BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Florida-breds Bobby O and Souper Blessing will be in an expected full gate of 3-year-olds Saturday at Gulfstream Park when they get set for the $125,000 Tropical Park Derby. Scheduled for a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the turf, the Tropical Park Derby has attracted a 14 entries, with 12 in the body of the race and two on the also-eligible list. Bobby O and Souper Blessing will be running for an extra $25,000 Florida-bred win bonus presented by Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association.
Boppy O is the third choice at 5-1 on the morning line while Souper Blessing is rated at 8-1 in the program.
Trained by Hall of Famer Mark Casse for John C. Oxley of Tulsa, Okla., and Mike Hall’s Breeze Easy LLC based in Parkersburg, W.V., Boppy O will be running for the first time since finishing out of the money in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby won by Far Bridge going a mile-and-a-quarter on the Belmont Park inner turf on July 8. His connections are hoping to see the bay son of Bolt d’Oro repeat his victorious effort two starts back when winning the $102,000 Jersey Derby run at a mile on the turf at Monmouth Park on June 3.
Boppy O was also stakes-placed twice earlier this year when third behind winner Dude N Colorado in the $200,000 Colonel Liam on Feb. 4 and when second to fellow Florida-bred Swan Lake in the $100,000 English Channel on May 6, both going a mile on the Gulfstream Park turf.
Boppy O will be trying to improve on his career record of three wins, two seconds and a third in 11 starts with earnings of $272,728 when he carries jockey Javier Castellano from post three.
Boppy O is out of Pappascat, by Scat Daddy and was bred by George and Karen Russel’s Rusltewood Farm Inc., based in Reddick, Fla.
Trainer Michael Trombetta will tighten the cinch on Souper Blessing, a hombred for Charolette Weber’s Live Oak Plantantion located in Ocala, Fla.
Souper Blessing will make his second start after a 60-day layoff having recently finished second to Tropical Park Derby rival Amstrong in the $65,000 Showing Up going a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the Gulfstream Park synthetic course on Nov. 4.
In two starts earlier this year, the bay colt was won an allowance race against older horses going six furlongs on the synthetic main track at Woodbine on Aug. 2 before finishing third behind winner Loveto Shop in the CA$127,000 Toronto Cup at a mile on the Woodbine Turf on Sept. 3.
Souper Blessing sports a consistent career ledger of two wins, a second and two thirds in six starts with earnings of $70,986. He is by Temple City out of Bird of Paradise, by Summer Bird.
Edwin Gonzalez, who was aboard Souper Blessing for the first time in the Showing Up, gets the return mount and they have post seven.
The Shug McGaughey-trained Ohana Honor is the morning line favorite at 3-1 for owners West Point Thoroughbreds, Woodford Racing LLC and Edward J. Hudson Jr.
The bay son of Honor Code makes his first start since finishing second to Northern Invader in the $130,000 Gio Ponti going a mile on the turf during the Belmont a Big A meet at Aqueduct on Oct. 6.
A winner of two of nine starts with three seconds and a third, including a maiden special weight victory going a seven furlongs and a first level allowance win at a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the grass, both at Colonial Downs, Ohana Honor has earnings of $165,800.
Ohana Honor has post nine and Tyler Gaffalione will ride.
Rounding out the field for the Tropical Park Derby are Eyes On the King, who will be ridden by Emisael Jaramillo; Legacy Isle will carry Junior Alvarado, April Fool Andy with jockey Carol Cedeno, Anglophile with John Velazquez up, Torigo has Luis Saez named to ride, Smokey Mandate and pilot Edgard Zayas, Mutaawid with Jesus Rios in the irons, Miguel Vasquez has the mount on Amstrong and Souzak (Fr) with jockey Jesus Rios. Irish Aces and Harrington on the the also eligible list.
Return to the December 22 issue of Wire to Wire