01/30/2013 5:16PM

Gulfstream Park notes: Citrus Kid joins Donn Handicap field

Bob Coglianese
Citrus Kid returns from a 14-month layoff to win a Gulfstream allowance race in December.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Add Citrus Kid to the steadily growing list of likely starters for the Grade 1 Donn Handicap on Feb. 9. Citrus Kid returned from a 14-month layoff to upset El Padrino under allowance conditions on the main track on Dec. 19. Citrus Kid had run his previous eight starts on turf.

“I always thought he was a pretty good colt,” said trainer John Terranova. “We originally bought him as a dirt horse. He got sidetracked a couple of times, wound up returning from his first layoff on grass, and just stayed there for a while. But now he’s back on dirt. He ran well in his first start back, is training great, so we’ll try him in the Donn. I know it’s an ambitious spot but he deserves the chance to see how far he can go on the dirt.”

Citrus Kid is among a stellar field pointing for the Donn that also includes Flat Out, Take Charge Indy, Csaba, Pool Play, El Padrino, Ultimate Eagle, and Bourbon Courage. Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up Mucho Macho Man is also among the nominees, although his connections have yet to make a decision on his status for the Donn.

Terranova will also have a decision to make over the next couple of days: whether to stay home Saturday with his recently acquired 3-year-old prospect Falling Sky to run in the Grade 2 Hutcheson at seven furlongs or ship to Tampa Bay Downs the same afternoon for the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

Falling Sky was cross entered by Terranova in both races on Wednesday. Falling Sky drew post 2 and is one of 10 horses entered for the seven-furlong Hutcheson. From the rail out, the others are Forty Tales, Weekend Hideaway, Little Distorted, Merit Man, Singanothersong, Undrafted, Honorable Dillon, Pataky Kid, and Really Sharp.

Falling Sky was purchased for $425,000 earlier this month at the OBS mixed sale. The son of Lion Heart has captured two of his three career starts, including a 6 ½-furlong allowance dash here on Dec. 15 in which he defeated the highly regard Majestic Hussar and Singanothersong.

“He’s got a lot of nice qualities about him and he’s breezed well twice since we got him up to Palm Meadows,” said Terranova. “We’ll take a look at both races before making a decision, although at the moment I’m leaning towards keeping him here for the Hutcheson. Distance would be the big question if we send him up to Tampa for the Sam Davis, although obviously we think he will stretch out. That’s the reason we bought him.”

Merit Man will be favored to win the Hutcheson coming off his victory in the Spectacular Bid earlier in the meet.

Pataky Kid tuned up for his 3-year-old debut by working a sharp half-mile in 46.78 seconds, completing his final quarter under little urging in 23.58 into a strong headwind here Wednesday morning.  

Plans for Caroline Thomas

Trainer Barclay Tagg called Caroline Thomas’s third-place finish in Sunday’s Sweetest Chant “a little disappointing” after the improving 3-year-old filly was beaten a half-length by the favored Premier Steps following a wide trip. The loss snapped a two-race win streak for Caroline Thomas, who captured an allowance race over the local course earlier in the meet.

“I thought we had a good shot of winning the race the way she’d been running and training, but she was only beaten about a quarter-length or something like that while wide the whole way, so I can’t complain about it,” said Tagg. “She probably needs more distance as well.”

Tagg said Caroline Thomas would likely make her next start in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes at 1 1/8 miles here on March 3.