On to Donn for Red Bullet; Sir Bear's Next Start Undecided

After finishing second to 9-year-old Sir Bear in Saturday's Skip Away Handicap (gr. III), trainer Joe Orseno said Red Bullet will race next in the 1 1/8-mile Donn Handicap (gr. I).

"We're still pointing Red Bullet for the Donn," Orseno said. "We trained him for a mile and a sixteenth and he just got a little tired."

Jockey Jerry Bailey agreedd that Red Bullet tired in the late stages of the race.

"He got a little tired at the end," said Bailey of the 2000 Preakness winner. "He had a lot to overcome and it was his first time back from a layoff."

Also likely to return in the Donn are Traditionally and Skip Away third-place finisher Hal's Hope.

Trainer Harold Rose liked what he saw from Hal's Hope in the Skip Away.

"We were very pleased with the way he ran," said Rose Sunday morning. "With a few breaks we might have been there in the winner's circle. He had some trouble early in the race and got bumped several times."

Assistant trainer Kirk Ziadie said Sir Bear came back from his winning efforts feeling fine.

"He came back very well," said Ziadie, who assists his father, trainer Ralph Ziadie. "He walked this morning and was feeling very good. He had his head up and was looking around alertly –- all the usual stuff. He's just an amazing animal."

The elder Ziadie said Saturday that plans are indefinite for Sir Bear's next start but, "you should see him again before the end of the meeting."

Working up to a start in the Donn is Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos, who has won all three of his starts at Gulfstream Park, including the Florida Derby. Monarchos breezed five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 on the morning of the Skip Away with Jorge Chavez in the irons.

"It was a good workout," John T. Ward said of Monarchos' move. "I got him going out seven furlongs in 1:29 and a mile in 1:44. He's on track for the Donn and we only have a few more weeks to go."

Owner John Oxley was present for the drill.

"Winning the Florida Derby last year was the biggest thrill of my life at the time," he said. "I had been living and racing in South Florida for the last 40 years and it was only something you would think about. The only thing to top that win was the Kentucky Derby. I guess I've got Kentucky Derby fever and I'd love to be able to return and do it all over again."

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