12/22/2011 5:34PM

Gulfstream: Brown opts for softer spot for Liquidity Trap


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Chad Brown had originally considered running his stakes-placed 2-year-old prospect Liquidity Trap last weekend in the Dania Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Instead, Brown has decided take the more conservative route, opting instead for Monday’s first-level optional $75,000 claiming feature carded at a mile on the grass.

Liquidity Trap is coming off a second-place finish in Aqueduct’s King Cugat Stakes, a race which takes on added importance since the winner, Summer Front, returned to capture the Dania Beach in impressive fashion. Liquidity Trap, a son of El Prado, rallied five wide turning for home and continued on strongly to finish a half-length behind Summer Front as the 8-5 favorite in the one-mile King Cugat. Liquidity Trap won his maiden in his previous start, beating recent maiden winner Margano in the process.

“I thought the stakes was coming up a little tough and that it was a long year. I had the condition so why not just look for a little easier spot?,” Brown explained when asked why he passed the Dania Beach with Liquidity Trap. “I was real happy with his last race. He had dead aim on the winner but was a little green down the stretch. I’m really looking forward to running him as a 3-year-old, he’s got the pedigree to run longer, and I think he’s a real solid prospect. We’ll take it race to race for now but if he runs well over this turf course I’ll probably consider bringing him back in a stakes. I might try him on dirt at some time but not right now.”

Captain Webb, who finished 4  1/2 lengths behind Liquidity Trap when third in the King Cugat, will be among likely favorite Liquidity Trap’s nine rivals on Monday. Captain Webb competes under allowance conditions for the first time after having also finished fourth in the Grade 3 Pilgrim and sixth in the Grade 2 With Anticipation earlier this season for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Trainer Dale Romans will send out a pair of contenders, the speedy Captain Ben and South American import Gaelico. Captain Ben led throughout, then held on by a nose to win his maiden over Keeneland’s Polytrack before moving to the turf for the first time to finish a tiring third under allowance conditions in his Kentucky finale.

Gaelico launched his career in Chile, winning once, before shipping to North America and joining Romans’s barn last month. Gaelico, who will race on Lasix for the first time, worked well over the turf course here Sunday.

◗ Gondorf, who finished fifth after setting the pace into the stretch of the Grade 2 W.L. McKnight Handicap, returns to allowance company and may be favored against a full field of long-winded grass specialists set to go 1 3/8 miles in Monday’s co-featured 10th race. Gondorf, a winner of two of his last four starts, should receive his stiffest test from Get a Grip and Point of Entry.