• The week’s top Beyer speed figure in North America
Gulfstream Park (April 4): allowance optional claimer $48,000, 1m, turf, 4yo+
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Luis Saez
Owner: Harrell Ventures LLC
Pedigree: 4yo gr c War Front – High Tap (Tapit)
Todd Pletcher had wanted to run Halladay in a G3 event on the Florida Derby undercard – and it was easy to see why as the four-year-old recorded a dominant three-length victory in a hot-looking optional claimer on turf at Gulfstream Park.
Taking control on the back stretch, the son of War Front was on cruise control throughout yet still posted good fractions (23.64s, 46.39s, 1m08.95s) en route a final time of 1m32.65 – enough for a Beyer speed figure of 101.
“He’s a talented horse,” said Pletcher, who secured his 16th Gulfstream trainers’ title at the recently concluded winter meet.
“We were on the AE [list] for the stake the other day. We’re happy to have the opportunity to run him.”
Halladay had previously registered a front-running victory in the Tropical Park Derby at Gulfstream at the end of December before a troubled fourth at Tampa Bay in February.
• Visit drf.com for coverage of US racing