Toccet Pointed Toward Florida Derby; Funny Cide Going in Holy Bull

Edited from track notes

Toccet Coming to Gulfstream for Fountain of Youth, Florida Derby
Toccet, one of the top 3-year-olds racing in the country, is coming to Gulfstream Park where he is scheduled to race in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. III) and Florida Derby (gr. III). The $200,000 Fountain of Youth will be run at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 15 and the $1 million Florida Derby will be run at 1 1/8 miles on March 15.

"I'm flying him (Toccet) in next Monday," trainer John Scanlan said from his headquarters in Maryland. "I'm flying on the same plane with him and we should arrive in early afternoon. He'll be stabled at Palm Meadows (MEC Corp.'s new training center in Boynton Beach) and I plan on running him in the Fountain of Youth then the Florida Derby."

Toccet has won five of his last six races and was one of the two best 2-year-olds in the country along with the undefeated Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) victor Vindication. Toccet finished ninth in the Breeders' Cup and Scanlan believes it was because he broke from the post 13.

"The 13 post was the kiss of death," Scanlan said. "Vindication won't beat him again. We shipped Toccet to California in his last start with the hopes of meeting Vindication, but they wouldn't run him. We won the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) anyhow and would have beat Vindication had he run."

The Hollywood Futurity on Dec. 21 was the second Grade 1 victory for Toccet. He won the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) on Oct. 5 at Belmont before his defeat in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Oct. 26. Since the Juvenile, Toccet has won the Laurel Futurity (gr. III) at Laurel and the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct (gr. II) before his triumph in the Hollywood Futurity.

Undefeated Funny Cide Runs in Holy Bull Stakes

Funny Cide is undefeated after three races but his first test under fire will come this Saturday at Gulfstream Park when he goes postward in the $100,000 Holy Bull Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.

"This will be his biggest race by far," trainer Barclay Tagg said. "He's been impressive so far racing with New York-breds and this should be a good test for him."

Funny Cide won all three of his races at Belmont Park against New York-breds. He broke his maiden by 14 1/2 lengths on Sept. 8 then came back to win the Bertram F. Bongard Stakes by nine lengths on Sept. 29. In his last start, Funny Cide was fully extended to win the one mile Sleepy Hollow Stakes on Oct. 19.

"I tried to rate him in the Sleepy Hollow," Tagg said. "I wanted him to learn a little. Also, he had some trouble in the race and came out of it with a lung infection. Maybe that's why he didn't blow them away the way he did in his other races."

Funny Cide has been training well for Tagg at Palm Meadows and breezed seven furlongs in 1:25 3/5 breezing last Thursday. "He's been training very well at Palm Meadows for me," Tagg said. "Jose (jockey Jose Santos) has been riding him and he'll ride him back on Saturday."

From The Workout Tab at Gulfstream Park:
Hall of Famer H. Allen Jerkens worked his stakes-placed 3-year-old Spite The Devil seven furlongs in 1:28 handily on Monday. Spite The Devil is slated to start in the Holy Bull...A pair of stakes winners, the Mark Hennig-trained Gold Mover and Belterra, who is trained by Carl Nafzger, worked half-miles on Monday. Gold Mover was clocked in :48 4/5 breezing while Belterra stopped the watches at :50 breezing. Both horses could run in the $100,000 Shirley Jones Handicap (gr. III) on Feb. 14...Offlee Wild had a bullet workout of :59 handily for five furlongs on Tuesday. Trainer T. V. Smith has entered him in the Holy Bull Stakes.