Consider Harvey Wallbanger, the cocktail.
Consider Harvey Wallbanger, the horse.
He experienced a meteoric rise in popularity, fell out of favor, and has now made a popular comeback.
But "Harvey" fell out of favor when he finished eighth in the Florida Derby (G1), seventh in the Lexington Stakes (G3) and went the remainder of the year without a victory.
A winner of two of three starts at Gulfstream, Harvey Wallbanger’s competition will include Challenger (G3) winner Trophy Chaser, last year’s Florida Derby runner-up Bodexpress, and two from the barn of leading trainer Todd Pletcher – American Tattoo and You’re to Blame.
“He’s the kind of horse who needs a pace,” McPeek added. “If the pace sets up right, if it unfolds the right way, he will run huge. But if there’s no pace, he has a harder time. But he’s doing good and he likes Gulfstream.”
Pletcher, who has saddled the winner of the Hal’s Hope three of the past four years, will send out American Tattoo and You’re To Blame.
“Last time he drew a bad post in there, and it’s so difficult in those three-turn races to get hung out three or four wide on two or three turns,” Pletcher said. “It was just too much to overcome. I actually do think the horse handles the turf OK, but we just figured with this opportunity we’d go ahead and get back on the dirt and see if he can regain his best form. He’s proven that he can handle it.”
You’re to Blame will be making his first start since October. The 6-year-old son of Distorted Humor, who finished second in last year’s Pimlico Special (G3) and was beaten only a length in the Brooklyn (G2), “needed a comeback spot,” Pletcher said.
“I think he really found his specialty in a mile and a quarter-plus dirt races, so we’re hoping he can run well here,” he added. “Who knows what the future brings, but it could set him up for something like the Pimlico Special, where he ran very well last year. He was right there.”