02/26/2013 12:22PM

Gulfstream Park: Frolic's Revenge, Irish Mission square off in Thursday optional claimer

Coady Photography
Frolic's Revenge will try to give trainer Milt Wolfson his first win of the Gulfstream Park meet on Thursday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – It’s been a quiet winter for trainers Milt Wolfson and Mark Frostad, but both will try to make a little noise when sending out two of the key players in Thursday’s $65,000 featured event at Gulfstream Park.

Wolfson will saddle his multiple stakes-winning filly Frolic’s Revenge, while Frostad counters with last year’s Queen’s Plate runner-up, Irish Mission, in the 1 1/16-mile turf event to be decided under high-priced optional claiming conditions for fillies and mares who have never won a graded stakes.

Wolfson has started only nine horses at the current meet and will be looking for his first winner with Frolic’s Revenge, a homebred daughter of Vindication who has already won five stakes, including Gulfstream’s Ginger Brew in her 2-year-old finale.

A three-time stakes winner last season, Frolic’s Revenge has started just once at the current session, finishing seventh after racing in tough position between horses around the turn in the Grade 3 Marshua’s River on Jan. 5. She’s one of only four horses Wolfson has stabled at Calder.

“I had nine horses right before this meet started, lost the last two I started at Calder, and had the first three I ran here claimed, too,” Wolfson said. “A guy like me just can’t run a claiming horse where he can win at Gulfstream, because you won’t be bringing them home.”

But Wolfson believes he’s got the versatile Frolic’s Revenge, a stakes winner on both turf and dirt, in the perfect spot Thursday.

“I think she’s just a shade below a graded-stakes horse, and there’s been nothing for her other than graded stakes at Gulfstream up to this point, so I just backed off her a bit,” Wolfson said. “Then this race came along, which is for horses just like her who’ve never won a graded stakes. Most of the field hasn’t run since October, and there isn’t a lot of speed in the race, so she should be able to lay within striking distance and make her move. And if the race ever comes off the grass, it would almost be a walkover for her.”

Irish Mission earned more money in 2012, $837,081, than the rest of Thursday’s field combined by virtue of her second-place finish behind Strait of Dover in the Queen’s Plate and victories in the rich Woodbine Oaks and against the boys in the Breeders’ Stakes.

Frostad, who has posted just a single win from 19 starters this winter, gave Irish Mission time off following her fifth-place finish against males in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer on Sept. 16.

Irish Mission has been preparing for her return at Palm Meadows, where she’s had six works including a pair of 1:01-and-change, five-furlong breezes earlier this month.

Shug McGaughey is in the midst of one of his best Gulfstream meets, having won nine races including the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap earlier this month with Point of Entry as well as the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth and Grade 3 Canadian Turf this past Saturday with Orb and Data Link.

He’ll counter Frolic’s Revenge and Irish Mission with Adjacent, a 7-year-old mare who has made just eight starts and none since finishing off the board in a third-level optional claiming race at Keeneland on Oct. 13.

Adjacent, a Stuart Janney III homebred, has started just once locally, finishing eighth as the tepid favorite under allowance conditions here two years ago.

In the Rough, a minor stakes winner last season at Delaware Park; Millennia, a late-running fourth in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf; and Notassharpasuthink complete the compact and wide-open lineup.