03/02/2011 5:20PM

Safe Trip preps for future stakes in Gulfstream optional claimer


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – It’s not often a horse runs a 100 Beyer Speed Figure in a second level optional claiming race. And gets beat! But that’s exactly what happened to Safe Trip, who ran the race of his life in his 2011 debut but still came out on the short end of a head decision to the old pro Joey P. here at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 14.

Safe Trip will try again against similar company in Friday’s fifth race, a second-level optional $62,500 claimer at Gulfstream. The race drew a field of eight to go 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track.

Safe Trip began his career with trainer Eddie Kenneally and became graded stakes-placed when third behind Discreetly Mine last summer in Monmouth Park’s Grade 3 Jersey Shore. Safe Trip was subsequently transferred to Chad Brown’s barn and was making just his second start for his new trainer when running afoul of Joey P. early in the meet.

“It was really a tough beat but when I looked up and saw that it was a pretty salty dog who beat us, I didn’t feel as bad,” said Brown, referring to Joey P., an 18-time winner of more than $1 million in his career. “I gave him plenty of time off to recuperate from the race and he’s been training extremely well ever since.”

Safe Trip has posted three black letter works since his last start, including five furlongs in 1:00.80 at Palm Meadows on Feb. 22.

“He ran extremely fast last time and it was his first start with blinkers so with his numbers I have high hopes of him becoming a stakes horse later this year,” said Brown.

Mia’s Angel is also coming off a career-best performance from a Beyer standpoint, earning a 95 for his one-length victory over De Price in an entry-level allowance going seven furlongs on Jan. 29. Mia’s Angel, a son of Even the Score, is trained by Steve DiMauro for Half Hollow Racing.

Hear Ye Hear Ye returns to allowance company after being overmatched in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap four weeks ago. Hear Ye Hear Ye won a lesser priced, second-level optional claimer at Calder by five lengths on Dec. 10.

Alyarf makes his U.S. debut for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. He has won two of his five previous starts but has run just once since capturing a listed stakes at Newmarket in May 2009.