Showing no ill effects from a bruised foot suffered earlier this month, Fountain of Youth (gr. II) fourth-place finisher Papi Chullo posted a bullet five-furlong workout Thursday in preparation for the April 2, $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I).
Under exercise rider Findlay Bishop, Papi Chullo drilled the distance in :59 2/5 over the fast Gulfstream Park main track. Owner Greg Norman said it was just what they were looking for from the stakes-placed, but still winless, gray son of Comeonmom.
"It was a very good work and he pulled up like a freight train," said Norman. "His foot was fine. We'll change his shoes later this week and they'll be the ones he races on. He had glue-on shoes going into the Fountain of Youth and he got a bruise under there before we could get them off. He still managed to race with it."In addition to the healing foot, Norman said the South Florida heat has had an effect on the Southern California-based Papi Chullo."When we left California, it was much cooler. There's been maybe a 25 degree difference some days," said Norman. "He didn't adjust well some of these mornings, but there's not much we can do about it. We could try and go out in the morning earlier, but when you're getting ready for a million-dollar race, you don't want to go backing up your training schedule. We'll just have to hope he can be adjusted on race day."Trainer Salvador Gonzalez plans to work Papi Chullo next Tuesday in his final breeze before the Florida Derby.