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Sunshine Million Classic Betting – Wildcat Red Gets Upper Hand In East Hall Rivalry

Posted by on 1/15/2015 9:13:08 PM

The Sunshine Million Classic is the centerpiece of the Sunshine Million Series at Gulfstream Park, and it features a purse of $250,000 for horses four years old and up. It is run over 1 1/8 miles on dirt, and it is only open to horses from Florida and California.

This event figures to come down to a two-horse race between a pair that saw a lot of each other in 2014, and East Hall defeated Wildcat Red in the Preview event for this race. Expect Wildcat Red to get his revenge with an exciting race on Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

What : Horse Betting

When : Saturday, January 17th, post time 5:01 PM ET

Where : Gulfstream Park, Hallandale Beach, FL

Pick : Wildcat Red

Catholic Cowboy has run in 18 races, but he needed nine attempts to break his maiden in a maiden/clearance race, and then he ran allowance races. He did manage to win the non-graded Jewel Stakes at Gulfstream Park in December and it was the fourth win of his career, but this field will be much more difficult than any race that Catholic Cowboy has ever faced. This five-year-old will have to take a huge step up in competition to finish in the money on Saturday.

East Hall has won three of his last four, including the Grade-2 Indiana Derby in October and then the Sunshine Millions Classic Preview in November. He wasn’t that impressive as a two-year-old and his three-year-old campaign didn’t get off to a good start, but East Hall improved throughout 2014 and this could be a big year for the gelding. If he isn’t a favorite for Saturday’s race, he’ll be close to the top.

I’m Stepping It Up finished fourth in the aforementioned Sunshine Millions Classic Preview, which he followed up with a fifth in an allowance race on Boxing Day. This will be the 38th start for this seven-year-old, and he has seven wins during that time with one coming in a graded-stakes event. This will also be his second time at the Sunshine Millions as I’m Stepping It Up finished sixth in this race in 2013. He’ll need to step up this weekend in Florida.

Sr. Quisqueyano is another horse with plenty of experience as this will be his 29th start, but he is just five years as opposed to seven for I’m Stepping It Up. He also ran in the Sunshine Millions Classic Preview, finishing sixth, and he finished third in the Preview in 2013 as well. Sr. Quisqueyano has a win and a second in his last two starts, but both were allowance races. While encouraging, it might not be enough to push Sr. Quisqueyano into the money.

Transparent was last seen finishing eighth at the Grade-1 Cigar Mile in November, and this is a horse that has been on and off the track recently. After finishing fourth at the Grade-2 Pennsylvania Derby in September 2013, he didn’t race again until January 2014, when he finished fourth at the non-graded Handicap race in Dubai. Then Transparent didn’t race again until September when he won an allowance race, and then there was the Cigar Mile. It’s tough to get a read on this five-year-old, which also needed six tries to break his maiden.

Wildcat Red is looking to get his 2015 off to a good start after an eventful 2014. He had three wins in 10 starts and finished in the money in eight of those starts, and even though he finished 18th at the Kentucky Derby in May, he bounced back with a win at the non-graded Quality Road Stakes in August. Wildcat Red is coming off a second at the Sunshine Million Classic Preview to East Hall, which finished second when the two met at the Quality Road Stakes. Wildcat Red and East Hall finished second and third, respectively, behind General A.Rod at the non-graded Gulfstream Park Derby last January, so these are the horses to watch out for and it wouldn’t shock anyone if this pair of four-year-olds went at it again on Saturday.

How It Will Play Out

Wildcat Red and East Hall are both very comfortable at Gulfstream Park, and they’ll set the bar for the rest of the field as they come down the backstretch. But Wildcat Red will get a little revenge for his loss in the Preview race and he’ll beat out East Hall on Saturday.

Sunshine Millions Classic Betting Pick: Wildcat Red

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