February 22, 2024

Colonel Liam returns from lengthy absence in Ft. Lauderdale

Colonel Liam wins the Pegasus World Cup Turf again (Photo by Coglianese Photos)

Colonel Liam, who has won the past two editions of the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1), will prep for a three-peat in next month’s event on Saturday in the $200,000 Ft. Lauderdale (G2) at Gulfstream Park over 1 1/8 miles.

Barring any scratches, Colonel Liam will break from post 12 in the Ft. Lauderdale, which will mark the Todd Pletcher trainee’s first outing since a ninth-place effort in the March 26 Dubai Turf (G1) at Meydan. Colonel Liam was withdrawn from an allowance at Gulfstream earlier this month when the race was transferred off the turf.

“He’s run well off the layoff before; hopefully he’s able to do that again,” Pletcher said. “We’d love to have him run well and move forward for the next one.”

Colonel Liam, perfect in three starts over the Gulfstream turf, has a history of firing fresh, most notably winning the Pegasus World Cup Turf last January following a layoff dating to the previous June.

The likely favorite appears as if he will receive a favorable pace setup. Among those potentially showing early foot are last-out Knickerbocker (G3) winner King Cause, stakes winner Winfromwithin, and multiple allowance winner Street Ready.

City Man has won stakes in three of his last four starts, including a Grade 3 at Saratoga. His lone setback during that span was a second-place run in the Bernard Baruch H. (G3). Pao Alto, meanwhile, has placed in two of three stakes appearances since his importation from France.

The other graded turf race on Saturday’s stakes-laden card is the $125,000 Suwannee River (G3) for fillies and mares at one mile. Bay Storm was a nose second to Campanelle in the Ladies Sprint (G3) at Kentucky Downs when last seen in September and will attempt to stretch her natural speed around two turns for the first time.

Others to watch for are Argentinean Group 1 winner Scotish Star, who has fared well in a pair of allowances since joining the Pletcher stable, and Stolen Holiday, winner of the Eatontown (G3) at Monmouth Park in June.