The Pamplemousse records sharp work
Multiple Grade 3 victor THE PAMPLEMOUSSE (Kafwain), a smashing six-length winner of the Sham S. (G3) on February 28, worked five furlongs in :59 4/5 over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride on Wednesday with regular rider Alex Solis. The gray colt is preparing for his next start in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 4.
"He went very nice, nice and easy," trainer Julio Canani said. "He was three wide and just galloping. I'm very happy. He was just breezing. I'm very pleased."
A maiden special weight winner in his final juvenile appearance, The Pamplemousse made a seamless transition to stakes competition when leading all the way in the one-mile San Rafael S. (G3) on January 17. He extended his win streak to three with another front-running score in the 1 1/8-mile Sham.
The Santa Anita Derby will feature a showdown between the most accomplished three-year-olds on the West Coast, The Pamplemousse and PIONEEROF THE NILE (Empire Maker). The latter also owns a three-race winning streak, most recently garnering Saturday's San Felipe S. (G2). The rivals will meet for the first time in the nine-furlong Santa Anita Derby.
In other Kentucky Derby (G1) news, trainer Gary Stute announced Wednesday that Louisiana Derby (G2) runner-up PAPA CLEM (Smart Strike) will make his next start in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G2) on April 11.
"At first, we were going in the Illinois Derby (G2) (on April 4 at Hawthorne)," Stute explained. "But we couldn't make travel connections and had to change plans."
Rafael Bejarano will retain the mount at Oaklawn Park.
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