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Feb 04, 2011

Fly Down given edge in Donn morning-line



Hallandale Beach, FL (Sports Network) - The morning-line for Saturday's $500,000 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park has trainer Nick Zito's two entries at the top of the field.

Fly Down is the 5-2 program favorite with stablemate Morning Line close behind at 3-1. Coming in as the 4-1 third choice is another four-year-old, Rule who is trained by Todd Pletcher.

A pair of horses have been slated at 6-1 in the program, I Want Revenge and Giant Oak. At 8-1 is 2010 Breeders' Cup Marathon winner Eldaafer followed by Ron the Greek 15-1, Square Eddie 20-1 and Hear Ye Hear 30-1.

Fly Down will be making his 2011 debut in the 1 1/8-mile Donn. The colt had a very successful three-year-old campaign, earning more than $1.1 million in eight starts. He concluded 2010 with a third-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic behind Blame and Zenyatta.

Morning Line is coming off a third-place result as the even-money favorite in last month's Hal's Hope at Gulfstream. The colt won last year's Pennsylvania Derby and was second to Dakota Phone in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Earlier this week Zabeel Racing bought a part of Morning Line from Thoroughbred Racing Legends Stable.

Rule was also in the Hal's Hope and finished second behind Soaring Empire and 1 1/2-lengths ahead of Morning Line. The colt won the Sam F. Davis Stakes last year at Tampa Bay and was third in the Florida Derby to Ice Box.

I Want Revenge, trained by Rick Dutrow, will be making only his third start since winning the 2009 Wood Memorial. He was scratched from that year's Kentucky Derby the morning of the race as the early favorite.

I Want Revenge most recently finished third in the Philip H. Iselin Stakes at Monmouth Park in August of last year. In early July he was third in the Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park.

Trainer Chris Block's long distance runner Giant Oak is set to make his first start of the year in the Donn. The five-year-old chestnut horse was second behind Successful Dan in the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on November 26, but was awarded the victory through disqualification. Three weeks earlier at Churchill, Giant Oak was fifth in the Breeders' Cup Marathon to Eldaafer and was placed fourth due to a disqualification.

Eldaafer begins his 2011 campaign Saturday by cutting back to nine-furlongs in the Donn. The six-year-old gelding is trained by Diane Alvarado and is working on a three race win streak.

Ron the Greek is trained by Tom Albertrani and started last month at Gulfstream in an allowance race where was he second. The four-year-old colt has just seven career starts with $126,300 in earnings.

Square Eddie got back to the races last month after missing all of 2010. The five-year-old, trained by Doug O'Neill, won an allowance race at Santa Anita in January when he set a track record of 1:13.11 for 6 1/2-furlongs.

Hear Ye Hear Ye rounds out the field for the Donn Handicap. The gray four- year-old is trained by Stanley Gold who also has 2010 two-year-old filly champion Awesome Feather,

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