Updated on 09/17/2011 9:48AM

Lots going for Red Sea in feature

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - There are a lot of basic handicapping principles that point to Red Sea as the winner of Wednesday's feature race at Gulfstream Park, a $46,000 allowance race that drew a stakes-caliber field going about 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Red Sea is in peak form, takes a drop in class, and is a closer in a race in which most of the major contenders are speed types. He also excels at the distance and gets Eclipse Award finalist Edgar Prado in the saddle for the first time on Wednesday.

Trainer Roger Attfield has been around long enough to know none of that assures a victory for Red Sea, although he does believe his horse should be a major factor if he repeats any of his last three performances.

"This is a horse with a lot of back class who sort of lost his way for a little bit," said Attfield. "I decided to have him gelded last summer and since then he's rounded back to his old form."

Red Sea won a division of Woodbine's Grade 3 Connaught Cup in the spring of 2001 but did not win again until Attfield dropped him into a $50,000 claimer in October. Since that confidence booster, Red Sea has won Woodbine's Labeeb Stakes and was third here earlier this month in the Grade 2 Appleton Handicap.

Red Sea has won three of five career starts at 1 1/16 miles and worked a bullet half-mile last week at Payson Park.

"This is definitely his best distance and he seems to be doing very well coming into the race," said Attfield.

Red Sea will have to be at his best to top a field that includes North East Bound, Sir Brian's Sword, and Wertz, all of whom do their best when able to set or press the pace.

North East Bound drops into allowance company after keeping a steady diet of graded stakes company on the turf for the past year. He is seeking to rebound from a string of losses, including a ninth-place finish in the Appleton, and will be equipped with blinkers for the first time since finishing second in the 2002 Ft. Lauderdale Handicap.

Sir Brian's Sword has made only two starts since winning a third-level allowance race here in April, winning Delaware Park's Leader Band Stakes and finishing second to Miesque's Approval in Calder's restricted Bonnie Heath Turf Handicap on Nov. 16.

Wertz moves into the red hot Mark Shuman barn after being claimed for $100,000 on Jan. 8.

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