02/09/2011 5:44PM

Soaring Empire, Tackleberry head strong field for Gulfstream Sprint

Adam Coglianese
Soaring Empire, winning the Grade 3 Hal's Hope, will be pointed to the Westchester and the Metropolitan Handicap, both at Belmont Park.

A field of eight, led by Hal’s Hope winner Soaring Empire and Sunshine Millions Classic winner Tackleberry, was drawn for Saturday’s Grade 2, $150,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship.

Soaring Empire drew the rail while Tackleberry will break from post 7 in the seven-furlong Gulfstream Sprint. The remainder of the field consists of the Marty Wolfson-trained duo of Gaucho and Coffee Boy, Mannington, Caixa Eletronica, Mad for Smarty, and Guam Typhoon.

Saturday’s stellar card also includes a $57,000 allowance race at six furlongs that drew a field of seven, led by the old warrior Joey P., and an optional $62,500 claiming event on the grass that lured Breeders’ Cup winner Furthest Land and graded-stakes-caliber horses such as Cherokee Artist, Bim Bam, and Never On Sunday.

Custom for Carlos sits out Sprint

Custom for Carlos, the runner-up here last month behind Big Drama’s track-record performance in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector, was conspicuous by his absence from the Gulfstream Park Sprint. In fact he was not even among the 20 horses nominated to the race.

“He won’t run back here,” trainer Eddie Kenneally said. “I want to keep him at six furlongs for now. He’s doing fine but I don’t have anything picked out for him just yet.”

Custom for Carlos worked four furlongs in 48.80 seconds at Palm Meadows on Wednesday, his second breeze since the Mr. Prospector.
Kenneally will bring his top female sprinter, My Jen, back Sunday in the Grade 3 Hurricane Bertie. My Jen, winner of the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap last fall at Belmont Park, has not started since finishing far back in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

◗ Workers of note at Gulfstream on Wednesday included Acting Happy, six furlongs in 1:13.50; Gangsterontherun, five furlongs in 1:00.15; and Qualia, four furlongs in 50.60.