12/20/2012 3:29PM

Gulfstream: Get Serious, Teaks North bring back class to El Prado

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Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Get Serious (right), winning the Red Bank Stakes at Monmouth Park, is still a stakes-caliber competitor nearing the age of 9.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla.– There are two millionaires among the 16 horses entered for Saturday’s $75,000 El Prado Stakes at Gulfstream Park. One is two-time Grade 1 winner Teaks North. The second is the 8-year-old Get Serious, whose major claim to fame is having won Monmouth Park’s Grade 3 Red Bank three of the last four years.

Get Serious and Teaks North will attempt to add to their seven-figure bankrolls in the wide-open El Prado, which drew a full field of 14 plus two also-eligibles and will be decided at one mile on the turf.

Get Serious has banked more than $1.2 million for the partnership of James Dinan and the Phantom House Farm. Although a registered New York-bred, Get Serious has done the majority of his racing in New Jersey with trainer John Forbes. He is under the care and will run under the name of Forbes’s long-time assistant Pat McBurney this winter at Gulfstream.

“John bought this horse as a yearling at Timonium and we’ve had him ever since,” said McBurney, who has been with Forbes for more than 30 years. “Although he is a New York-bred, he’s had so much success since the new Monmouth turf course came in he really never had to leave home much after that. We usually turn him out during the winter, but he missed some potential starts during the latter part of the fall because of weather so John decided to send him down here and give him a try.”

Although Get Serious has won just once since September 2010, capturing his third Red Bank this past summer, McBurney said he believes he hasn’t lost too many steps.

“I think his 6-year-old season was his best and he’s maybe a point or two slower on the sheets now than he was then but he has continued to hold his form pretty close for the most part,” said McBurney. “And he loves a mile.”

Get Serious has won 7 of 12 career starts at a mile on the grass. Aside from his game half-length decision in the Red Bank, Get Serious was also third in the Grade 2 Monmouth and third in the Grade 3 Oceanport and Cliff Hanger earlier this year. He has started once since arriving in south Florida, finishing sixth and last going five furlongs on the turf under allowance conditions

“Since he hadn’t run since Sept. 1 we figured he needed a start to get him ready for the stakes and he wasn’t going to go in 55 and change,” said McBurney, referring to the final time of Get Serious’s last race. “He didn’t really get rolling until the end and Elvis [Trujillo] said not to worry, that he handled the course just fine.”

Teaks North was supplemented to the El Prado at a cost of $3,000. He will be making his first start since finishing fifth behind Little Mike 11 months ago in the Sunshine Millions Turf and first since being transferred to trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.’s barn. Teaks North won the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap here in 2011 and Monmouth’s Grade 1 United Nations later that same summer, both of those wins when with trainer Justin Sallusto.

The El Prado is loaded with contenders inside and out, from multiple stakes winner Bad Debt on the rail to Nikki’s Sandcastle in post 14. The field also includes trainer Todd Pletcher’s improving Salto, who returns to grass after finishing fourth as the 3-2 favorite in Keeneland’s Grade 2 Fayette; Hollinger, runner-up behind Get Stormy earlier this year in the Gulfstream Park Turf; the multiple Grade 3 winner Tune Me In, Beau Choix, Zimmer, and Hoofit.