The Lead: Varsity can be regarded as "a horse for the course" after his dominating front-running victory in the early feature on Thursday's program at Gulfstream Park. Once again, the son of Indian Charlie demonstrated a fondness for the local turf course in the fourth race, a $65,000 open allowance, zipping five furlongs in 55 4/5 seconds.

The Christophe Clemente-trained 5-year-old won his third race (all at five furlongs) in four starts over Gulfstream's firm turf, prevailing by 2 1/2 lengths under Joe Bravo. Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Firestone's homebred was hustled away from the gate to grab the lead, pressed by Gentleman's Code along the backstretch and around the far turn. The 6-5 favorite sprinted clear on the turn into the homestretch and powered home to win his fifth race in 10 lifetime races.

"He's a pretty nice horse," said Bertram Firestone. who along with his wife, campaigned 1980 Kentucky Derby winner Genuine Risk.

Cajun Breeze, an 18-1 longshot, closed well to finish second under jockey Jesus Rios, 3 1/2 lengths ahead of a tiring Gentleman's Code and jockey Julio Garcia.

Where might Varsity race next?
"We'll probably run him here," said Firestone, aware of his gelding's fondness for the Gulfstream turf.

Firestone may well make more trips back to the Gulfstream winner's circle in the future since their homebred was gelded last year, thus he isn't a stallion prospect.

"He was gelded because he was getting upset by shipping and things like that," Firestone said. "He's better now."

Spreading the Wealth: The nine races on Thursday's card were won by horses trained by nine different trainers and ridden by nine different jockeys. Joel Rosario scored aboard favored Tiz in Court in the finale to boost his meet-leading total to 13 trips to the winner's circle.

Rainbow 6 Carryover: $45,167.54