Virginia-Bred Largent Launches Comeback in Tropical Turf Jan. 8

One-mile turf stakes for older horses headlines Jan. 8th 11-race card.

The following appeared at January 7.

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ grade 2 winner Largent , unraced since being beaten a neck in last year’s Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes (G1T), returns to Gulfstream Park to launch his long-awaited comeback in the Jan. 8 $100,000 Tropical Turf (G3T).

The 44th running of the one-mile Tropical Turf for 4-year-olds and up serves as the headliner on an 11-race program that begins at noon.

Largent (#1) en route to a tight victory in the Bert Allen Stakes. Photo by Jim McCue.

“We’ve given him a lot of time since last year’s Pegasus. Twin Creeks had him out at their farm and treated him like a king, then he went over to WinStar to get legged up. They always do a phenomenal job,” Wellman said. “Todd’s (trainer Pletcher) been very pleased with him since he came back to Palm Beach Downs.”

Wellman said the connections are approaching the Tropical Turf with both optimistic and realistic expectations ahead of the $1 million Pegasus Turf on Jan. 29.

Largent is shown after winning the Bert Allen Stakes at Laurel. Photo by Jim McCue.

“We felt like we’re cutting it a little close in terms of how cranked up he is, but with this race being three weeks before the Pegasus Turf it could put us in a position to have some options, so we decided to give it a go. He’s been training well like he always does, and he’s always shown an affinity for the Gulfstream course. He’s always seemed to do well over it,” Pletcher said. “I think it’s a good starting point. He’s shown he’s pretty versatile and can handle multiple distances.”

Value Proposition wins the 2021 Oyster Bay Stakes at Belmont Park
Photo: Coglianese Photos/Susie RaisherValue Proposition takes the 2021 Oyster Bay Stakes at Belmont Park

Klaravich Stables’ Value Proposition  is a British-bred ridgling that won three of his first four career starts and has matched that total over his last nine, including victories in the one-mile Red Bank Stakes and seven-furlong Oyster Bay Stakes last fall. The now 6-year-old was second in the 2021 Forbidden Apple Stakes (G3T) and third in the 2020 Poker Stakes (G3T), and enters the Tropical Turf having finished fifth in the six-furlong Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship Stakes Nov. 27.

Another graded winner in the field is Marianne Stribling, Force Five Racing, and Two Rivers Racing Stable’s Phat Man , who captured the 2020 Fred W. Hooper Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream. The 8-year-old gelding has two seconds in five lifetime tries on grass but was last on the surface in the October 2017 Hawthorne Derby for previous connections.

Calumet Farm homebred Flying Scotsman  will be making his second start off a layoff in the Tropical Turf. He ran fifth in a one-mile, 70-yard allowance optional claiming Dec. 19 that was moved off the Gulfstream turf to its Tapeta surface. 

“He’s doing well. His last run was off the turf and on the Tapeta. It was his first run in probably six or seven months so he needed that run,” trainer Jack Sisterson said. “He’s run well off a layoff at Gulfstream. He won a nice allowance race last year in a quick time, so we expect sort of a performance like that this weekend.”


Gulfstream Park, Saturday, January 08, 2022, Race 8

  • Grade IIIT
  • 1m
  • Turf 
  • $100,000
  • 4 yo’s & up
  • 3:37 PM (local)
11Largent (VA)Luis Saez120Todd A. Pletcher9/5
22Clear Vision (KY)Julien R. Leparoux118Matthew Brice O’Connor6/1
33Phat Man (KY)Shaun Bridgmohan120J. Kent Sweezey5/1
44Value Proposition (GB)Irad Ortiz, Jr.122Chad C. Brown8/5
55Flying Scotsman (KY)Corey J. Lanerie120Jack Sisterson12/1
66Call Curt (KY)Junior Alvarado118Juan Carlos Avila20/1
77Belgrano (KY)Edgar S. Prado122Frank Russo15/1