The Grade 3, $125,000 Canadian Turf Stakes will run as Race 8 on the Feb. 27 card at Gulfstream Park.
The event for 4-year-olds and up will cover 1 1/16 miles on turf and include names like Venezuelan Hug, Eons, and Fancy Liquor among the field of nine.
Here is a look at the top runners set for the Canadian Turf Stakes.
Betting Preview: Venezuelan Hug, Eons
One of the leading names in the field is Spedale Family Racing and R. A. Hill Stable’s Venezuelan Hug. The 4-year-old constitution colt is trained by Danny Gargan.
He has a career record of 5-0-1 from nine starts and earnings of $178,430. In 2021, he has one win from one start.
That victory came in the Jan. 16 Sunshine Turf Stakes (Black Type) at Gulfstream Park, where he registered a 109 Speed Figure. To close out his 2020 season, the colt won the Nov. 21 Millions Turf Preview Stakes (Black Type) at Gulfstream Park West, which followed an eighth-place run in the Oct. 3 Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park.
Venezuelan Hug will break from post 6 under jockey Junior Alvarado.
He will be up against Mark Grier’s Eons. The 5-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway is trained by Arnaud Delacour.
He is 4-2-0 from 13 career starts with earnings of $319,015. In 2021, he has two runner-up efforts from two races.
Those second-place finishes came in the Feb. 6 Tampa Bay Stakes (G3), where he registered a 110 Speed Figure and a Jan. 10 allowance optional claiming race at Tampa Bay Downs. To close out his 2020 season, he finished eighth in the Oct. 15 Sycamore Stakes (G3) at Keeneland. Another one of Eons’s notable performances was a fourth-place run in the Sept. 12 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes (G3) at Kentucky Downs.
Eons will break from post 5 under rider Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Betting Preview: Fancy Liquor
Another runner to look out for is Skychai Racing and Sand Dollar Stable’s Fancy Liquor. The 4-year-old Lookin at Lucky colt is trained by Michael Maker.
He is 3-2-2 from nine starts with earnings of $500,187. He is still looking for his first on-the-board performance of 2021.
Last time out, he finished sixth in the Feb. 6 Tampa Bay Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay, registering a 105 Speed Figure. To close out 2020, he ran fifth in the Dec. 26 Tropical Park Derby at Gulfstream Park. Two of his 2020 victories include the Sept. 5 American Turf Stakes presented by Smithfield (G2) at Churchill Downs and the Aug. 12 Caesars Stakes at Indiana Grand Race Course.
Fancy Liquor will break from post 4 under jockey Jose Ortiz.
The rest of the field (post, jockey) is set to include: Bizzee Channel (post 1, E.J. Zayas); Olympic Runner (post 2, J. R. Velazquez); Gear Jockey (post 3, C. J. Lanerie); Monarchs Glen (post 7, T. Gaffalione); Dynadrive (post 8, P. Lopez); and Winters Back (post 9, K. Carmouche).
Free Betting Pick
Spedale Family Racing and R. A. Hill Stable’s Venezuelan Hug is going to be hard to beat as he looks for his second win of 2021. He is coming into the Canadian turf following a strong stakes victory at the track, and he has been demonstrating solid speed figures in his last few outings.
Spooky Express Free Pick: Venezuelan Hug
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