01/04/2013 3:33PM

Gulfstream Park: Exclusive Love gets green light only for grass

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Baffle Me, winner of the Gala at Belmont Park in late October, is among the contenders in Sunday's turf feature at Gulfstream Park.

Mark Casse will send out the uncoupled duo of Exclusive Love and Eagle Hall in the allowance feature Sunday at Gulfstream Park, provided wet conditions don’t force the race to the main track. By the sound of it, Exclusive Love could take plenty of beating when breaking from post 1 in the 10th of 11 races at the south Florida track, a $60,500, third-level allowance with an $80,000 claiming option.

“Exclusive Love is a pretty talented filly,” said Casse. And despite having experienced some “minor issues” when not not having raced for more than 11 months, “she has been training extremely well. I really think she should be tough first time out.”

Javier Castellano, battling Joel Rosario for the top spot in the Gulf jockey standings, has the call aboard Exclusive Love, a 6-year-old mare with 3 wins and two graded-stakes placings from 14 career starts. Ten other fillies and mares, including Eagle Hall, are entered against her in the 1 1/16-mile race.

“They’re calling for a chance of rain, and if they take it off the turf, I’ll only run Eagle Hall,” said Casse. “Otherwise, they’ll both go.”

Eagle Hall (post 6, Patrick Husbands) captured back-to-back Polytrack routes in November at Woodbine to end her 2012 campaign and serves as capable reinforcement for the stable.

“She’s just a solid mare,” said Casse, who currently has about 80 horses in training at his separate Florida venues. “I’m not quite sure if she’s of the caliber [of Exclusive Love], but obviously she knows what she’s doing out there.”

Perhaps the chief threats to the Casse pair are Sisterhood (post 2, Julio Garcia), a two-back allowance winner on the Keeneland turf, and Baffle Me (post 7, Rosario), a two-back winner of a minor stakes on the Belmont Park turf for trainer Mark Hennig and longtime client Lee Lewis.

After Sunday, Gulf goes dark for two days before another five-day week commences Wednesday. Stakes next weekend are the $100,000 Fort Lauderdale on Saturday and the $100,000 Hal’s Hope on Sunday.