03/05/2015 11:20AM

Night Prowler remains one to beat in Palm Beach

Barbara D. Livingston
Night Prowler (left) remains the favorite in a postponed Palm Beach Stakes on Saturday.

The deck has been reshuffled from last week, albeit with one key card missing. Dubai Sky now is skipping the Palm Beach Stakes on Saturday at Gulfstream Park in favor of the March 21 Spiral Stakes on the Turfway Park synthetic surface.

Otherwise, Night Prowler remains the horse to beat in a field of nine 3-year-old turf horses in the Grade 3, $150,000 Palm Beach, which was among the races lost in the downpour that swamped the south Florida track last Saturday.

Trained by Chad Brown for owner-breeder Paul Pompa Jr., Night Prowler will be looking to validate his rallying score in the Grade 3 Dania Beach at Gulfstream nine weeks ago. The Giant’s Causeway gelding will break from the middle of the pack in post 5 when ridden again by Javier Castellano.

:: DRF Live: Get real-time updates and insights from DRF reporters and handicappers on Saturday

Other contenders in the reconfigured Palm Beach lineup include Croninthebarbarian and Eh Cumpari, both exiting the Jan. 24 Kitten’s Joy Stakes, and Divisidero, an impressive debut winner Feb. 7.

The 1 1/16-mile Palm Beach is carded as the ninth of 12 races, with post time set for 4:30 p.m. Eastern.

Key contenders

Night Prowler (Last 3 Beyers: 80-75-62)

* He already has developed a terrific late kick and a certain focus, owing in part to him being gelded prior to starting his career.

“As soon as we gelded the horse, he turned it around,” said Brown. “Gelding doesn’t help every horse, but it helped him.”

As with some of his opponents, he had a maintenance breeze this week (a half-mile in 49.80 seconds Monday on the Palm Meadows turf) in the wake of the race postponement.

Croninthebarbarian (Last 3 Beyers: 76-77-75)

Dancing most every dance for Garry Simms, this Rick Pitino homebred continues to more than pay his way, having run third to Night Prowler in the Dania Beach and third in the Kitten’s Joy three weeks later.

:: GULFSTREAM PARK: Get PPs, watch Saturday’s card live

Eh Cumpari (Last 3 Beyers: 74-61-78)

Put forth a creditable effort when a close-up fifth in his turf debut in the Kitten’s Joy and seems to fit well with this kind. A $225,000 yearling purchase by Elusive Quality, the colt is based at Palm Meadows with trainer Michael Dilger, a former assistant to Todd Pletcher.

Divisidero (Last Beyer: 75)

Flashy maiden score on the Gulfstream turf has trainer Buff Bradley hoping this son of Kitten’s Joy is the next “big horse” in the barn, following Brass Hat and Groupie Doll. Bradley has a subpar win percentage with first-time starters.

“I always say if they win with me first time out, they must be pretty special,” he said with a laugh.