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Wildcat Red, Dance With Fate suffer cuts; other Derby also-rans good

Wildcat Red didn't escape unscathed from Derby 140 (Lauren Pomeroy/Horsephotos.com)

Trainer Jose Garoffalo reported Sunday morning that Wildcat Red came out of his 18th-place finish in Saturday's Kentucky Derby with a deep cut on the outside of his right front leg.

"It's not too serious, but it's deep. It's something we have to pay attention to. But he's walking good. In general, he's doing good," Garoffalo said. "He got hit pretty hard."

The D'wildcat colt suffered the worse finish of his career in the Run for Roses. Prior to Saturday, the bay colt had never finished worse than second, including a neck runner-up effort in the Florida Derby prior to his Kentucky Derby.

Garoffalo said Wildcat Red would van back to Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, on Monday or Tuesday.

"We'll give the horse the time he needs to recover, but he'll be back," Garoffalo said of his Fountain of Youth winner.

In other post-Derby news, trainer Rick Violette said he was delighted with the performance put in by Samraat, who finished fifth under Jose Ortiz on Saturday.

"I thought he gave us a typical Samraat performance," Violette said Sunday morning "He laid it all on the line and gave us what he had. He ran his eyeballs out. He chased what is obviously a good horse and at the head of the lane your hair stood up on the back of your neck because we were certainly in it. It looked like if he could go on he had every shot of winning it.

"I thought he ran terrific and that Jose rode a wonderful race. We were in a position to win. He rode to win. You don't go into the Derby hoping to pick up the pieces. He rode him to win, the pace was moderate and we were right where we were supposed to be."

Violette said the colt was fine, but that he did not know when Samraat would run next. As for the Preakness, he said that Samraat was "possible, but not probable."

"He showed signs last night that he was coming out of the race well," Violette said. "We had him out grazing for a half an hour or so and he was pretty aggressive grazing. He was hungry. He was tired, but not depleted. Otherwise he was in good form. This morning he was pretty keen and bright."

Chitu (left) and Uncle Sigh led the Derby early on Saturday (Lauren Pomeroy/Horsephotos.com)

Samraat will be flown back to New York on Monday.

Dance With Fate was just a half-length behind Samraat in sixth on Saturday. His trainer, Peter Eurton, already headed back to California early Sunday morning and the Blue Grass winner is slated to return to his home base at Santa Anita on Monday.

Dance With Fate sustained a small nick on the back of one of his legs in the race according to groom Francisco Tabuyo, but otherwise was doing well Sunday morning.

Eurton indicated by text that the sixth-place Kentucky Derby finisher's next start probably would come at the Del Mar meet that begins in July but "is not etched in stone."

Medal Count was second to Dance With Fate in the Blue Grass, but finished eighth in the Derby.

Trainer Dale Romans believes his Dynaformer colt could have had a better placing if Medal Count hadn't been forced to steady when cut off by Danza in midstretch.

"I think we could've moved up a couple positions but I don't think it kept us from winning," Romans said after the race.

Romans declined to speculate on any future plans for Medal Count on Sunday morning.

"Seemed like he came out of it fine," Romans said. "I really have no thoughts right now."

Chitu was doing well Sunday morning after finishing ninth in the Kentucky Derby. The Henny Hughes colt put in a strong performance but faded in the stretch to be a half-length behind Medal Count and a neck up on We Miss Artie.

"He came out of the race fine," said Jimmy Barnes, trainer Bob Baffert's longtime assistant. "It was just a little too far for him, but he was there. Turning for home he took the lead. He gave us all a thrill for the first mile of the race anyway."

Baffert said that Chitu will not go on to the Preakness.

Uncle Sigh led the 140th Derby field through the half-mile and three-quarters calls, postings splits of :47 1/5 and 1:11 4/5, but backed up to finish 14th with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the irons.

"The experience was great," said Ortiz, who along with his brother Jose was riding in the Derby for the first time. "My horse ran well. He broke sharp and went to the front easily. I asked him to run at the three-eighths pole and he picked it up, but by the quarter-pole the other horses ran by him and he got a little tired."

Tapiture (left) faded as Samraat (right) continued on to be fifth (Harold Roth/Horsephotos.com)

Tapiture accelerated into a decent position around the Derby's final turn, but also flattened out approaching the quarter-pole. The effort convinced trainer Steve Asmussen that the longer distances of the Triple Crown are likely not optimal for the Southwest winner by Tapit.

"He came out of the race really good," Asmussen said. "We'll shorten up his races a bit. I think he looked competitive to a point and then distance was exposed."

Asmussen watched the Derby replay several times from horseback this morning as it looped on the Big Board during training hours.

"You watch a lot of troubled trips and then you look back at California Chrome and it looked like he was in complete control the whole way," he said.

Asked his impressions of the winner, Asmussen suggested the California-bred was a credit to his 77-year-old trainer.

"I thought he reflected Art Sherman," Asmussen said. "He wasn't overwhelmed by the situation, did what he did and went about his business as usual and looked like a winner every step of the race.

"He's definitely my pick. I would expect him to be able to be in the best shape in two weeks but we'll see."

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