02/03/2012 4:38PM

Gulfstream Park: Soaring Empire, Grace Hall drill for stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Soaring Empire is being pointed to the Donn Handicap or Gulfstream Park Sprint.

Soaring Empire earned himself a berth in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap after working an easy five furlongs in 1:01.01 here Friday. Soaring Empire broke off three lengths behind his regular workmate, Le Bon Ton Rule, then gradually wore his target down to finish on even terms while never asked the entire way. Soaring Empire galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.83.

“His work was fine, just maintenance,” trainer Cam Gambolati said. “We have two choices, the Donn or the seven-furlong Gulfstream Park Sprint where we could wind up running against the horses who finished second and third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.”

Gambolati was referring to Force Freeze and Jackson Bend.

“We think he’ll handle the distance, and he’s had a race over the track,” Gambolati said.

Grace Hall, whose only setback at 2 was a second-place finish behind Eclipse Award champion My Miss Aurelia in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, topped Friday morning’s work tab at Palm Meadows. Grace Hall worked a bullet half-mile in 46.60 seconds and could make her 3-year-old debut in the Grade 2 Davona Dale on Feb. 25.

Other big names to work at Palm Meadows on Friday morning included Pants On Fire, a half-mile in 48.60, and Souper Speeder, a leisurely four furlongs in 52.20.