An action packed day of racing awaits Gulfstream Park on Saturday, with three graded stakes races on the agenda. However, the standout of those comes in the form of the G2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes, which will be the eleventh race due off.
This race will be run over a distance of 1 ⅛ miles on the turf, with a purse of $200,000 having been made available. A competitive field will go to post, but, which runner could hold the leading claims?
Race History & Records
The Ft Lauderdale Stakes has been staged annually since 1947. It was first run at the Fort Lauderdale Handicap. One of the most famous editions of the race was run in 1957 when Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Needles landed a dramatic success by over 20 lengths on his final racecourse start.
The race became a regular graded affair in 2010, before it was upgraded to Grade 2 status in 2013. Jerry Bailey holds the record for the most wins as a jockey with eight, while William Mott is the most successful trainer with the same number of victories.
Stone Age represents the Chad Brown yard this weekend, but he will likely need to finish better than he did in the recent G1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic when a distant fifth.
Wins in the states have been hard to come by for this talented runner, with his most recent success coming in the G3 Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown in May 2022. However, he holds excellent form in Grade 1 company, and that makes him a strong chance against less proven opposition this weekend.
One of the most exciting progressive contenders to consider this weekend is the Main Event. The four-year-old produced a strong effort on his previous start when recording a speed figure of 107 when winning over 1 1/16 miles at Aqueduct.
He holds some solid pieces of form in graded company, including when landing the G3 Kent Stakes at Delaware. Interestingly, he also boasts previous winning experience at Gulfstream, landing the Cutler Bay Stakes over 1 1/16 miles in April 2022. Could have an excellent chance back at a familiar track.
Red Run represents the Michael Maker yard this weekend, and the four-year-old shouldn’t be far away if replicating his recent runs over the extended distance on the turf. He was last seen finishing eighth over 1 ⅛ miles in the G3 River City, but he had excuses on that day.
He has already won over this distance this year, scoring in an allowance optional claimer company at Churchill Downs in September. That run reached a career-best speed figure of 107, and he could play a prominent role from a strong draw.
Ft Lauderdale Stakes Prediction
A number of horses appear to be progressive this weekend, and they could cause dangers to the pick. However, Stone Age is experienced at the highest level, and this could be his perfect opportunity to finally land a graded victory in the United States for Chad Brown.
Pick: Stone Age (bet at BetDSI)