After sending out Frac Daddy for a five-furlong breeze at Gulfstream Park on the morning of March 16, trainer Ken McPeek reported that the 3-year-old son of Scat Daddy would likely run next in the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby.
McPeek had originally planned to run Frac Daddy in the $550,000 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (gr. III) at Turfway Park March 23. The 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby is March 30.
"I'm leaning towards not running him in the Spiral and probably running him in the Florida Derby. It gives him the extra week for the throat ulcer to heal. It looks good, but I think the extra week will help," said McPeek, who detected the problem two weeks after Frac Daddy's sixth-place finish in the Holy Bull (gr. III) at Gulfstream Jan. 26.
The gray/roan colt, owned by Magic City Thoroughbred Partners, grabbed a quarter in the Holy Bull.
"He grabbed the quarter in the Holy Bull really bad. I think that was probably more an issue than the throat. Then, again, maybe it was the throat," McPeek said. "It's been really a tough one to get together. We've had to wait a long time here. Another week won't hurt him. I'm more inclined to keep him here, because of the extra week and we can school him a little more, and he's been training over this track."
Frac Daddy worked in company with Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) winner Pure Fun and was timed in 1:00 4/5, as was his stablemate. It was Frac Daddy's fifth breeze over the track since returning to the work tab Jan. 21.
"We put her (Pure Fun) on the outside this week. We slowed them down. Last week they worked entirely too fast," said McPeek, referring to a bullet breeze in :58 2/5 March 8.
Corey Lanerie was aboard Frac Daddy for the work and is expected to be named to ride him in the Florida Derby.
Prior to the disappointing performance in the Holy Bull, Frac Daddy finished second in the Nov. 24 Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II), in which he was caught late by Uncaptured by a neck. Frac Daddy's sire, Scat Daddy, captured the 2007 Florida Derby.
Frac Daddy broke his maiden three weeks before the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs, his only win from four lifetime starts. He has earned $88,116.
Pure Fun is expected to make her 2013 debut in the Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III) at Turfway March 24.
McPeek said Taken By the Storm, who captured a mile turf allowance at Gulfstream March 9, could take Frac Daddy's place in the Spiral.
In other Florida Derby news, Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa's 3-year-old star Itsmyluckyday worked five furlongs in 1:01 Saturday morning at Calder Casino & Race Course with jockey Elvis Trujillo in the saddle for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr.
"He worked perfect with Elvis," said Plesa. "He galloped out three-quarters in 1:14. I couldn't be more pleased with him. We're coasting from here. He'll just have an easy half-mile breeze next weekend and that's it. It's been a long wait, but I think we've done the right thing with him."
Itsmyluckyday won the Gulfstream Park Derby by 6 3/4 lengths going a mile on New Year's Day prior to taking the Holy Bull at 1 1/16 miles by two lengths last out under Trujillo. Plesa decided to pass on another opportunity in the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 23, opting to train him up to the Florida Derby.
The son of Lawyer Ron was a $110,000 OBS March 2-year-old sale purchase and has won three of seven starts last year.