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Wildcat Red
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Coglianese Photos/Lauren King

Wildcat Red Pointing for Haskell Invitational

Florida Derby runner-up ready to breeze again after rough trip in Kentucky Derby.

The William Hill Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park appears to be the next major target for Wildcat Red  as the son of D'Wildcat completes his recovery from scrapes received during a troubled run in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

Trainer Jose Garoffalo reported May 29 that the Florida-bred colt, runner-up in the Besilu Stables Florida Derby (gr. I), "is doing good."

"He'll breeze probably Saturday (May 31)an easy half-mile, a routine breeze," Garoffalo said. "He's been galloping good. There are no issues with the horse after the race."

Wildcat Red was given a couple weeks off from training after his 18th-place finish in the Derby, in which he suffered a cut in his right front leg.

"It was above the right ankle, about an inch long. It wasn't too deep, but enough to take care of it. He had other scratches and bruises everywhere," said Garoffalo. Wildcat Red's comment line for the Derby read, "bobble, bump, steady, shuffled."

The 1 1/8-mile Haskell Invitational is July 27.

"If the horse goes good, maybe we'll find a race for him in the middle of June or the third week in June as a prep for the Haskell," his trainer said.

Owned by Honors Stable, Wildcat Red captured the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (gr. II) and Hutcheson Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park prior to the Florida Derby. The bay colt has two wins and two seconds from five starts this year.

Garoffalo said he would be rooting for Kentucky Derby and Preakness (gr. I) winner California Chrome  in his quest to complete the sweep of the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 7.

"There's going to be a new Triple Crown winner. He's the best horse in the field. I don't think he'll have any problem with the distance and he's beaten all the other horses," Garoffalo said. "The trainer (Art Sherman) is doing a wonderful job with the horse, keeping him galloping without breezes. He doesn't pay too much attention to the clock. He's taking good care of the horse. I think the horse is going to be the new Triple Crown winner."