet. He joined Albertrani’s barn last fall after previously being trained for Godolphin by Saeed bin Suroor.

“He ran well even though he got beat,” said Albertrani. “I thought he was pretty fit coming into this race but John said he felt he got a little tired the last sixteenth over the sticky track. All in all it was a good race back off that kind of layoff.”

Tampa Derby possible target for Souper Speedy

Albertrani also said that his top 3-year-old prospect Souper Speedy continues to train forwardly and will likely make his return either in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth here on Feb. 26 or the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 10. Souper Speedy ran just twice at 2 and not since finishing second in the Grade 2 Remsen.

“The Fountain of Youth may be cutting it a little too close,” said Albertrani. “The Tampa Bay Derby gives me another two weeks to get him ready.”

◗ Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic and Eclipse Award champion Royal Delta continues to move closer to her 2012 debut after working six furlongs in 1:16.30 at Payson Park on Thursday. Royal Delta’s first main goal of the season is the $10 million Dubai World Cup although trainer Bill Mott has indicated she will have one prep race sometime during the current meet with the Grade 3 Sabin on Feb. 25 perhaps the most logical option.

◗ One bettor took home a $237,000-plus prize for the cost of only a dime when having the lone winning Rainbow-6 ticket on Wednesday. According to the mutual department, the winning ducat was purchased at a casino in Las Vegas for a cost of only $79.20.