Daily Racing Form reports that Del Mar Futurity (G1) winner J P'S GUSTO (Successful Appeal), who has been based with trainer David Hofmans in Southern California, will switch to the barn of Joe Petalino at Oaklawn Park.
Hofmans was pointing J P's Gusto to the February 20 San Vicente S. (G2) at Santa Anita, until the three-year-old's owner John Waken and racing manager Steve Bajer instead chose to aim for the February 21 Southwest S. (G3) at Oaklawn. According to DRF, Hofmans disagreed with that strategy, and as a result, requested that J P's Gusto be transferred to another trainer.
Most recently runner-up in the December 18 CashCall Futurity (G1) at Hollywood Park, J P's Gusto is expected to participate in Oaklawn's series of graded stakes -- the one-mile Southwest, the March 19 Rebel S. (G2) at 1 1/16 miles and the April 16 Arkansas Derby (G1) at 1 1/8 miles.
The steadily increasing distances will be a guide to J P's Gusto's Kentucky Derby (G1) aspirations.
"You can never say never, but his pedigree would indicate that (he could be vulnerable at 1 1/4 miles)," Bajer said. "Hopefully, we'll run in the Rebel and then we'll see."