01/03/2012 3:48PM

Gulfstream Park: Wolfson taking it slow with Troilus

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Trainer Marty Wolfson said he plans to be patient with his steadily improving 4-year-old Troilus who defeated a strong field of second-level optional claiming horses that included Grade 3 winner Endorsement and Travers third-place finisher J W Blue here Sunday.

Troilus, a son of Speightstown, was transferred to Wolfson’s barn by owner John Fort’s Peachtree Stable at the end of the Saratoga meet and won a pair of allowance races at Calder going five furlongs and a mile prior to passing his first real class check over the weekend.

“He’s just a nice horse who seems to be getting better all the time,” Wolfson said. “I actually entered him going five furlongs on the turf the first time just to break his maiden. Today, he got in some trouble, but the rider [Elvis Trujillo] was able to get him through.”

Wolfson said he’s reluctant to step Troilus up into stakes company just yet.

“You know me,” Wolfson said. “Maybe we’ll look for a three-other-than next.”

Early opening pays off for track

The decision to race here in December for the first time in the track’s 69-year history proved a success, with the total handle for the 17 live days of racing exceeding $121 million. That total was $6 million higher than the handle for the final 15 April programs during the 2011 meet that included the $34 million wagered on Florida Derby Weekend.

Management also has announced a $200,000-guaranteed 50-cent pick four and a $100,000-guaranteed pick five promotion that will be offered every Saturday during the month of January.