The Grade 3 2020 Mr. Prospector

A 12-horse field comes together for the Mr. Prospector this year, and surprisingly enough, there is not an abundance of early speed in the 7-furlong race.

I’ll run down my thoughts on the field and see where I land.

Lasting Legacy comes out of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, as do a few of the others. He went into that race off the claim by Bob Hess and was wide. He ran an OK second in this race last year. He’s never shown me a race good enough to win this, and I don’t see any reason he changes that on Saturday.

Cool Arrow is another claim going in here. He’s got some speed in a race without a lot of it. That can make him dangerous, but I don’t think he is good enough, even being 4 for 7 at this track. He’s not impossible, but he’s not for me. I’ll call him a cheap thrill in here.

Wind of Change is another with a touch of speed, but most of the time, he goes longer, and I am not convinced he wants to sprint 7-furlongs. I am also not sold he is this good.

Haikal is now with Pletcher and always had promise and a reputation. He has yet to live up to either, but I believe he still can. I am not sure he will on Saturday as I don’t think he will get the pace he would need to get up at 7 eighths of a mile. That said, Todd can get speed into a horse, and he’s fresh, which can also have him more speedy than usual. He is working well, and I have to call him a serious and legit contender.

Majestic Dunhill has plenty of bottom to him this year and comes off a race where he was anxious in the gate, and that may have cost him. I don’t think he is fast enough to take this unless we see some kind of funny race or pace.

Last Judgment is yet another claim in here. He goes first time Mike Maker, and we know Maker wins stakes with claims. He seems to do it more often on the grass, but that doesn’t mean he can’t do it on the dirt. He likes Gulfstream, and I think he will go forward in here. I don’t think it will be enough to win, but if he does, it is Maker, and I will not be shocked.

Diamond Oops should probably be the favorite. He comes out of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and some will say he was up against a track bias that day. Nonsense, the track was fast but not biased. He loves Gulfstream at 5 for 8 over the strip and will likely be making a strong late run. I respect him but think I can beat him.

I almost landed on Sleepy Eyes Todd. I didn’t. He likes to win, runs all over the place, and fits class wise as well. He can also show speed when in the mood. I feel he is a legit contender. Gaffalione is riding good and will have him in position.

Firenze Fire may go favored over Diamond Oops. I think that is a mistake. He comes out of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint also. He runs best when he gets pace to run at and the right trip. Irad Ortiz is hot and will get him rolling, but I don’t like his pace scenario and set up, especially at favorite or even co-favorite.

Ebben looks overmatched to me. He is the type I’d say I can bet him now after he won.

I like Zenden. He is 30-1 on the morning line. I would take that all day. Even with the blinkers coming off, he can make the top here and cruise if Albarado goes that route, and he would be crazy not to. He likes the track, and I love his pace scenario and set up. As of the last race on Thursday, Albarado, who is back riding at Gulfstream this winter, had yet to find the winner’s circle. I am OK with that, and he will be hungry, and I am pretty sure he won another big race this year with an excellent and heads-up ride on Swiss Skydiver. Gate to wire! 30-1, nah.

Mind Control doesn’t seem like the same horse this year as he has been in the past. When he is good, he can be very good, but he just hasn’t brought it that way so far in 2020. Johnny V sticks, and that is a nice vote of confidence but not enough for me to jump on board. He will be up against it pace-wise also if the race runs the way I project it to.

I’ll take the shot with Zenden and see how far we can go. Hopefully, it is 7 eighths of a mile. Haikal, Diamond Oops, and Sleepy Eyes Todd will round out the exacta for me. If I hit that you can rest assured, I will hit the triple and super also. I’ll have all, all in the third and fourth slots.

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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