03/22/2013 2:49PM

Florida Derby: Frac Daddy has sharp workout

Barbara D. Livingston
Frac Daddy, with jockey Corey Lanerie aboard, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.24 on Friday in preparation for the March 30 Florida Derby.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Ken McPeek had to rush off and catch a flight to Kentucky on Friday morning, but he left town with a big smile on his face after watching his Florida Derby hopeful, Frac Daddy, work five furlongs in 1:00.24 about an hour earlier at Gulfstream Park.

With jockey Corey Lanerie aboard, Frac Daddy broke off a couple of lengths behind stablemate Kid Twist, posting splits of 24.17 seconds and 36.34 before pulling three lengths clear at the wire and galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.31.

Frac Daddy had originally been scheduled to breeze Saturday, but McPeek moved the work up 24 hours so he could be on hand to see the drill prior to departing for Turfway Park, where he was scheduled to run Grade 1 winner Pure Fun in the Bourbonette Oaks and allowance winner Taken by the Storm in the Spiral Stakes.

“He worked super,” McPeek said. “We laid him three lengths behind the other colt there – he actually laid right in behind him – because we wanted him to take a little dirt in his face, and then he moved him out in the two path and went on by. He was very professional. It all went good.”

McPeek said Frac Daddy, beaten a neck by Uncaptured in his 2-year-old finale in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club, appears to be over the minor physical issues that compromised his performance in the Grade 3 Holy Bull and set back his training a bit in the following weeks.

“The foot’s healed, throat looked good; seems like all systems are go,” McPeek said. “We feel like we have a good horse who is really doing well. The extra time has helped.”

The prospective lineup for the Grade 1, $1 million Florida Derby has grown to nine. Trainer Dale Romans confirmed Friday, shortly before catching a flight to Dubai for the World Cup, that the lightly raced maiden Pontiff would join Pick of the Litter in the gate for the meet’s cornerstone race next Saturday.

Roger Attfield also informed the racing office that he likely would run Are You Kidding Me, who was beaten a nose by Noble Tune while making his 3-year-old debut on grass earlier this month at Tampa Bay Downs.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Racing Secretary Dan Bork said he’s also gotten a commitment from the Calder-based Narvaez, who dead heated for first place in a 7 1/2-furlong, entry-level allowance race here earlier this month.

The other four horses expected to run in the Florida Derby are Shanghai Bobby, Itsmyluckyday, Orb, and Merit Man.