01/16/2014 2:40PM

Gulfstream Park: Bad Debt money in Sunshine Millions Turf

Coglianese Photos
Bad Debt is as consistent as they come, having finished in the money in 32 of 38 starts on turf.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – There are few more reliable horses racing on this circuit than Bad Debt. Now age 7, the hard-knocking gelding has raced 47 times, with 14 wins, and his record on turf is spectacular – in the money in 32 of 38 races.

Most horses get to this age and have their best days in the rear-view mirror. Not Bad Debt. Since a brief freshening, he has turned in two of the best races of his career, a victory at Gulfstream in November, and a deceptively good third-place finish at Calder last month in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap.

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So, he comes into the $150,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Turf on Saturday at Gulfstream Park in such good form that he appears the horse to beat in the 1 1/8-mile grass race.

“He’s a pretty remarkable horse,” his trainer, Mike Trombetta, said Thursday morning. “He knows his job. You just take him over and hope it doesn’t rain.”

The forecast is encouraging for Saturday. Bad Debt likes this course, having finished in the money in 9 of 12 starts on it. He blew away statebred rivals here in November, then finished behind Speaking of Which and Tetradrachm in the Tropical Turf, a race that unfolded with little pace.

“He gave a good enough effort, but he likes to have a little pace in front of him,” Trombetta said.

Joel Rosario, who rode Bad Debt the last time he raced at Gulfstream, is back aboard.

There are 10 entered in the race, including Old Time Hockey, who ships in from California for his first start of the year. Old Time Hockey’s form may be masked by his race on the dirt in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon last time out at Santa Anita, but he ran quite well in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship in his prior start. This is a much easier spot, but he is hampered by a wide draw.

“I don’t like his post, running around that circle of a course,” said Tom Proctor, who trains Old Time Hockey.

[Clocker Reports: Get Mike Welsch’s clocker reports from Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows]

Proctor said he sent Old Time Hockey to Florida for this race, as well as for additional opportunities later this winter at Tampa Bay Downs, where Proctor has a string.

Also shipping in from California is Spring Up, who is stepping up in class but comes into the race off consecutive victories, the last time against elders in a first-level allowance. He has the look of a live longshot.

Tune Me In, now in Christophe Clement’s barn, has done well against graded company during his career and should appreciate this class relief, though he’s never finished in the money in three prior starts on this course.