02/21/2011 5:12PM

Irish-bred Blue Angel looks intriguing in Gulfstream turf allowance


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Every winter, trainer Christophe Clement seems to have one or more European-bred fillies to ship down from Payson Park to make their U.S. debuts over the Gulfstream Park turf course. One of those fillies, the Irish-bred Blue Angel, should give Clement a strong hand in Wednesday’s feature, an entry-level allowance carded at a mile on the grass.

Blue Angel, a 4-year-old daughter of the Irish sire Oratorio, held her own in Group 1 and Group 3 races in England at 2 and was listed-stakes-placed twice at 3. In her next-to-last start last season, Blue Angel finished second behind Rainfall in Ascot’s October Stakes. Rainfall came back just one week later to finish third in the Group 1 Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.

Blue Angel has not started since closing out her 3-year-old campaign finishing 12th in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes in mid-October but has been working steadily for her return at Payson, where she has had six recorded works since Jan. 16. Joe Bravo, who has handled the bulk of Clement’s business here this winter, will have the mount.

Blue Angel will break from post 11 in a full field of 12 older fillies and mares in Wednesday’s headliner. Among the other key contenders are Cosset, Storm Showers, Oh So Nice, Suroof, and trainer Todd Pletcher’s uncoupled duo of Golden Galleon and Dad’s Crazy.

Cosset has been a beaten favorite in her last two starts under similar conditions, finishing second at 3-5 on New Year’s Day at Calder and third at 2-1 making her local debut here four weeks later. Cosset is a late-running sort who should benefit from all the speed in this lineup.
Oh So Nice has made just two starts since July 2009, but kicked off her 2011 season finishing fourth under similar allowance conditions early this winter in a key race that produced a pair of next-out winners.

Storm Showers has been idle since finishing fourth in her two-turn debut last August at Saratoga.

Dad’s Crazy may be the stronger of the Pletcher pair, having finished third after setting a contested pace under similar conditions over the main track here last month. But she must overcome the outside post returning to the turf on Wednesday.