01/12/2012 2:48PM

Gulfstream Park: Flat Out preps, tries turf in Fort Lauderdale

Barbara D. Livingston
Flat Out tours the turf at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 1. He will make his grass debut in the Fort Lauderdale.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Scooter Dickey will kill two birds with one stone when he tries his Grade 1 winner Flat Out on the grass for the first time Saturday in Gulfstream Park’s $100,000 Fort Lauderdale.

A son of Flatter owned by Preston Stable LLC, Flat Out won the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup and Grade 2 Suburban at Belmont Park and finished second in both the Grade 1 Woodward and Grade 1 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga to rise to the top of his division in 2011. He went postward the tepid 7-2 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but finished a disappointing fifth, although only three lengths behind upset winner Drosselmeyer.

Flat Out ran once more after the Breeders’ Cup, finishing third as the favorite in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs, before shipping to south Florida for the winter. Dickey put Flat Out on turf for only the second time here New Year’s Day, when he worked five furlongs in 1:00.35 under regular rider Alex Solis.

“The idea of this race is to get him a prep for the Donn Handicap and find out if he likes the turf,” Dickey said. “The Sunshine Classic is a little too close to the Donn, but the timing is perfect for this race. He’s worked good the two times I’ve had him on the turf, and I’ve been wanting to try him on grass to find out if he likes it and decide what our options might be the rest of the year. There are some good races for him, like the Arlington Million, if he does like it.”

Dickey said he knows his task will be a difficult one Saturday, taking on a strong field of tried-and-true grass horses.

“There are some very good horses in this field, so he’s going to have to prove himself, but it’s rare when he doesn’t try hard,” Dickey said. “He’s training very well, so the only drawback and the only reason why he wouldn’t run a good race is if he doesn’t handle the turf. But at least we’ll get to find out.”

The Grade 3 Fort Lauderdale at 1 1/16 miles lured a full field of 12, including multiple Grade 1 winner Teaks North and Mutual Trust, a Group 1 winner in France making his U.S. debut Saturday for trainer Bill Mott.

Teaks North has not started since finishing a well-beaten eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Teaks North became a millionaire during his 2011 campaign, which was highlighted by victories here in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap in February and Monmouth Park’s Grade 1 United Nations early last summer.

Mutual Trust began his career finishing first in four straight starts, although he was disqualified from the purse money in the second of those victories. He capped the streak with a head victory over Zoffany in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly, but has not started since finishing far back against Group 1 competition at Deauville on Aug. 15.

Mutual Trust, who has never raced beyond a mile, will compete with Lasix for the first time in the Fort Lauderdale. He has worked steadily over the main track at Payson Park since early December in preparation for his return.

The multiple graded stakes winner Mambo Meister will return to the grass for the first time since finishing a disappointing sixth in Calder’s Grade 3 Miami Mile Handicap in April.

Silver Medallion rallied to win Calder’s Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap in his 2011 finale while making just his third start since being transferred to trainer Todd Pletcher’s barn midway through his 3-year-old campaign.

Hoofit slipped up the rail to upset Keeneland’s Grade 3 Phoenix Stakes in just his second U.S. start, but finished far back after taking up on the turn in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

Fort Lauderdale Stakes (G3), Post Time: 4:45 ET Saturday

Purse: $100,000; 1 1/16 mile (T)





ML Odds



E. Coletti, Sr.

R. Maragh




B. Walsh

J. Castanon



Guys Reward

D. Romans

D. Centeno



Yummy With Butter

Y. Belsoeur

P. Lopez



Mutual Trust (GB)

B. Mott

J. Lezcano



Mambo Meister

P. Gleaves

J. Bravo



Teaks North

J. Sallusto

J. Leyva



Flat Out

C. Dickey

A. Solis




R. Attfield

J. Velazquez



Silver Medallion

T. Pletcher

J. Castellano



Hoofit (NZ)

H. Motion

E. Prado



Kindergarden Kid

B. Tagg

J. Leparoux



Cool Blue Red Hot (MTO)

A. Penna, Jr.

M. Cruz



Flatter This (MTO)

K. O'Connell

L. Jurado