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.
“He’s a really cool horse that we’re thrilled to have coming back with Twin Creeks. You don’t see too many records like his, where he’s never been worse than second in any of his lifetime races. Multiple stakes winner. Graded stakes winner. Second by a neck in last year’s Pegasus Turf,” Eclipse managing partner Aron Wellman said. “He’s an awesome horse who’s a model of consistency at a very high level, and those are very hard to come by.
“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.
“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.”