Wildcat Red
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Wildcat Red
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Coglianese Photos/Leslie Martin

Wildcat Red Posts Bullet Breeze for Haskell

Florida Derby runner-up speeds five furlongs at Gulfstream Park in :59.83 July 13.

Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (gr. II) winner Wildcat Red  breezed a swift five furlongs at Gulfstream Park July 13 in preparation for the upcoming $1 million William Hill Haskell Invitational (gr. I).

"He was a monster today," said trainer Jose Garoffalo, whose 3-year-old charge was timed in a bullet :59.83, fastest of 14 works at the distance. "He did it easily, no big effort. He galloped out very good. Actually, when he was galloping out, he felt some horses that were breezing behind him and he heard the bell at the starting gate, and at the seven-eighths pole, he wanted to go again."

Following the Fountain of Youth, Honors Stable's Wildcat Red was second in the Besilu Stables Florida Derby (gr. I) before finishing 18th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

The breeze was Wildcat Red's first since a 10 1/4-length victory in the Quality Road Stakes at Gulfstream June 28. His next target is the 1 1/8-mile Haskell July 27 at Monmouth Park.

Gulfstream Park's leading rider Edgard Zayas was aboard for Sunday's breeze. Luis Saez, who rode the son of D'wildcat in the Quality Road and the Fountain of Youth, has the mount for the Haskell.

Wildcat Red had finished first or second in his first seven races, all at Gulfstream, before experiencing a very troubled 18th in the Kentucky Derby. The colt bounced back to romp in the Quality Road over his home track, where he is now 5-for-8 with earnings of $750,850.

"I'm very happy. First of all, he came back good from the Derby. He overcame all the problems he had in the Derby. He's sound. He survived that race. A lot of horses don't," Garoffalo said. "He now is a bigger horse, stronger than he was a couple of months ago. Mentally, he has grown as a racehorse."

Wildcat Red is scheduled to depart Gulfstream by van Monday, July 14 at noon with a scheduled arrival at Monmouth early Tuesday morning.

"I'll breeze him at Monmouth next Sunday, but nothing too serious," said Garoffalo.