03/19/2012 3:33PM

Gulfstream: Turbo Compressor romps in grass debut

Barbara D. Livingston
Turbo Compressor is under consideration for the Maker's 46 Mile.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - It took Turbo Compressor nearly until the spring of his 4-year-old campaign and 11 starts to finally get on the turf. But it was well worth the wait.

Turbo Compressor dominated a strong allowance field that included the multiple graded stakes winner Boisterous by 5 1/2 widening lengths under leading rider Javier Castellano when he finally made his turf debut in Sunday’s co-featured fourth race at Gulfstream Park. The victory was the fifth for Turbo Compressor, who is already a two-time stakes winner and graded stakes-placed on dirt.

“One of the owners, Carlos Morales, suggested we try the grass at some point because he said the horse had some turf in his pedigree,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “We worked him on the grass, he handled it well, so we decided to look for a spot and give it a try. This was a legitimate test, although it looked on paper like we had a pace advantage. He got pressed a little more than I’d hoped, but once he got down he really stretched out and looked great. This was a pretty serious effort.”

Pletcher said he would look at several possible options for Turbo Compressor’s next start, including the Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland, although he said where and when he returns would depend on how quickly he bounced out of Sunday’s race.

Trainer Shug McGaughey said he had mixed emotions about Boisterous’ performance in his return. Boisterous, winner of the Grade 3 Knickerbocker and Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap to close out his 2011 campaign, finished fourth, nearly seven lengths behind Turbo Compressor, after making a mild run at the leader into the stretch.

“I was pleased with his effort,” said McGaughey. “I think the turf might have been a little to firm for him, and he wasn’t going to beat the winner, although I’d hoped he’d have finished a little better.”