Ronald Kirk and partners' Are You Kidding Me, second in last year's Summer Stakes Presented by TVG (Can-IIT) on the turf at Woodbine, will try racing on a dirt surface for the first time in the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (gr. I).
Are You Kidding Me has raced on turf or Polytrack in the first seven starts of his career. The Run Away and Hide colt finished a close second to Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. I) runner-up Noble Tune in a March 9 allowance race at Tampa Bay Downs.
Trainer Roger Attfield said Are You Kidding Me has trained well on dirt at Payson Park, where he will prepare for the March 30 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. Jockey Jose Lezcano is scheduled to ride in the prep for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
"He's run well on the Polytrack and turf, and trained well on dirt here all winter at Payson Park," Attfield said. "Of course you really don't know how they'll handle it until you try it. We've always thought he could be good enough to be thinking of him as a Derby horse and this is where we'll find out."
In other Florida Derby news, Magic City Thoroughbred Partners' grade II-placed Frac Daddy handily completed five furlongs in 1:00.24 March 22 under Corey Lanerie as trainer Ken McPeek prepares the Scat Daddy colt.
Frac Daddy will try to bounce back from an off-the-board finish in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 26 at Gulfstream when he grabbed a quarter and was never a factor. It was later determined Frac Daddy was suffering from a throat ulcer. McPeek said Frac Daddy is progressing well for the Florida Derby.
"I've never changed my mind about thinking he was a good colt," McPeek said. "In fact, the extra time I had to give him may have done him a lot of good. I think Corey fits him very well and I'm looking forward to the race."