04/13/2011 2:10PM

Gulfstream: Sean Avery, How's Your Halo bring back class into sprint feature


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – For a first-level optional $40,000 claimer for older horses this late into the meet, Friday’s $66,900 feature at Gulfstream Park has come up pretty salty, attracting a field that includes Grade 2 winner How’s Your Halo, the lightly raced but speedy Savemyspotimbeting, and the undefeated Won Fast Bullet.

And then there is Sean Avery who hasn’t started since finishing sixth, beaten less than three lengths by Cherokee Country, in the 2009 Fall Highweight at Aqueduct.

Sean Avery has had his career interrupted on two occasions due to injuries and is back in the barn of trainer Allen Iwinski, for whom he first ran as a 2-year-old during the summer of 2008. Now 5, Sean Avery has posted two victories in just five lifetime starts, including an impressive entry-level allowance win at Aqueduct during the fall of 2009 for which he earned a 96 Beyer Speed Figure. He is eligible for Friday’s main event by running for the $40,000 tag.

“He’s had to work through some problems on a couple of occasions during his career but he seems to be doing well right now,” said Iwinski, who trains Sean Avery for Black Swan Stable. “I was pleasantly surprised when the owners sent him back to me. He’s got talent and we’re going to have a lot of fun with him if things go well.”

Sean Avery has posted five official works since resuming training here, including a pair of black-letter drills on March 8 and March 31.

“He went through his breezes pretty well but it’s hard to tell if he’ll need a race,” said Iwinski. “When you’re off 15 months you’re never 100 percent sure. And by making this race an optional claimer, it has come up a lot tougher than a straight first-level allowance race.”

How’s Your Halo, like Sean Avery, will run under a $40,000 claiming tag for trainer Brian Prichard. Now 8, How’s Your Halo is winless since capturing Calder’s Ponche Handicap almost two years ago and has not started since finishing fifth in the Jack Dudley Sprint Handicap on Nov. 13. His finest hour came here during the winter of 2009 when he upset Ikigai to capture the Grade 2 Richter Scale at odds of 47-1.

Savemyspotimbeting took 13 months off following his eye-catching debut victory here last winter before returning earlier in the meet to miss by a head to the swift Candyman E. after contesting the pace with the winner from gate to wire. A son of Vindication, Savemyspotimbeting posted a bullet five- furlong drill in 59 seconds here one week ago.

Won Fast Bullet makes his first start since running away to a 4 1/4-length debut win on Jan. 27. He was claimed out of the race for $35,000 by trainer Rick Dutrow for owner Tom Andreadakis.

Leavenworth earned high marks, a 93 Beyer, capturing a nonwinners of three lifetime sprint for $20,000 claimers on March 17 in his second start for trainer Marty Wolfson.