08/22/2013 12:37PM

Gulfstream Park: Sr. Quisqueyano looks to regain form in Eight Miles East

Coady Photography
Sr. Quisqueyano won the Calder Derby (above) the last time he raced two turns on dirt, which are the conditions for the Eight Miles East Stakes on Saturday.

The last time Sr. Quisqueyano raced two turns on dirt he soared to a career-best 99 Beyer Speed Figure and romped by 7 1/2 lengths. Whether he can regain that form following two unsuccessful attempts sprinting and a bad one-race experiment on turf is a question handicappers must answer when rating the contenders in Saturday’s $100,000 Eight Miles East Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

The 3-year-old Sr. Quisqueyano will be facing older horses for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile Eight Miles East, which drew eight runners, led by graded stakes winner Where’s Sterling.

The best race of Sr. Quisqueyano’s 13-race career came in early April, when he scored a dominant front-running victory in the $250,000 Calder Derby going 1 1/8 miles. He was far back early and rallied only mildly in two subsequent sprint stakes, then led for the first six furlongs in a slow 1:15.35 before stopping while making his turf debut in the Showing Up on July 20.

Trainer Luis Olivares has worked Sr. Quisqueyano three times on dirt since Aug. 3 to prepare him for Saturday’s spot.

The logical horse to beat is Where’s Sterling, who returned from 11 months on the sidelines to get up by a head over a sloppy track at Calder in a July 27 allowance. He has won the last three times he has raced on dirt, including back-to-back stakes at Calder last season. As a 4-year-old in 2011, Where’s Sterling won the Grade 3 Iselin at Monmouth Park and was a close second in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup.

The 4-year-old Megamove has not been worse than second in four previous starts at Gulfstream. He will be making his first start in three months, following back-to-back runner-up finishes in two-turn minor stakes at Calder. He has fired fresh in the past, including a wire-to-wire victory at Gulfstream last December.

Simmstown steps up in class following an 8 3/4-length win in a first-level allowance three weeks ago. He will be going two turns on dirt for the first time.

Joshua’s Comprise got up by only a neck two weeks ago in a second-level optional $25,000 claimer going a one-turn-mile, but the 86 Beyer he earned is only one point lower than the number Simmstown was awarded for his dominant victory. Joshua’s Comprise usually closes from far back and will need a hot, contested pace to run his best.