High Star, third in last year's Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, turned in a sharp 5-furlong work in 1:00 4/5 at Gulfstream Park Monday in preparation for the March 16 Florida Derby. It was the second fastest of the 42 works at the distance.
The son of Private Terms was beaten a nose in an allowance race in his last start. Trainer Nick Zito is hoping to find out just where High Star fits in the Kentucky Derby picture.
Also working Monday for the Florida Derby was Stephentown, who is coming off a poor performance in the Fountain of Youth, in which he tracked the pace and tired badly. The son of wild Again breezed 5 furlongs in 1:02 2/5, coming home his final eighth in :12 flat.
"I'm very pleased with the way he worked," trainer Tony Reinstedler said. "He worked strong, and more importantly, he finished up strong. His next start will be the Florida Derby." As for his race in the Fountain of Youth, Reinstedler said, "It just wasn't his day. Hopefully, it will be in the Florida Derby."
Another Fountain of Youth flop who may try to bounce back in the Florida Derby is Grey Beard, who is scheduled to work on Tuesday. "I'm seriously considering running him in the Florida Derby," trainer Graham Motion said. I'll work him Tuesday and then discuss it with the owners. I really don't know what happened to him (in the Fountain of Youth), but he's been training so well and I have no other place to run him."
Working on Sunday for a possible start in the Florida Derby was Personal Reward, winner of his last two, who drilled 5 furlongs in 1:00 flat. Trainer Mark Hennig is considering running him and Monthir in the 1 1/8-mile race.
At Golden Gate, USS Tinosa, winner of the 9-furlong Sham Stakes in his last start, turned in a bullet 6-furlong work in 1:11 4/5 for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. The next fastest work on the tab for the distance was 1:15 1/5.
At Hollywod Park, red-hot Bobby Frankel sent out his newly acquired Medaglia D'Oro for a 6-furlong work in 1:13 4/5. Frankel is considering shipping the colt East for the March 17 Gotham Stakes, a path he followed with Kentucky Derby runner-up Aptitude in 2000.