12/31/2012 2:54PM

Gulfstream Park: Cloudy Vow back with allowance company to start season


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Cloudy Vow, who proved competitive against graded stakes company to close out her 2-year-old season, will kick off her 3-year-old campaign by dropping back to allowance company in Thursday’s $54,500 main event at Gulfstream Park. The 1 1/16-mile headliner lured eight fillies including a pair from the barn of trainer Michael Matz.

Cloudy Vow was well-travelled at 2. She won her maiden at first asking for trainer Tim Hamm at Presque Isle Downs before finishing a close second against entry-level allowance types stretching around two turns at Keeneland on Oct. 13. She completed the year at Churchill Downs, stepping up into Grade 2 company to be third in the Pocahontas and fourth in the Golden Rod.

“The drop in company back with allowance horses should be good for her,” Hamm said. “She’s acclimated nicely since getting down here and has really breezed well over this track. She handled Churchill okay, but I think she likes Gulfstream better.”

Cloudy Vow will race on Lasix for the first time in her 3-year-old debut.

“A lot of times, we don’t start 2-year-olds out on Lasix,” Hamm said. “But she bled a little coming out of her last race, so the Lasix should move her forward.”

Hamm’s biggest concern is the fact Cloudy Vow drew the outside, post 8, with the short run to the first turn in 1 1/16-mile dirt races at Gulfstream.

“Obviously, if I had my choice we’d be further down inside, but she has enough speed to hopefully be able to get over far enough to save some ground on the first turn,” Hamm said.

The Matz duo, Miss Lamour and Bustle, are both stepping up in company off a maiden win. A daughter of Grade 3 winner Batique, Miss Lamour finished second but was placed first after being interfered with in late stretch by the odds-on Brilliant Jewel going a mile here Dec. 5. The 85 Beyer Speed Figure she received is easily the fastest of any member of this field. Bustle has not started since posting an easy seven-length win going a mile in a race switched from turf to dirt at Delaware Park three months ago.

“I really hate to run these fillies against one another, but I’ve entered Bustle a bunch of times, both before we left up north and since arriving down here, and nothing has gone,” Matz said. “We’ve always been high on Miss Lamour; her mother was a good filly. Miss Lamour is a big filly and just needed some time before we finally got her started, and it will be interesting to see her around two turns. They’ve both been training nicely, and hopefully they’ll be able to take the next step forward.”

The Matz duo are two of the five last-out maiden winners in the lineup, along with Silsita, In Haste, and Heart Stealer.

Silsita and In Haste both enter the race undefeated. Silsita won her debut going 1 1/16 miles over the turf at Calder and has moved into trainer Todd Pletcher’s barn since that outing. In Haste rallied from the rear of the pack to defeat $50,000 maiden claimers going 6 1/2 furlongs at Churchill Downs in her only start.