One week after bringing Host off the layoff to win the Mac Diarmida Handicap (gr. IIIT), trainer John Kimmel will send Premium Tap into action in Saturday's Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) with the hopes of following in 2004 Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Friends Lake's footsteps.
"We're thinking about it for sure," said Kimmel in a release from Gulfstream Park. "We're going to put blinkers on him this time. He was maybe a little short last time and he was in tight behind horses. He's had a lot of trips like this, but once he got outside he started sailing and, when asked, he was there. Hopefully he's a little tighter this time."
Kimmel saddled the son of Pleasant Tap to a ninth-place finish in a talent-laiden allowance field Jan. 21. It was his first start since breaking his maiden at Aqueduct in early November with a front-running style. Kimmel is hoping the blinkers put Premium Tap in a pacesetting frame of mind Saturday.
"He worked with the blinkers and he was more forward with them," he said. "Hopefully he'll place himself a little better this time and show more speed or lay fairly close."