12/28/2012 4:34PM

Gulfstream Park: Little Distorted will sprint in Spectacular Bid

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Little Distorted will not be asked to try a route until a little later in his 3-year-old campaign.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Darrin Miller had two options for his speedy sensation Little Distorted on New Year’s Day at Gulfstream Park – keep him at six furlongs in the Spectacular Bid or stretch out to a mile for the Gulfstream Park Derby.

Miller ultimately opted to remain on the conservative side for the time being with Little Distorted, who was purchased privately by Silverton Hill LLC shortly after his eye-catching maiden win at Belmont Park on Oct. 28. Little Distorted will make his much anticipated 3-year-old bow in the Spectacular Bid, where he will face five rivals, including Merit Man, runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint.

Miller did not pick up Little Distorted, who earned a 101 Beyer Speed Figure in his debut, and transfer him up to his Payson Park base until the middle of December. Little Distorted had remained with his former trainer, Michael Mareina, and breezed twice over the Gulfstream strip. “We just decided that having had only one start, it was in Little Distorted’s best interests to keep him at six furlongs once more instead of trying to stretch him to a mile this soon,” Miller said. “Naturally, we believe he’ll have no problem going longer. That’s the main reason they paid the price they did for this colt, and if all goes well Tuesday, we’ll look to explore those options later in the meet.”

Purple Egg tops Gulfstream Derby

The Spectacular Bid is the first of four stakes races to be decided on Tuesday’s special New Year’s Day program. The Gulfstream Park Derby, the first major stakes for 3-year-olds on the road to the Florida Derby here this season, lured a field of eight, topped by the undefeated Purple Egg along with stakes winners Star Contender, Itsmyluckyday, and Sr. Quisqueyano.

The highlight of the afternoon will be the appearance of multiple Grade 2 winner Kauai Katie, who will be the odds-on favorite to defeat her four rivals in the Grade 3 Old Hat. Kauai Katie drew the rail for her first start since finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

The $75,000 Ginger Brew will be the most competitive of the four stakes on the holiday card. The 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies lured a full field of 14 that includes stakes winners Mariel N Kathy, Discreet Marq, and Kitten’s Dumplings.