Fast Parade Bounces Back After Bad HK Trip

Fast Parade has bounced back from his aborted start in the Hong Kong Sprint (HK-I) and is likely to race in early January at Santa Anita. Trainer Peter Miller said that the gelding's blood count returned to normal once he got back to his home base of San Luis Rey Downs training center in Southern California.

The conditioner and owners Gary and Cecil Barber are considering either the Jan. 1 El Conejo Handicap (gr. III) at 5 1/2 furlongs on the main track or the Jan. 10 Impressive Luck Handicap on Santa Anita's downhill turf course of about 6 1/2 furlongs.

"He's doing fine," Miller said Friday from San Luis Rey. "He shipped back fine, and his blood count's good."

Though Fast Parade had traveled to Hong Kong for the Dec. 10 Sprint, Miller didn't enter him because the gelding had shipped poorly and his white blood count was elevated. That also resulted in an irregularity when the Hong Kong Jockey Club conducted its routine pre-race testing.

Back home, Miller was able to treat the horse, who "bounced back really quickly," the trainer said. Fast Parade worked five furlongs in 1:02 2/5 at San Luis Rey Dec. 19 and has continued to progress.

"We didn't want to ruin him for the upcoming year to run in that one race," Miller said. "We're going to take it one race at a time, of course, but long term we'd love to try the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) or maybe even try to stretch him out to the Mile (gr. IT). If we can stretch him out, that would open up other possibilities, such as the Atto (now Woodbine) Mile (Can-I). I think he's as good on dirt as he is on the turf. We've got all kinds of ideas â€" the Bing Crosby (gr. I) at Del Mar, and we'd even consider Dubai."

The Washington-bred son of Delineator--Parade of Gold, by Prospectors Gamble, set a course record of :54.75 for five furlongs while winning the Aug. 16 Green Flash Handicap at Del Mar, a field that included subsequent TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Thor's Echo. He also won the Oct. 22 Nearctic Stakes (Can-II) at Woodbine.