Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos.

Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Derby Winner Continues Working Toward Donn Handicap

Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos continued working toward the Feb. 9 Donn Handicap (gr. I) Sunday, working five furlongs at Gulfstream Park. The John Ward trainee, who won the Florida Derby (gr. I) at the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Donn, will likely have to face 2000 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Red Bullet in the $500,000 Donn.

Monarchos breezed the five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 on the fast track, three seconds faster than stablemate Holiday Thunder. The move follows a similar five-furlong work (1:02 4/5) on Dec. 23, which Ward deemed, "a good move."

Also last week, trainer Joe Orseno said Stronach Stable's classic winner Red Bullet will likely head for the Donn after a start in the Jan. 12 Skip Away Handicap (gr. III).

"I've had Red Bullet here at the track for a couple of weeks," Orseno said. "Our plans are to run him in the Skip Away and if everything is OK then we'll swing right back and run him in the Donn Handicap. After that, depending on how he is, we might run him in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. I).

Trainer Todd Pletcher has Left Bank, Graeme Hall, and Invisible Ink to choose from, though assistant trainer Cindy Hutter said Invisible Ink is "a lot farther behind" in conditioning than his stablemates.

Other horses of note working at Gulfstream Sunday were Kentucky Derby prospect Harlan's Holiday (four furlongs, :49 1/5, breezing) and Whata Brainstorm (five furlongs, 1:03 3/5, breezing).