11/07/2013 4:53PM

Gulfstream Park: Bad Debt good investment in Sunshine Millions Turf Preview

Tom Keyser
Bad Debt has gone winless in his last 11 starts, but he has finished within a length of the winner five times in that span.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Bad Debt has been a model of consistency throughout his career, finishing in the money in 30 of his 36 starts on turf. But lately, he’s become a source of frustration as well, having gone winless in his last 11 starts, including five losses of less than a length.

Bad Debt appears to be well spotted to finally get back on a winning track when he returns against statebreds in Saturday’s $125,000 Sunshine Millions Turf Preview, one of eight stakes on the Sunshine Millions Preview card. The 1 1/16-mile Turf Preview drew eight potential starters, including Cash Rules, who is also entered in the next race on the card, the Sunshine Millions Classic.

Bad Debt has not won since defeating Florida-breds in Calder’s Bonnie Heath Turf Cup in November 2012. In January, the 6-year-old son of Grand Reward finished fourth after making a run at the leaders in the Sunshine Millions Turf. He was also beaten a head as the even-money favorite after taking the lead in early stretch of the restricted Armed Forces Stakes here in July.

Cash Rules is a Grade 3 stakes winner on dirt but has also shown promise in limited starts on grass. He returned from a long vacation to finish third in a very competitive allowance race here on Oct. 13, and figures to benefit from the outing, his first start since the Grade 3 Canadian Turf eight months earlier.

[SUNSHINE MILLIONS PREVIEW: Get PPs, watch full card live]

“We’re probably leaning towards the dirt because I think it fits him a little better, even though the field is a little tougher,” said trainer David Fawkes. “But I’ll keep him in the Turf as long as they’ll let me in case of bad weather and the possibility the race could be moved to the main track, which would make it an even easier spot.”

Blameshifter is in peak form, having overcome early trouble before rallying from mid-pack to easy allowance victories in his last two starts. The stretch-running Blameshifter should have plenty of pace to run at in the Turf, with Belino and Happy My Way expected to vie for the early lead.

◗ The Filly and Mare Turf Preview drew nine, including Awesome Belle, who is expected to scratch in lieu of the Distaff earlier on the card.

The 3-year-old contingent in the Filly and Mare Turf Preview is led by the Todd Pletcher-trained Silsita, who returns to turf after finishing ninth over Polytrack as the tepid favorite in Keeneland’s Grade 3 Raven Run. Silsita won the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks earlier this season.

Nicki Starshine, a 3-year-old daughter of Milwaukee Brew, turned in a career best effort finishing a late-running second in Calder’s Judy’s Red Shoes on Sept. 14. She was hung wide when sixth in the Frances Genter in her most recent start.

The top older contenders in Filly and Mare Turf lineup include recent stakes winner Parranda and New York invader Rock On Baby.

◗ Saturday’s Sunshine Millions Preview card also includes four 2-year-old stakes, topped by both the Juvenile and Juvenile Filly sprints.

The undefeated Wildcat Red will be favored to keep his record unblemished in the 6  1/2-furlong Juvenile Sprint while facing a group that includes the multiple stakes winner My Brown Eyed Guy, the improving Bolita Boyz, and unbeaten Gryvon.

The Juvenile Filly Sprint drew a full field of 14, led by the Pletcher-trained, graded-stakes-placed Yes Liz and the speedy and very promising Puddifoot, an easy winner of her only start, which came earlier this fall at Monmouth Park.

Both the Juvenile Turf and Juvenile Filly Turf figure to prove a major challenge for handicappers. Here’s Johnny will likely be favored for trainer Wesley Ward in the Juvenile Turf, while the Christophe Clement-trained, graded-stakes-placed Courtesan and the streaking Super Fantasy appear to be the top choices heading into the Juvenile Filly Turf.

M More than 1 year ago
bad racing right now at GP and Calder. I'd stay away from this until the northerners hit GP...Tampa Bay Downs opens Dec 4th. stay clear until at least after the new years. By then AQU will be back on the horrible winter track.
Greg More than 1 year ago
Sad to see Sunshine Millions end this way. Remember it used to be cal vs fl breeds, sad situation very week fields. Good luck!