01/07/2013 3:51PM

Gulfstream Park: Csaba, El Padrino to meet in Hal’s Hope

Kenny Martin
Csaba runs in the Hal's Hope on Saturday off an easy win in the Harlan's Holiday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - A field of six or seven older handicap runners is lining up for Saturday’s Grade 3 Hal’s Hope, a group led by the red-hot Csaba and El Padrino.

Trainer Phil Gleaves confirmed Sunday that Csaba, who has cruised to three straight stakes wins including an easy victory here last month in the Harlan’s Holiday, is a definite for the one-mile Hal’s Hope. Csaba tuned up for the assignment by breezing an easy half-mile in 50.40 seconds at Calder on Monday.

El Padrino was second under allowance conditions here Dec. 19 in his first start since finishing 13th in the 2012 Kentucky Derby.

Other likely starters for the Hal’s Hope include Delegation, Fair Whit, and I’m Steppin’ It Up, with both Pants On Fire and Soldat listed as possible by the racing office on Monday. Both horses also are nominated to Saturday’s Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale on the turf.