02/01/2009 12:00AM

Gulfstream Park Turf Cap cast impressive


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The decision to shorten Sunday's Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap from 1 3/8 miles to 1 1/8 miles this winter returned quick dividends, with 11 entering the race, including Breeders' Cup winners Kip Deville and Red Rocks. The field is one of the strongest in recent memory.

The Gulfstream Park Turf has been a fixture here since 1986.

Kip Deville, winner of the 2007 Breeders' Cup Mile, will carry high weight of 124 pounds while looking to rebound from his ninth-place finish in the Hong Kong Mile.

Red Rocks, hero of the 2006 Breeders' Cup Turf, won the Grade 1 Man o' War last summer at Belmont Park. He will tote 122 pounds on Sunday.

Court Vision, who closed out his 3-year-old campaign last year with a last-to-first victory in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby, will also carry 121 pounds.

Completing the field are Kiss the Kid, upset winner of the Fort Lauderdale here three weeks ago; South American Group 1 winner Uigur; as well as Just as Well, Pick Six, Nergal, Sligovitz, and Summer Patriot. Phil the Power was entered for main track only.

The Gulfstream Park Turf is one of two turf stakes here Sunday, along with the Grade 3, $125,000 Suwannee River. Topping the field of fillies and mares are Callwood Dancer, who was runner-up behind Wild Promises in Calder's Grade 3 My Charmer Handicap, The Niagara Queen, and Waquoit's Love.

Well Positioned starting his year

Well Positioned will make his much-anticipated 3-year-old debut in Saturday's opening race, a one-mile first-level allowance. Well Positioned, a son of Awesome Again, served notice he could be a player on this year's Kentucky Derby trail with a 14-length maiden victory going a mile in his 2-year-old finale at Aqueduct on Nov. 22.

Well Positioned finished sixth in his debut, which surprised Pat Reynolds, who trains the colt for Paul Pompa Jr.

"His big win the second time was no fluke, and now it's time to get him going again," Reynolds said. "Obviously if he runs well on Saturday our main objective will be the Florida Derby."

Reynolds will also send out another of his highly regarded 3-year-olds, Dubinsky, in Saturday's eighth race in a field that includes the debuting Nicanor, Barbaro's well-publicized full brother. Dubinsky comes into the one-mile maiden race off a second-place finish behind Alma d'Oro under similar conditions on Jan. 15.

"Dubinsky and Well Positioned were workmates, and I've always been very high on him, too," said Reynolds who is still winless at the meet. "I've got four horses in Saturday and hopefully we'll have a big day and turn things around."

Nicanor, trained by Michael Matz, will break from post 4 and be ridden by Edgar Prado.

Elusive Heat much the best

As expected, Elusive Heat cruised to an easy victory in Thursday's $42,000 allowance feature. Elusive Heat, a 3-year-old daughter of Elusive Quality, sped right to the front and was never headed under Alan Garcia, registering her second victory in three career starts. Her lone setback had come 25 days earlier, when she was beaten a nose by Gemswick Park in the Grade 3 Old Hat Stakes. Elusive Heat was a 1-9 favorite and paid $2.20.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin opted to bypass Friday's Grade 2 Forward Gal Stakes and a rematch with Gemswick Park in lieu of Thursday's headliner.

"I have no regrets about passing the stakes," said McLaughlin. "We want to do right by her in terms of experience and confidence. It was good to get a nice win into her."

McLaughlin said Elusive Heat could make her next start in Aqueduct's Grade 3 Cicada Stakes on March 14.