Racing News

Florida Derby hopeful Itsmyluckyday doing well; Speak Logistics joins FOY lineup

  • itsmyluckyday (Courtney Heeney/Adam Coglianese Photography)

  • Speak Logistics (Calder/Coady Photography)

Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. reported that all is well with Itsmyluckyday as the Gulfstream Park Derby and Grade 3 Holy Bull winner awaits the Grade 1, $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 30.

Campaigned by by Plesa's wife, Laurie, and Trilogy Stables, the Lawyer Ron colt produced a stunning two-length victory over previously undefeated Eclipse champion Shanghai Bobby in the Holy Bull on January 26. Prior to that, Itsmyluckyday won the one-mile Gulfstream Park Derby by 6 3/4 lengths on New Year's Day, earning a stellar 111 BRIS Speed rating for the effort.

"Everything has gone well for him," Plesa said. "He's been galloping every day and will have his first work since the race here on Friday, and then he'll work again every six or seven days up to the race. A part of me says I wish the race (Florida Derby) was today, but in his case time is our ally. He's got the two good races behind him."

Before the Florida Derby, though, Plesa will saddle Speak Logistics in Saturday's Grade 2, $400,000 Fountain of Youth going 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream.

"The timing is right," Plesa said Sunday morning.

Speak Logistics was most recently seen finishing fourth following trouble in the Grade 3 Sam Davis at Tampa Bay Downs on February 2 in his first start since a seventh-place effort behind Shanghai Bobby in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on November 3.

"After the Breeders' Cup we gave him five weeks off on the farm in Ocala," Plesa explained. "He got shut off in the Sam Davis. He was making his move on the inside nearing the stretch and I thought he was going to go right on through.

"In any event, he's doing good and we've got Joel Rosario to ride him. He had a good work here (on the sloppy track at Calder) Saturday in :48 4/5 and galloped out good."

The bay son of High Cotton earned a trip to the Breeders' Cup by winning the In Reality division of the Florida Stallion Stakes going 1 1/16 miles at Calder in mid-October. Speak Logistics, who broke his maiden by 5 3/4 lengths in his second start last summer at Monmouth Park, was beaten only six lengths for it all in the Breeders' Cup.

In other Fountain of Youth news, a defection from the probable field is My Name is Michael, who finished third last out in the Sam Davis. Trainer Bill Mott said Saturday that the Canadian-developed son of Macho Uno had gotten sick and missed several days training.

Others currently listed as probable for the Fountain of Youth are Cerro, Elmutahid, Joshua's Comprise, Majestic Hussar, Violence and Orb, the latter of whom is scheduled to work at Gulfstream Monday morning for trainer Shug McGaughey.

Majestic Hussar got his final workout in Sunday morning on Palm Meadows' fast main track as he was timed five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 for trainer Eddie Kenneally while Elmutahid went five-eighths in 1:00 2/5 for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

California Chrome Cruises to Victory in 140th Kentucky Derby before Crowd of 164,906

Steven Coburn and Perry Martin's favored California Chrome, ridden by Victor Espinoza, took command at the head of the stretch en route to a 1 3/4-length victory over Commanding Curve to win the 140th running of the $2,202,800 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I). A sun-splashed crowd of 164,906, the second-largest attendance in Kentucky Derby history, watched California Chrome give jockey Victor Espinoza a second Derby victory to go with his triumph on War Emblem in 2002.

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