Bisnalth Parbod's 3-year-old colt Johannesburg Star worked six furlongs in 1:12 1/5 Sunday morning at Gulfstream Park in preparation for his longshot bid in Saturday's $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II).
Nobiz Like Shobiz is expected to be the favorite in the 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds that leads to Gulfstream's Florida Derby (gr. I) on March 31.
Johannesburg Star is now trained in South Florida by Collin Maragh after starting his career in New York with trainer Joseph Parker. The trainer’s son, Rajiv Maragh, was aboard the Kentucky-bred son of Johannesburg for Sunday’s drill and will be aboard Saturday afternoon.
“I was pleased with the work because we're asking him quite a bit,” said the elder Maragh. “He's very good right now and pulled up strong and came back happy.”
Johannesburg Star exits a runner-up finish in the $65,000 Count Fleet Stakes. He needed five attempts to break his maiden, but when he did in his second try around two turns, he romped by more than nine lengths at Aqueduct on Dec. 9.
Parbod shipped the horse to Florida soon after the Count Fleet in search of a testing nine-furlong race. Sunday's workout was the second under Maragh's care, and the trainer thinks the colt is flourishing in the warmer weather.
“He's gained a little weight and has a good attitude,” said Maragh. “When he first got to us we didn't think he was that big, but he's put on some pounds. I expect him to give his best in the race and to do good. I give him a shot because of how good he's been down here.”