Since the inaugural running of the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint in 2010, Florida-breds have maintained a stellar record in the five-furlong test—winning five of the 13 editions.

Kick Start Farm LLC’s Hope in Him will attempt to add to that legacy Saturday at Gulfstream Park when the Florida-bred gelding takes on six other 4-year-olds and older in the $250,000 test.

Trained by Barry Croft, Hope in Him will step up to stakes competition for the first time in three races going back to his sixth-place finishing behind Florida-bred Warrior’s Pride in the $100,000 Bob Umphrey Sprint going five-and-a-half furlongs on the Gulfstream synthetic course on July 2. In two starts since, Hope in Him was second to Uncle B in a $35,000 optional claiming starter allowance on July 23 then five months later was fourth, less than two lengths behind winning Florida-bred Outlaw Country in a $20,000 optional claiming starter allowance on Dec. 29, both going five furlongs on the Gulfstream all-weather course.

Hope in Him is by Bridlewood Farm stallion Chitu out of Satan’s Mistress, by Songandaprayer and was bred in Florida by Michael Frank. He has won six of 22 career starts with two seconds and fourth thirds while earning $204,260.

Hope in Him was a $190,000 purchase by Breeze Easy at the 2021 Ocala Breeders’ Sales March Sale where he was consigned by Silvestre Chavez Thoroughbreds.

Joe Bravo will ride Hope in Him from post five.

The horse to beat in the Turf Sprint appears to be Panther Island, a winner of two straight including a three-quarters of a length victory in the $100,000 Janus going five furlongs on the turf at Gulfstream in his last start. The 5-year-old son of Speightstown also won a $50,000 optional claiming starter allowance going five furlongs on the Gulfstream synthetic course on Dec. 1.

Panther Island was claimed by Laura Cazares for owners Golden Kernel Racing Stable for $62,500 out of a second-place finish to Florida-bred Yes I Am Free on Jan. 19 of last year.

He has six wins with two seconds in 10 starts with earnings of $194,320 and Leonel Reyes will ride from post four.

Also entered for the Turf Sprint are Heaven Street with jockey Luis Saez, Coppola will be ridden by Edgard Zayas, Jorge Ruiz has the mount on That’s Right, Eamonn will have Javier Castellano aboard and Irad Ortiz Jr. rides Carotari.

Return to Feb. 8 issue of Wire to Wire