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Gulfstream Park Derby; Wildcat Red Redemption

Gulfstream Park Derby; Wildcat Red Redemption 

The $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby takes place New Year’s Day at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. The one-mile race has drawn in a field of nine three-year-olds making their 2014 debut, all that have only been considered three-year-olds for one day! Wildcat Red returns to the track for his fourth first place finish at Gulfstream Park after a disqualification in his last race.

While the 2014 Gulfstream Park Derby is not an official Kentucky Derby prep race, many eyes will be closely watching the young colts and geldings. The Gulfstream Park Derby has yet to produce a Kentucky Derby winner but draws in true talent. 2013 Kentucky Derby contender Itsmyluckyday won the 2013 Gulfstream Park Derby and then went on to win the Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park.

Wildcat Red Horse

Wildcat Red returns to the track on New Year’s Day in the Gulfstream Park Derby to attempt his fourth first place finish at Gulfstream Park after a disqualification in his last race, which caused him to place second.

All of the South Florida chatter seems to be circling the Honors Stable Corp. colt Wildcat Red. Wildcat Red was disqualified in a Juvenile Sprint Stakes back in November at Gulfstream Park. The colt was inevitably disqualified after finishing first and forced to place second behind Bolita Boys. Prior to that, Wildcat Red finished first in races in September and October at Gulfstream Park.

With 5/1 odds, Wildcat returns to the track with Paco Lopez on the mount. Paco Lopez ironically was the jockey aboard Bolita Boys during the disqualification incident. Regardless, I think Jose Garoffalo trained Wildcat Red likes the sunny South Florida track but may be a bit shaky after such a negative outcome in November.

Trainer Jose Garoffalo reported to Gulfstream Park, “He is a nice horse. He has shown a lot of class since his first time out. I think he could be a good horse at the mile or over the mile. That’s why we’re running in this race. He’s been working very good. He’s training very good. He feels good, so we hope with the help of a little bit of luck and a rider change, I think we can win the race.”

The Gulfstream Park Derby mile is a stepping stone in Wildcat Red’s career as Jose Garoffalo has his sights set on bigger distances saying, “The rail is always a concern at a mile, but he has the ability to run anywhere. He can run on the lead, or he can run behind the speed. I’m very confident the horse is going to go longer. He’s going to get the mile easily. We’re looking forward to the longer distances.”

Jose Garoffalo added, “If we do good in this race, the next step could be the Holy Bull. Then, we’ll see. That’s pretty much the plan so far. He’s playing on his home court. He stayed here and trained here all summer. He’s getting stronger, and mentally he’s more focused. In the beginning, he was kind of green but now he’s a different horse. I hope that with the time he’s going to get better. All we need is a little bit of luck.”

Breaking from post position #6 with jockey Kent Desormeaux is 6/1 Pablo Del Monte in the 2014 Gulfstream Park Derby. The Wesley Ward trained and co-owned colt has never raced at Gulfstream Park but has placed first in two out of three races in 2013. Pablo Del Monte’s first two wins were at Keeneland and his fifth place finish was at Hollywood Park in the Generous Stakes.

Trainer Wesley Ward reported, “I raced the mother and she was a very fast horse, but she preferred the Polytrack or the turf. This guy seemed to have an affinity for Polytrack early on, and when I breezed him on the grass he breezed OK, but not outstanding. I took a chance and took him out to Hollywood and he ran an average race. It wasn’t bad; it wasn’t great. He had no troubled trips as far as the running of the race or anything.”

Despite the odds and Best Plan Yet being the favorite with 5/2 odds, my picks for the 2014 Gulfstream Park Derby are Pablo Del Monte, Wildcat Red, and the Mike Maker trained colt General a Rod, only because I like Joel Rosario. I sure do miss seeing jockey John Velazquez down here in the South Florida sunshine! Get well soon Johnny V! We miss you!

Post time for the 2014 Gulfstream Park Derby is at 4:33 PM ET and is the 9th race of the day.

Related Links:
2014 Derby Prep Scedule
Why all Thoroughbreds Celebrate on Jan 1st

Gulfstream Park Derby 2014 Post Positions & Odds
1 Wildcat Red 5/1 Lopez/Garoffalo
2 Gone As Wind 12/1 Contreraz/Loza, Jr.
3 Enthrone 15/1 Chamafi/Jerkens
4 Aarons Orient 3/1 Castellano/Pletcher
5 East Hall 10/1 Leyva/Kaplan
6 Pablo Del Monte 6/1 Desormeaux/Ward
7 Best Plan Yet 5/2 Sanchez/Gold
8 Grand Arrival 20/1 Lezcano/Zito
9 General a Rod 6/1 Rosario/Maker
SEE UPDATED RESULTS

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