Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos.

Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos.

Mike Corrado

Kentucky Derby Winner Monarchos Ships to Gulfstream Next Week

Trainer John Ward said Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos will ship down to Gulfstream Park a few days after Thanksgiving to begin preparation for his 4-year-old campaign.

"God, he looks good," Ward said. "His rear end has really filled out and his coat looks like shining silver. He's come back with gusto."

The son of Maria's Mon came out of his third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes with a crack in his right knee, which was only detected during a routine examination.

"It was an incomplete crack, like when you pound down on a piece of ice and it leaves a line across it," Ward said. "I'm sure he suffered it in the Kentucky Derby. It was just by accident that we found it.

"We'll ship him down to Gulfstream right after Thanksgiving and prepare him for the Donn Handicap. Most of the dates of the major stakes haven't been announced yet, so it's difficult to plan too far ahead. I want to space his races out and not overdo it."

Monarchos thrilled the racing world with his devastating moves in the Kentucky and Florida Derbys. He also finished a strong second to Congaree in the Wood Memorial. Ward said Monarchos' sometimes brilliant stablemate Hero's Tribute will be sent to his wife Donna at Palm Beach Downs. "Donna doesn't have Beautiful Pleasure anymore, and this colt is almost like a filly; he needs that delicate touch," Ward said. The son of Sea Hero has been walked under tack for 45 days, and likely will be pointed for either sprints or mile and mile and a sixteenth turf races.