HALLANDALE BEACH, FL—Terry Hamilton’s Silent Heart, a dominating maiden winner in his Dec. 7 Gulfstream Park debut, is scheduled to make his highly anticipated return to the races in Friday’s sixth race, a five-furlong turf sprint for 3-year-olds.

“I expect him to run very good again. He’s been training really well. His works have been sharp. It seems like he’s doing really well,” trainer Brian Lynch said.

Silent Heart, who is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in Friday’s co-feature, is a son of multiple Grade 1-winner Heart to Heart, who dominated the Gulfstream turf from 2016 to 2018. Silent Heart has shown a lot of the same determination that his sire exhibited during his long career at Gulfstream, during which he won five stakes, four graded, including the 2018 Gulfstream Park Turf (Grade 1).

“Time will tell. I think we’re going to find out that there could be [similarities],” Lynch said. “I think he’s not just a sprinter. I think he will stretch out. I wanted to get one more sprint into him before I did stretch him out. I think he’s got his faire share of talent. I think he’s an above-average horse.”

Silent Heart debuted Sept. 26 at Horseshoe Indianapolis, where he was squeezed back to ninth and last before rallying to finish second in a five-furlong turf sprint. The Kentucky-bred colt came back to run on dirt Nov. 10 at Churchill Downs, where he dueled for the lead throughout the five-furlong sprint before losing a photo finish by a head to Wesley Ward’s favored Baraye.

The Lynch trainee dominated in his Dec. 7 appearance in a five-furlong sprint at Gulfstream, driving to a two-and-a-half-length victory in :55.20 after stalking the pace under Luis Saez, who has the return mount Friday.

Florida-bred Esperon is 6-1 on the morning line for Friday’s sixth race for trainer David J. Braddy and owner Champion Equine LLC.

A son of Bridlewood Farm stallion Chitu looks to repeat his wire-to-wire victory last out against first level, $75,000 optional claimers going five furlongs on the turf at Gulfstream on Dec. 21.

Esperon is out of Satan’s Mistress, by Songandaprayer and was bred in Florida by Michael Frank.

Third to fellow Florida-bred Mattingly in the $90,000 Hollywood Beach sprinting on the synthetic course at Gulfstream in September, Esperon was eased in the $200,000 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Affirmed at Gulfstream on Oct. 21.

Esperon has post one and Edwin Gonzalez will ride.

Return to the Jan. 11 issue of Wire to Wire