Read the Footnotes Works Six Furlongs For Florida Derby; Master David Out
by Steve Haskin
Date Posted: 3/5/2004 2:32:06 PM
Last Updated: 3/5/2004 10:40:07 PM

Fountain of Youth winner Read the Footnotes
Photo: Associated Press
Read the Footnotes, winner of the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), worked a sharp six-furlongs in 1:12 2/5 breezing Friday at Palm Meadows Training Center in preparation for the March 13 Florida Derby (gr. I). The race lost one of its favorites when Master David came down with a fever.

With exercise rider Morna McDowall aboard Read the Footnotes, the son of Smoke Glacken worked into a stiff headwind, turning in the fastest of five works at the distance, with the next fastest work 1:14 1/5.

"We kind of put all our eggs into this one breeze," said trainer Rick Violette. "He went terrific. He went really well. We wanted it fast enough so that he was a little tired, and we got that. If he didn't breeze today he would have torn the stall down. I'm feeling pretty good about our situation."

Read the Footnotes has lost just once in six races and has won three straight graded stakes, also capturing the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) and Nashua Stakes (gr. III). He returned from a 10-week layoff to win the Fountain of Youth Feb. 14 in a gutwrenching stretch battle with Second of June, who came out of the race with an injury.

"The first couple of days after the Fountain of Youth our feet were way off the ground," said Violette. "We wanted to give him two very easy weeks to get over that effort. That first day he was tired, but he didn't take long to come around. He's eaten every oat since. We've been giving him slow and easy gallops and he's been coming along to the point where we really needed to get this breeze into him and he did just what we wanted. I'm feeling pretty good about our situation"

Friday's vital breeze will likely be the final major workout for Read the Footnotes. Violette said he would like to gallop the colt up to the Florida Derby and continue with the easy handling employed over the past three weeks.

Expected to oppose Read the Footnotes in the Florida Derby are, Value Plus, The Cliff's Edge, Sir Oscar, Friends Lake, and possibly Tapit. Master David, like Pleasantly Perfect, spiked a fever quickly, and although he is improved, it was was enough to knock him out of the race. Trainer Bobby frankel used the Gotham (gr. III) as a springboard to the Wood Memorial (gr. I) for Aptitude, and could do the same with Master David if he decides to get two more races in the colt before the Derby.

Also on Friday, Canadian champ Judiths Wild Rush turned in another blistering work over the Belmont training track, drilling five furlongs in :58 2/5. Not only was it the fastest of 25 works at the distance, but none of the other workers broke 1:00.

"He went a little faster earlier than I wanted, but he has such a big stride and does it so easily," trainer Scott Fairlie said. "I got him galloping out the six furlongs in 1:12 4/5. Good horses will work like that."

Fairlie said Judiths Wild rush will make his 3-year-old debut in either the Gotham (gr. II) or Illinois Derby (gr. II). While he didn't rule out the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), he said the Preakness (gr. I) is a more likely target.

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