03/23/2012 5:33PM

Gulfstream: Five Star Momma, Aubby K return from long break


Sunday’s $60,000 Touch Gold Stakes at Gulfstream Park, carded at five furlongs on the turf, had to be scrapped due to lack of interest. A trio of allowance races will fill the void, including a five-furlong optional claimer on the grass that lured a field of eight, including three who had been entered in the Touch Gold – Western Prospector, Dream of Atlantis, and Speight the Halo. The race will also mark the U.S. debut of the multiple Group 3-placed Shintoh, who is trained by Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens.

A couple of promising 3-year-old fillies, Five Star Momma and Aubby K, will also have their 2012 unveilings on Sunday.

Five Star Momma, who has not started since finishing second in the Grade 3 Debutante at Churchill Downs last June, was purchased privately and transferred from trainer Scooter Dickey to John Terranova earlier this winter.

“I sent her over to Palm Beach Downs, where I’ve got a few horses stabled after we completed the deal,” said Terranova. “I heard she’d been training extremely well with Scooter and I’ve worked her a couple of times at Palm Beach Downs and she’s doing great. I’m really looking forward to getting her started. I would have liked to have brought her back at six furlongs instead of seven but she trains like a filly who will go a little further and hopefully she’ll learn to relax.”

Five Star Momma takes on a field topped by recent allowance winner Miss Quisqueya, Sinister Tale, and Crespano.

The same field could have also included Aubby K., although trainer Ralph Nicks opted to bring her back at 6 1/2 furlongs against older horses later in the day.

Aubby K launched her career in sensational style, winning a maiden special weight sprint by 15 lengths last summer at Belmont Park. In her only other start, Aubby K finished fourth behind On Fire Baby in the Grade 2 Pocahontas.

“She was a little immature and had some growing pains so we stopped on her after the stakes,” said Nicks. “I didn’t want to run her seven furlongs off the layoff which is why I put her in this spot. I really don’t like to go against older mares. The decision was strictly based on timing and distance. I think she’s a pretty special filly. She didn’t seem to get tired in her last work and she galloped out good, so I expect a big effort on Sunday.”

Aubby K’s main competition could come from You’re Kidding, who was stakes placed at 3 in New York for trainer Christophe Clement.

◗ Gulfstream Park will sponsor four charity events during Florida Derby Week to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fun and the Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After-Care Program. The events are the Jockeys Race to the Bar on Sunday, the Florida Derby Golf Tournament on Tuesday, the Gulfstream Park Poker Tournament on Thursday, and the Florida Derby party featuring a live auction on Friday.

◗ Where’s Sterling, who finished a troubled fourth in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap, worked six furlongs from the gate in 1:14.57 here Friday and is will likely be heavily favored in next Saturday’s Grade 3 Skip Away.