Post positions have been drawn for the next Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) stepping stone race, the March 31 Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park. Grade I winner Scat Daddy currently heads the field at morning line odds of 5-2.
There is no escaping the fact that Hard Spun proved he is a brilliant, classy horse with his bounce back performance in the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II), but there is a question that pops up, that will be echoed after the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I): how legitimate was this race, or any race for that matter, run over a synthetic surface?
John W. Murphy Sr.'s Kentucky homebred 3-year-old Adore the Gold worked a bullet five furlongs in :57 3/5 Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park in his final major preparation for next Saturday's $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I).
Scat Daddy, somewhat overlooked in trainer Todd Pletcher's rich stable for this year's Triple Crown trail, stormed from far back to tag the tough-luck loser Stormello by a nose in the final stride of Saturday's $350,000 Fountain of Youth (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.
It will be a rematch of sorts in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) when the top three finishers of the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III)-- Nobiz Like Shobiz, Drums of Thunder, and Scat Daddy-- return to the starting gate March 3 for the $350,000 race going 1 1/8 mile at Gulfstream Park.
With several major prep races for the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) rapidly approaching this weekend, three prominent trainers discussed Tuesday how their contenders are progressing toward their next start and the first Saturday in May.
Elizabeth Valando's Nobiz Like Shobiz showed his readiness for the March 3 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) by working six furlongs in 1:11 1/5 at Gulfstream Park Friday.
John D. Murphy's homebred Adore the Gold, under heavy pressure all the way, pulled away from Forefathers in deep stretch to win the $150,000 Swale (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park Saturday by less than a length.
Seven lightly raced colts square off in the $150,000 Swale Stakes (gr. II), one of two graded stakes for 3-year-olds on the Gulfstream Park racing program Saturday.
Frank Calabrese's undefeated 3-year-old homebred filly Dreaming of Anna took another step toward her much-anticipated 2007 debut when the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner worked a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 flat at Palm Meadows Wednesday morning.
Impressive debut winner Day Pass makes his highly anticipated second start for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin in the $100,000-added Nashua (gr. III) for 2-year-olds at one mile at Aqueduct Friday.
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