A Thread of Blue Returns in Gulfstream’s Tropical Turf
Photo Copyright Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
After scratching out of the Tropical Park Derby two weeks ago, four-year-old A Thread of Blue makes his 2020 debut in the $100,000 Tropical Turf (G3) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. The race can be watched and wagered on with TVG.
Leonard C Green’s A Thread of Blue was a $430,000 juvenile purchase who has gone on to amass earnings over $1 million. The son of Hard Spun was last seen finishing second in the Hill Prince (G2) at Belmont Park October 5. In August he won the rich Saratoga Derby Invitational, and finished fourth in the Jockey Club Derby Invitational a month later. Luis Saez retains his regular mount on the colt, who is unbeaten in three starts on this turf course and seeks the sixth win of his career.
One of his rivals is the Zayat Stables Gidu (Ire), a son of Frankel. A maiden winner here two years ago, Gidu was grade 3 placed here in 2018. He has gone on to be a winner at Belmont Park and has tried tough competition, including the grade 1 Fourtstardave at Saratoga over the summer. John Velazquez will ride Gidu for the tenth time.
Joseph Orseno now trains Maraud, a son of Blame who was in the barn of Carlos Martin previously. Maraud is two for three over the turf course, including the Palm Beach (G3) here in 2018. He has never won over the one-mile distance, but has been third three times. Paco Lopez is aboard for the first time.
Empire of War starts from the rail. Mike Maker trains the son of Declaration of War, who will get Javier Castellano up for the first time. The four-year-old bay has not won since the Award Stakes at Aqueduct in November, 2018, but he has a start under his belt from December 28 at the Fair Grounds and he is a winner over the distance.
Maker also trains Exulting. The seven-year-old gelded son of Tapit is coming off a fifth-place effort in the grade 2 Fort Lauderdale here December 14, where he was beaten only two and a quarter lengths in his first try on this course. He cuts back in distance today for this and Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride for the first time.
Tusk rounds out the logical contenders for hot trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr, who won three stakes here last Saturday. This seven-year-old son of Tapit steps up out of the Claiming Crown Emerald here on December 7, where he was third beaten just two lengths. He will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione.
Big Agenda, Gunnison, Gemonteer, and Sand Dancer complete the field.
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