01/23/2012 3:45PM

Gulfstream Park: Liquidity Trap tries again at same level

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Barbara D. Livingston
Gold Megillah will return to turf in an optional claimer Wednesday at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Chad Brown hoped to be running his promising 3-year-old turf horse Liquidity Trap last weekend in the Kitten’s Joy Stakes. Instead, Liquidity Trap will wait until Wednesday, when he takes on allowance competition for a second time in the $53,500 feature at Gulfstream Park to be decided at a mile on the turf.

Liquidity Trap went postward the even-money favorite under similar optional claiming conditions here Dec. 26, but he finished third, hanging through the final furlong after moving within easy striking distance of the leaders near midstretch. In his previous start, Liquidity Trap rallied wide from near the rear of the pack to finish second to the still unbeaten two-time stakes winner Summer Front in Aqueduct’s King Cugat overnight stakes.

“To be honest, he really didn’t have an excuse in his race down here, other than he’s probably not in favor of a really firm turf course,” Brown said. “I think he liked the courses in New York that had a little more give in them better. But we’re here, and you’ve got to play the hand dealt you. I think he has a lot of talent and I thought about running him in the Kitten’s Joy, but decided to try another allowance race instead, see what happens, and if he can handle these types of horses, then we’ll think about another stakes somewhere down the road.”

Another member of Wednesday’s field coming off an even more discouraging showing in his local debut is Gold Megillah who returns to the grass after finishing far back making his 3-year-old debut over the main track in the Gulfstream Park Derby on New Years’ Day. Gold Megillah had earned the opportunity to try stakes company when winning his maiden by more than 18 lengths at Churchill Downs in his 2-year-old finale.

Gold Megillah, a son of Purim, is already proven on grass, having finished a strong second, despite a very wide trip, when making his turf debut at Belmont Park late last summer.

“He really had no excuse here last time, other than I’ve seen a lot of horses come to this track and just not run well on the dirt,” said Graham Motion, who trains Gold Megillah for West Point Thoroughbreds. “So, we’ll just get back to basics with him and put him on the grass again. He was really unlucky the first time he started on the turf, he probably should have won, and didn’t run that badly the second time in the stakes after getting knocked around and steadied.”

The horse to beat in Wednesday’s headliner may be Heiko, a $385,000 yearling purchase who has improved smartly since being switched to the turf by trainer Darrin Miller. Heiko won his grass debut at Tampa Bay Downs on Dec. 3, before returning to finish third, beaten a length, in a well graded optional claimer on the grass making his local debut here earlier this month.