Racing News

Two pre-Derby works planned for Wildcat Red

  • Wildcat Red will work at Gulfstream and Churchill prior to the Kentucky Derby (Leslie Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Wildcat Red, who finished a solid second in the Florida Derby on March 29, will continue preparing for the Triple Crown at Gulfstream Park until April 22. The Jose Garoffalo-trained colt is slated to return to the work tab at Gulfstream on April 20.

"He'll have two works before the Derby. He'll breeze here once on the 20th and then breeze again on the 27th at Churchill," said Garoffalo, whose multiple-stakes winner is scheduled to be flown to Kentucky on April 22. "He's doing great. He came out of (the Florida Derby) great."

Wildcat Red is assured of a spot in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May, ranking eighth in the qualifying-points standings. The son of D'wildcat has emerged as a three-year-old star since breaking his maiden at first asking on September 14 at Gulfstream, where he has never been worse than second in seven starts.           

The Florida-bred colt raced four times at the recently concluded Champions Meet, finishing second in the Gulfstream Park Derby on January 1 before capturing the Hutcheson on February 1 and the Fountain of Youth on February 22. Wildcat Red set the pace in the Florida Derby before losing by a neck to Constitution following a thrilling stretch battle.

Wildcat Red was ridden by four different riders in those four races  -- Joel Rosario, Javier Castellano, Luis Saez and John Velazquez -- and Garoffalo is still uncertain who will be aboard the Honors Stable Corp.'s colt in Kentucky. However, Garoffalo is confident that Wildcat Red will be a force in the Triple Crown no matter who rides him.

"I'm really excited about going to Kentucky," Garoffalo said. "I think the most competitive horses raced at Gulfstream. Other than (Santa Anita Derby winner) California Chrome in California, I think the best three-year-olds raced here. Look at the Wood Memorial last week, the winner (Wicked Strong) raced here and he didn't do anything here."

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

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

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

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