Racing News

Wildcat Red returns to worktab after illness

  • Wildcat Red could try the Hutcheson or await the Fountain of Youth (Kenny Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Six days after being removed from consideration for the Grade 2 Holy Bull with a minor illness, Wildcat Red returned to the worktab on Sunday.

Going out at 7:30 a.m. (EST) just after the first renovation break, Wildcat Red breezed three furlongs on Gulfstream's fast main track in :36 1/5 and galloped out a half-mile in :49 2/5 for trainer Jose Garoffalo.

Runner-up to General a Rod in the one-mile Gulfstream Park Derby on January 1, Wildcat Red is nominated to Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Hutcheson at seven furlongs. Entries for Saturday, including the Hutcheson and $75,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint, are taken on Wednesday.

"It was an easy breeze, and we're still trying to see what we're going to do," Garoffalo said. "He came back good. We scoped him and he scoped good. The first plan is to go in the Hutcheson. The horse is doing good and he's clean now, so we're going to wait until Wednesday to decide."

Wildcat Red was found with some mucous in his throat on January 20, the day entries were taken for the Holy Bull, so the D'wildcat colt was treated and withdrawn from consideration. Garoffalo is also eyeing the Grade 2, $400,000 Fountain of Youth on February 22, run at 1 1/16 miles, which is also being targeted by General a Rod.

"He just went an easy three-eighths today, because it was his first breeze after the treatment and the sickness," Garoffalo said. "He went very good today. Unfortunately, the horse got sick right before the race so we didn't have the time to recover 100 percent but he's coming around. We're going to take care of the horse first."

Two-time defending meet riding champion and Eclipse Award-winning jockey Javier Castellano was aboard Wildcat Red for Sunday's work. Paco Lopez had given the horse his prior breeze on January 17, and was also aboard in the Gulfstream Park Derby.

"We'll probably change the rider," Garoffalo said. "If Javier's open, we're going to use him. It all depends but he is very busy, now more than ever."

Garoffalo watched the Holy Bull and was impressed by the performance of Cairo Prince, whose dominant 5 3/4-length victory was the most lopsided in the race since Suave Prospect won by eight in 1995.

"It was a tough race. I think the horse that won the race was the horse that was supposed to win," he said. "We saw a very good horse, a very tough contender for the Triple Crown. He's the horse to beat from now on."