Frac Daddy likelier for Holy Bull after Monday work
Frac Daddy worked five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 at Gulfstream Park Monday morning in preparation for a likely start in Saturday's Grade 3 Holy Bull.
"I'm leaning toward the Holy Bull," trainer Ken McPeek said. "Nothing set in stone. I'll wait until Wednesday and see how he's eating and see how he's doing. No pressure."
The son of Scat Daddy, who was ridden by jockey David Cohen, worked in company with Twining Hearts, an unraced maiden who was clocked in 1:01 3/5 under Corey Lanerie.
"It was a nice solid breeze. We didn't want to go too fast the first three-eighths. He finished up the last quarter and galloped out good. He went the last quarter in :24 3/5 and galloped out three-quarters in 1:14," McPeek said.
"He worked faster last week (:59 4/5 on January 12), but he worked too fast last week."
Frac Daddy debuted at Belmont with a second-place finish in the mud on October 4, before breaking his maiden by nearly 10 lengths at Churchill Downs on November 3. Three weeks later, the gray colt was just outdueled by the more experienced Uncaptured in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill.
"That race was an excellent race," McPeek said. "He just got a smidgeon tired. It was only his third race. The other horse was going on six or seven."
Should he pass on the Holy Bull, Frac Daddy could turn up in an entry-level allowance at Gulfstream on Saturday or the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs on February 2.
Undefeated Shanghai Bobby is scheduled to make his three-year-old debut in the Holy Bull. How much will the presence of the 2012 juvenile champion have on his decision?
"Not much," McPeek said. "I think we can run with him."
The Holy Bull is also expected to attract Dewey Square, a closing third in the Kentucky Jockey Club; Grade 2 Sanford winner Bern Identity, a troubled runner-up to Goldencents in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot; impressive Gulfstream Park Derby victor Itsmyluckyday and runner-up Sr. Quisqueyano; Clearly Now, third in the Display at Woodbine; and recent allowance winner Tulira Castle. A few others are listed as possible.
In other news from the Gulfstream Park three-year-old scene, Shadwell Stable's homebred Elmutahid has emerged as a possible contender for the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at 1 1/16 miles on February 23.
The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee broke his maiden going 1 1/8 miles in Saturday's 3RD race in his fifth career start, but first on dirt. The son of Street Cry, who had made his previous four starts on turf, took to the sloppy main track Saturday and led wire-to-wire to score by 4 1/4 lengths under jockey Jose Lezcano for the 11-to-1 upset.
"We were not surprised but pleased with his switch to dirt," McLaughlin said. "He's out of a good turf mare (Alwajeeha) and he (Elmutahid) had only run on turf. He's always worked good on dirt so we decided to switch over. We'll look at either an allowance in February or the Fountain of Youth."
McLaughlin also has a promising sophomore turf filly in With Sugar On Top, who scored a game neck victory over Team Valor International's Three Hearts in Sunday's 4TH race, a 1 1/8-mile turf allowance test.
The Darley homebred has now won both of her grass starts. With Sugar On Top was making her first start since a four-length maiden victory on turf at Monmouth Park on August 12 following a sixth-place debut there sprinting on dirt.
"Johnny (Velazquez) gave her a great ride," McLaughlin said of Sunday's win. "There didn't appear to be much speed, and he let her sit right off the one-horse (Casual Elegance) in front and had enough left to hold off the closers. It was a big race off the layoff.
"We stopped on her after she broke her maiden with some minor issues, nothing serious. Then she got sick with some mucous and it took a little longer. She's a three-year-old, so we probably will have to step her up to a stakes from here."
The next stakes for her division on the Gulfstream schedule is the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes on March 2.
With Sugar On Top is a daughter of Unbridled's Song out of Fast Cookie, a winner of $557,480, including the Grade 2 Cotillion in 2003.
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