Pletcher trio will take aim at Keen Ice in Donn Handicap
Article via Daily Racing Form, Mike Welsch
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Anyone looking for an emerging star in the wide-open handicap division need only turn to Saturday’s Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park to find a number of worthy candidates hoping to enhance their reputations in the season’s first major test for older horses on dirt.
The $500,000 Donn will share top billing on Saturday’s 13-race program with the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. The card also includes a pair of Grade 3 stakes, the Fred Hooper and the grassy Suwannee River, along with the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint and its filly counterpart, the Ladies Turf Sprint, which features the 2016 debut of Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint runner-up Lady Shipman. First post is 12:05 p.m. Eastern.
Keen Ice is the only member of the eight-horse Donn field currently considered among the nation’s elite in the handicap division, and as such, he’ll carry the high weight of 121 pounds in the 1 1/8-mile Donn. And while trainer Dale Romans is making no bones about the fact that the Donn is a means to an end, the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 26, he is also confident that the hero of the 2015 Travers can kick off his 4-year-old campaign on a winning note.
“We’re in the race to win, and the horse is training better than ever,” said Romans.
Romans said he has some concern about the local track, which does not favor Keen Ice’s running style.