02/12/2007 12:00AM

Horse of the day for 2/9


Gulfstream Park - Race 9
6 Furlongs
Maiden Special Weight
Purse $44,000

HUNTING hasn't figured out the starting gate yet, but he was making up ground on Americanrevolution last time, and that foe returned to win his next two starts in gate-to-wire fashion with identical 97 Beyer Speed Figures. A half-brother to Minister's Joy (turf stakes-placed), Hunting is out of a multiple stakes-placed dam, and the second dam is a half-sister to graded winners Eastern Echo, Roar, Blare of Trumpets, and Yell. In an interesting coincidence, that second dam is the dam of PAY IN KIND. Hunting shows a bullet workout for this, and both of Shug McGaughey's wins at this meet came with horses returning from a layoff. There should be enough pace to setup Hunting's late run.
PIZZI'S PRIDE is an interesting runner making his first start since May. Three starts back, he finished second in a race that produced four next-out winners. New trainer Marty Wolfson removes the blinkers, and Pizzi's Pride projects to rally from off the pace on Friday. According to Formulator 4.1 statistics, Wolfson is 15-56 (27%, $2.25 ROI) over the past five years in the "first after trainer switch" category. Pizzi's Pride finished second in all three lifetime sprint tries, and is jockey Eddie Castro's first call. LUDINGTON needs scratch help if he's to break into the body of the race, and as Castro's second call, may receive a rider switch. He finished ahead of a next-out winner at Tampa on January 16. EL APACHE is a half to multiple stakes-placed Stacy's Squaw (debut winner), and stakes-winner Willing (189K in earning). The dam was a stakes-winner, and the off-site works look pretty good. SCORPIUS must deal with a tough inside post position, but he's a half to three black-type earners (two debut winners), and his sire is 15-66 (23%) with first-time starters. He's bred for speed on both sides of the pedigree.
HEDGE FUND is the first foal out of a winning full-sister to graded winners Accelerator and Daydreaming.

The selection: Hunting - Pizzi's Pride exacta