Racing News

Wildcat Red clocks half-mile, gets new rider for Fountain of Youth

  • Wildcat Red (Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Wildcat Red will have a new rider when he makes his next start in the Grade 2, $400,000 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park on February 22.

Trainer Jose Garoffalo has lined up Luis Saez to ride Wildcat Red, an impressive 4 3/4-length winner of the seven-furlong Hutcheson on February 1 under Javier Castellano. The 2013 Eclipse Award winner and two-time defending meet champion, Castellano is committed to ride Gulfstream Park Derby winner General a Rod in the Fountain of Youth.

"I think Luis Saez is the right guy to put on," Garoffalo said. "We get along very well and he's won a lot of races for me, here and at Calder, so let's do it. Let's run."

Saez, 21, is second in the current meet standings with 48 wins, one ahead of Paco Lopez and 27 behind Castellano. Among his wins are Cairo Prince in the Holy Bull on January 25, Falling Sky in the Gulfstream Park Sprint on February 8 and Lea in the Hal's Hope on January 11.

"He can compete with all the big guys," Garoffalo stated. "He's been there before. I have a lot of confidence in him. He's young, but he's tough. He knows what to do."

Owned by Honors Stable Corp., Wildcat Red put in his final tune-up for the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth with a half-mile breeze Friday morning over Gulfstream's fast main track under regular exercise rider Paco Mendoza.

"He went four furlongs in :49 and change (:49.02) very easily and handled the workout very good, so we're ready for the race. I'm very happy with him," Garoffalo declared.

"Actually, I would say he was better than before the Hutcheson. He has improved a lot since the last race. Everything looks like he's going to be ready for the Fountain of Youth."

From here, Garoffalo said he will give Wildcat Red, a son of D'wildcat, routine gallops leading up to the race.

"He's in good shape. He doesn't need to do too much," the horseman noted. "He's very athletic. I try not to stress him too much because he doesn't need much. With this workout, he'll be ready."

In other Fountain of Youth news, lightly raced Our Caravan is scheduled to make his third career start in the race for trainer Michael Dilger.

The bay son of Daaher broke his maiden by three lengths at Gulfstream on December 14 before finishing eighth of 11 in the January 25 Holy Bull. Both races, like the Fountain of Youth, were run at 1 1/16 miles.

"Our Caravan is on track for the Fountain of Youth," Dilger said. "He came out of the last race fantastic. He lacked game-day experience going into it, and he definitely got it that day."

Corey Lanerie has been aboard Our Caravan for both his starts. In the Holy Bull, they broke from post 5 and never reached contention, beaten 13 lengths by Cairo Prince.

"It didn't go exactly according to plan in his last race, but we knew we had an inexperienced horse going into it and it showed," Dilger admitted. "He's trained very well since the Holy Bull, and we're just going to give it another try."

Our Caravan has breezed twice since the Holy Bull, each time in company with fellow Anstu Stable three-year-old Big Guy Ian. Most recently, they were timed in 1:00 for five furlongs at Palm Meadows on Monday.

Big Guy Ian was fifth behind Grade 3-placed C. Zee in his December 13 debut at Gulfstream, then returned to break his maiden by 1 1/4 lengths on the Holy Bull undercard.

"They're the two most talented horses I have at the moment that are the fittest and can work together like that. It just makes sense," Dilger said. "It just happens that both their races were on the same day last time, and potentially on the same day next time as well. We're not 100 percent sure what we're going to do with Big Guy Ian just yet."

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.

Global View Nips Storming Inti at Wire to Win 23rd Running of Grade II American Turf

Glen Hill Farm's Global View caught Storming Inti in the closing strides

Midnight Lucky Romps in 28th Running of Grade I Humana Distaff

Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate

Coffee Clique Catches Dame Marie Late to Win 29th Running of Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

Coffee Clique squeezed through an opening along the hedge

Derby Week Concludes with Memorable Kentucky Derby 140 as California Chrome Wins America’s Greatest Race

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

Updates Powered by

Visit brisnet.com for expert handicapping, picks and analysis Derby Week and all year long

Derby Stories

Lindsay & Els Chicago, IL

First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
Paula's picking California Chrome

Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

Kentucky Derby 140 - Road to the Derby

Kentucky Derby 140 Intro

Around the Downs - The Stables

The Race

54 Photos

GET TO KNOW THE KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER CALIFORNIA CHROME (PRE-RACE BIO)

California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.