02/19/2013 1:14PM

Gulfstream: Integrity trying more ground

Bob Coglianese
Integrity has worked three times since his impressive debut victory, including a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.40 on Feb. 10 at Palm Meadows.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Integrity, one of the more exciting 3-year-old maiden winners at a meet that has already been chock-full of exciting 3-year-old maiden winners, will attempt to carry his abundant speed an additional eighth of a mile when he stretches to seven furlongs for the first time in Thursday’s $54,500 second-race optional claimer at Gulfstream Park.

Integrity came highly touted for his debut here on Jan. 10 and delivered as advertised, leading from start to finish to dominate a field of maiden special weight rivals by 3 1/2 lengths going six furlongs. Integrity, a son of Hard Spun owned by Robert LaPenta and trained by Chad Brown, completed the distance in 1:10.50, a final time that earned him an 84 Beyer Speed Figure.

Integrity has worked four times at Palm Meadows since his impressive debut run, tuning up for Thursday’s assignment with a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.40 on Feb. 10.

“He’s doing real well and it looks like a good spot for him,” said Brown. “Seven-eighths is fine, although I’m actually looking to run him a little bit further. I think this horse will go seven-eighths and beyond – how far I don’t know.”

Integrity will face only five rivals in his second start, several of whom also possess early speed.

“If you have a fast horse, you’re always concerned if there is other speed in the race,” said Brown. “I’m not sure what kind of situation that’s going to put him in early in the race.”

Brown said he would leave the decision to jockey Javier Castellano.

“Do I think he’ll respond well if he has to take back off the pace?” said Brown. “I don’t know, but he sure trains like he would.”

Divine Ambition and Capital City not only have a turn of foot themselves but both are already stakes-placed.

Divine Ambition finished third after pressing the pace in the seven-furlong Pasco at Tampa Bay Downs in his 3-year-old debut for trainer Darrin Miller. He will turn back to that distance once again after fading to finish a well-beaten sixth earlier this month attempting to stay 1 1/16 miles in the Grade 3 Sam Davis at Tampa Bay Downs.

Capital City has not started since he headed up to Tampa to finish third behind favorites Purple Egg and Brave Dave after forcing the issue in the six-furlong Inaugural on Dec. 1.

Whatabouthonor, like Integrity, won his only previous start, withstanding a near-race-long pace duel to register a three-quarter-length victory as the 4-5 favorite at Monmouth Park on July 8. Whatabouthonor was subsequently transferred to trainer Michael Mareina’s barn and has been working smartly at Gulfstream Park, where he has posted back-to-back 1:00 five-furlong works this month in preparation for his return.

D’nied Permission is not only the most experienced member of the lineup, with nine previous starts under his belt, but also the lone three-time winner in the lineup and the one proven closer in the group. D’nied Permission will be returning to allowance competition off a last-to-first, 4 1/4-length victory over $50,000 claiming opposition going seven furlongs here two weeks ago and would likely prove the major beneficiary of a lively pace scenario.