Donn Handicap could be next for Ulanbator and Commissioner

Hallandale Beach, FL ( – Ulanbator showed a lot of spunk
in winning Saturday’s $50,000 allowance race over 2014 Belmont Stakes
runner-up Commissioner at Gulfstream Park.

Sent off as the 5-1 third pick, Ulanbator got the best of 3-5 favorite
Commissioner in the 1 1/16-mile allowance race. Trained by Ian Wilkes,
Ulanbator and jockey Julien Leparoux stalked the pace being set by Secretive
and Commissioner.

Ulanbator, owned by Mary Ann Charlston, drew even with Commissioner in mid-
stretch where the two bumped. Taking a short lead down the stretch was 30-1
longshot Looking Cool after trailing the field in the early going.

Ulanbator split Looking Cool and Commissioner, also making his 2015 debut,
nearing the wire and was able to post a head decision over Looking Cool with
the favorite another neck back. Dawly, the 4-1 second choice, was fourth
followed by Secretive, Tarpy’s Goal, Dudeman and Undertaker.

“It was a real gutsy effort,” Wilkes said. “We were third at the quarter pole
in between horses and probably a good half-length behind. He had to dig in
from between horses and showed a little bit of grit today.”

Ulanbator covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.75 on a fast track.

The $500,000 Donn Handicap on February 7, the year’s first major race for
older horses, is a possible next start for both Ulanbator and Commissioner.

“I think he’s a horse that needs to find his rhythm,” Commissioner’s trainer
Todd Pletcher noted. “It might have been a touch quicker than what we would
have wanted, but he seemed to be doing it within himself. I thought he ran

The two new 4-year-olds will likely take on Lea in defense of last year’s Donn
title. Lea, trained by Hall of Fame member Bill Mott, won Saturday’s Hal’s
Hope Stakes at Gulfstream.

“I guess there’s a month back to the Donn and we’ll just have to see,” Mott