12/03/2015 3:24PM

Local runners look to turn back invaders in Glass Slipper

Tom Keyser
Courtney Ryan will start Saturday in the Claiming Crown Glass Slipper at Gulfstream Park.

Unlike some of the other Claiming Crown races Saturday at Gulfstream Park in south Florida, most of the fillies and mares in the $110,000 Glass Slipper made their last starts just across town at Gulfstream West.

And unless there’s some intervention by Primo Via or Aix en Provence – both entered off solid efforts in Maryland – or recent Cleveland arrival Moonshine Promise, then the Glass Slipper winner definitely will have exited a Gulfstream West race.

Of those, Courtney Ryan, My House, and Concealedwithakiss appear to rate the best chances in a competitive renewal of the one-turn-mile race. They’ve been mixing it up in the local starter ranks and have shown themselves capable with top efforts.

As for the new faces, Moonshine Promise is one of a handful of horses recently shipped into the care of trainer Peter Walder by owner Ron Paolucci of Loooch Racing.

In from Thistledown, Moonshine Promise “is one of those mares that shows up every time,” said Walder. “She’s a runner. Used to be, you could cross off a horse like her coming from Thistle, but that’s not the case anymore.”

As the seventh of 11 races, the Glass Slipper (post, 3:05 p.m. Eastern) is a link in a multitude of multi-race wagers, including the start of the 50-cent pick five (races 7-11).

:: Gulfstream Park: Buy PPs, watch Saturday’s card live

Glass Slipper (race 7)

Key contenders

Primo Via (Last 3 Beyers: 77-77-42)

* Pennsylvania-bred mare was prompt as an odds-on favorite in a Laurel Park prep for this and could vault past the half-million-dollar earnings mark with a first- or second-place showing.

Courtney Ryan (Last 3 Beyers: 63-73-53)

Hard-trying Florida-bred mare has been first or second in a remarkable 39 of 67 starts and clearly would loom a factor if she puts forth one of her usual efforts.

Concealedwithakiss (Last 3 Beyers: 69-66-51)

Gray 3-year-old comes favorably drawn in the outside post in a field of 13 and is gunning for a third straight victory while having come to top form.

Moonshine Promise (Last 3 Beyers: 63-80-75)

Kentucky-bred mare adds perennial top jockey Javier Castellano and is stretching out from shorter races.

Iron Horse (race 4)

As the male counterpart to the Glass Slipper, the $110,000 Claiming Crown Iron Horse (race 4, post 1:35 p.m.) differs slightly as a two-turn race at 1 1/16 miles. Two horses that went on serious tears up north this summer after being claimed at Tampa Bay Downs – Twocubanbrothersu and Saturday Special – figure as decisive favorites in a field of 10 3-year-olds and upward.

Twocubanbrothersu, claimed in early May for $6,250, has won 6 of 8 starts for Maryland-based trainer John Rigattieri. A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred by Harlington, he and jockey Daniel Centeno should have a tactical advantage breaking from the inside post.

Saturday Special was claimed in early March for $5,000, and has won 5 of 7 subsequent starts, most of those for trainer Jorge Navarro. Edgard Zayas has the mount.

Twocubanbrothersu and Saturday Special both have shown a willingness to rate off the lead before making steady moves into contention. Without a lot of opposing speed signed on here, they figure to be among those forcing the pace.

In the unlikely event neither of the favorites comes through, the Iron Horse could fall any number of ways, including to Runs With Bulls or Nominative, a Mike Maker-trained filly who has raced mostly in grass races.

Key contenders

Twocubanbrothersu (Last 3 Beyers: 85-98-78)

In trying to come up with a way to beat him, horseplayers will have to get past that huge two-back Beyer, not to mention how he’ll likely loom a major factor throughout when able to save ground.

Saturday Special (Last 3 Beyers: 78-85-85)

Kentucky-bred gelding by Any Given Saturday has done very little wrong since being turned over in the spring to Navarro, who has become entrenched as a dominant trainer on the year-round south Florida circuit.