Second in two previous attempts against stakes horses, Ironhorse Racing Stable LLC and Harlow Stables LLC’s Mattingly is the 2-1 favorite for Saturday’s $65,000 Hollywood Beach at Gulfstream Park Saturday. A field of seven 2-year-olds will contest five furlongs on the all-weather surface with six of the entrants eligible for an additional $25,000 Florida-bred win bonus presented by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association.

A son of Bucchero, who stands in Florida at Pleasant Acres Stallions, Mattingly debuted in the $100,000 Royal Palm Juvenile sprinting five furlongs on the turf at Gulfstream Park on May 13 but finished second to No Nay Mets, who has since won the $112,000 Tyro at Monmouth Park and the $131,000 Exacta Systems Rosie’s at Colonial Downs.

In his next start, the Joe Orseno-trained Mattingly won a maiden special weight by nearly six lengths sprinting on the Gulfstream Park synthetic then finished second to Pipit after setting the pace in the CA$126,500 Victoria at five-and-a-half furlongs on the synthetic main track at Woodbine on July 16.

“The original plan was to go to Monmouth for the Tyro. But that [Victoria] at Woodbine came up a short field, so we decided to go to Woodbine. That was last minute,” Orseno said. “Eventually, it scratched down to four horses, which was really no good for us because we were forced to change our strategy. We were planning on sitting a little of the pace and because of the four horses we said, ‘Let’s just go,’ because we figured we were the best horse.”

Out of Battingstar, by Grand Slam, Mattingly was bred by Lance Colwell and has earned $83,028 in his three races. He was a $70,000 purchase price by Ironhorse Racing Stable from the Two Oaks Equine consignment at this year’s Ocala Breeders’ Sales March Sale.

Mattingly drew post four in the Hollywood Beach and Samy Camacho has the mount.

“He’s training great. He’s ready. He came here and worked super for me the other day,” Orseno said. “He’s really ready. I’m looking forward to it. I like the post; there’s speed in the race, which is good because this horse doesn’t need to be on the lead.

“I brought him back here because he just breezes better over the Tapeta. He really likes that surface,” Orseno said. “We were really sure we were going to run in this race or a race at Keeneland or a race at Aqueduct. When this race came up, we decided to just stay here.”

The second choice in the program at 2-1 is Florida-bred Prevent for trainer Juan Alvarado and owner Brian Cohen’s BC Racing LLC.

The son of Neolithic, who also stands at Pleasant Acres Stallions, exits a second-place finish in a second condition, $75,000 optional claiming going five-and-a-half furlongs on synthetic at Gulfstream on Sept. 1. He was just a neck short of winner Grand Mo the First, but two-and-a-half lengths in front of third-place finisher and Hollywood Beach entrant Okiro.

Prevent defeated special weight maidens in his second career start on May 26 then finished sixth in the $90,000 Proud Man won by future FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Dr. Fager-winner Bentornato going six furlongs on Aug. 12.

Prevent is out of Bossy Gal, by Pioneerof the Nile and was bred by Katia Perez Ozuna. The dark bay or brown colt has earned $67,530 in his four career starts providing a good return for Cohen, who bought him for $15,000 at last year’s OBS Winter Mixed Sale out of the Las Palmas Farm consignment.

Edgard Zayas will ride Prevent from post three.

Okiro is listed at 9-2 on the morning line and makes his first start since the previously-mentioned third-place finish in the Sept. 1 optional claiming. Prevent won his first career race by a length-and-three-quarters against special weight maidens going five-and-a-half furlongs on synthetic on July 28.

Okiro is trained by Jose Garoffalo and has earned $28,840 in his two starts for owner Yutaka Enterprises Corp.

Another OBS alum, Okiro sold for $25,000 to Jonathan Mandelblum at the OBS March Sale where the son of Yoshida (Jpn) was consigned by Skies Thoroughbreds.

Okiro will be ridden by Leonel Reyes from the outside post seven.

Another Hollywood Beach contender is Esperon, a Florida-bred son of Bridlewood Farm stallion Chitu who won a maiden special weight in his last start going five-and-a-half furlongs on the all-weather course for trainer David Braddy and owner Champion Equine.

Champion Equine paid $165,000 for Esperon at the OBS March sale where he was consigned by Silverstre Chavez Thoroughbreds. Esperon is out of Satan’s Mistress, by Henny Hughes and was bred by Michael Frank.

He is 6-1 on the morning line and Edwin Gonzalez gets the return mount on Esperon and they will depart from post one.

Completing the field are Roar Ready with jockey Jesus Rios, Hermoso Hombre with Edgar Perez up and El Principito, with David Boraco in the irons. Okiro and Hermoso Hombre are the only Hollywood Beach contenders not bred in Florida.

Return to the Sept. 29 issue of Wire to Wire