Ever So Lucky, second in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club last fall at Churchill Downs, headlines a short field in Saturday’s Grade 2 $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida.
Ever So Lucky, who is making his three-year-old debut, will break from post 4 with jockey Julien Leparoux aboard. He has been installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite.
Although Ever So Lucky is lightly raced, the son of Indian Charlie, has earned Brisnet speed figures in the 90s and has recently recorded a bullet work. This will be his second attempt going two turns. He finished almost two lengths behind Gemologist in the 1 1/16 mile Kentucky Jockey Club.
Louisville trainer Dale Romans will send out two entries: Tarpy’s Goal and Quick Wit. Both colts have been rated 6-1 on the morning line. Tarpy’s Goal will make his eighth lifetime start and third stakes attempt. He has only two wins on his resume, the last coming just a month ago at Gulfstream Park going 7 furlongs, the same distance as Saturday’s Hutcheson. He earned a Brisnet speed figure of 96 for the effort. Whether or not this colt will be a Derby contender is questionable, but he may be a smart play on Saturday.
Romans’ other colt, Quick Wit, is coming in off of a maiden win only two weeks ago. Previously trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Quick Wit has already raced twice this year for Romans. Quick Wit is showing progression, but will need to make a big leap to rise to the ranks of these stakes runners.
Todd Pletcher will send out Thunder Moccasin for owner Starlight Racing. Starlight Racing also owns Holy Bull winner Algorithms. Although Thunder Moccasin broke his maiden last December in only his first start, he will open as second choice in Saturday’s field at odds of 7-5. He finished 2 ½ lengths in front of second place finisher Ender Knievel and 4 ½ lengths in front of third place finisher Panthro. Both have gone on to win subsequent races.
Last week Thunder Moccasin worked four furlongs in a sharp :47. Pletcher has a way of turning maiden winners into graded stakes winners overnight, so he must be confident this colt can get the job done if he’s going to attempt a graded stakes in the colt’s second start.
Rounding out the field of six are 5-1 Il Villano, who finished third to Grade 3 Withers Stakes winner Alpha in his last start, and 12-1 Wildcat Creek, who appears ready to make the move to graded stakes company.
The race is the 8th on Gulfstream’s star-studded Saturday card with a post time of 3:49 EST. The race can be seen on HRTV and TVG.
Photo: Courtesy Kentucky Derby