02/07/2012 2:41PM

Gulfstream: Dullahan fighting illness but still on Kentucky Derby track

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Barbara D. Livingston
Dullahan is being pointed for the Palm Beach.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Discreet Dancer, whose status for the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth may be in jeopardy after he spiked a temperature on Monday, isn’t the only Kentucky Derby prospect in the area a little under the weather these days. So is Grade 1 winner Dullahan, who is battling a cough, said his trainer, Dale Romans.

Dullahan has not worked in nearly a month, with his last official work an easy five furlongs in 1:01.40 at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 14. Dullahan has not started since finishing a late-running fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Fortunately for Romans, Dullahan should already have more than enough graded-stakes money to get into the Derby field. Dullahan amassed the majority of those earnings by capturing Keeneland’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at 2.

Romans was planning on having Dullahan make only two starts before the Derby, his first target being the 1 1/8-mile Palm Beach on the turf here March 11. His final Derby prep would bring Dullahan back to Keeneland for the Blue Grass five weeks later. It’s the same path Romans used to get Paddy O’Prado to the Derby two years ago.

“He’s got a little bit of a cough, and we had to skip a couple of week’s breezes,” said Romans. “We had gotten a little bit ahead of ourselves with him anyway, so it shouldn’t be a big problem. We still have plenty of time. He’s still on track for the Palm Beach if we don’t encounter any other issues.”