Florida-bred Lure Him In will make his first start from the barn of Saffie Joseph Jr. Saturday in the Grade 3 Ghostzapper at Gulfstream Park after scratching out of two stakes last weekend. Withdrawn from both the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic at Fair Grounds and the Grade 3 Essex at Oaklawn Park, Lure Him In is the 6-1 third choice in the $150,000 Ghostzapper for eight 4-year-olds and older scheduled for a mile-and-an-eighth on the main track.

“We got him in super form. He’s an old class horse. In the dirt division, with so many horses in the Middle East [for Dubai World Cup day at Meydan Race Course], we thought it was a good opportunity to have a horse like this to run in these kind of races,” Joseph said. “We know he likes the track. He’s run some good numbers. There are a couple of decent horses in there, but we feel like on his best day he can show up and win.”

Lure Him In has produced solid efforts in his last two starts including a head victory in the $95,000 Sunshine Classic against Florida-breds going a mile-and-a-sixteenth at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 20. In one start since, the 7-year-old gelding was second to Black Belt in an upper level, $62,500 optional claiming at the same distance at Gulfstream on Feb. 17.

Lure Him In is by Journeyman Stud’s leading sire Khozan out of Alluring Lady, by Indygo Shiner and was bred by Stonehedge LLC. He has won eight with nine seconds and seven thirds from 42 lifetime starts with earnings of $486,058. He owned by C2 Racing Stable LLC, Double B Racing Stables, Paul Braverman, Timothy Pinch and Mach 1 Stables.

Edwin Gonzalez has the riding assignment on Lure Him In and they have the inside post one.

The 9-5 morning line favorite is Steal Sunshine for trainer Robert Dibona and owners Michael Iavarone, Julia Iavarone and Carrie L. Brogden.

Steal Sunshine will be trying for his second consecutive graded stakes after winning the Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) on March 2, defeating Ghostzapper rivals Tumbarumba and Il Miracolo who were second and third respectively.

Third to Tumbarumba in the Grade 3 Fred Hooper on Jan. 27 and fourth in the Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday won by O’Connor (Chi) in December, Steal Sunshine is by Constitution and has won six with two seconds and five thirds in 20 career starts with earnings of $490,345.

Steal Sunshine will be ridden by Paco Lopez from post six.

Tumbarrumba is the 2-1 second choice for trainer Brian Lynch and looks to improve on his career record of five wins, three seconds and two thirds in 13 career starts with earnings of $456,290.

Jose Ortiz has the riding assignment and they have drawn post five.

Florida-bred The Skipper Too looks to upset the Ghostzapper having been assigned 20-1 odds in the program.

Traned by Juan Alvarado for owner and breeder Arindel, The Skipper Too was third in the Sunshine Classic and fifth in the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Marion County won by Florida-bred Shaq Diesel at Tampa Bay Downs in his last two starts.

The Skipper Too is by Arindel stallion Brethren out of Katira, by First Dude and will carry Emisael Jaramillo from post two.

Il Miracolo was sixth in the $2.9 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) won by National Treasure prior to the Gulfstream Park Mile.

Trainer Antonio Sano has named John Velazquez to ride from post three and they are 9-2 on the morning line.

Completing the field are X Y Point with jockey Jorge Ruiz, Mbagnick (Chi) and rider Julien Leparoux and Donegal Forever will have Irad Ortiz Jr. in the irons.

Return to the March 28 issue of Wire to Wire