12/15/2012 3:34PM

Gulfstream Park: Golden Ticket gets back to work

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Trainer Ken McPeek says the Donn Handicap is not a good option for Golden Ticket's 4-year-old debut.

Golden Ticket, who dead-heated for the win with Alpha in the Travers, breezed an easy half-mile in 51.09 here at Gulfstreaem Park on Saturday, his first work since finishing 11th on the turf in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby under Mike Smith three weeks ago.

“I’m just kind of easing him back into things,” said trainer Ken McPeek. “I just wanted to let him stretch his legs a little bit this morning. Right now I don’t have a plan. I just want to gradually work him back up to where we had him during the summer and be patient doing it.”

McPeek ruled out the Grade 1 Donn as a possible option for Golden Ticket’s 4-year-old debut.

“I’d like to send him through some of the lower hoops and get his confidence back before he’s ready to tackle older Grade 1 horses next season,” said McPeek. “I ran him in the [Hollywood Derby] because I wanted to give him one more start in a Grade 1 as a 3-year-old and our options were limited. He got run into the rail on the second turn and Mike thought he lost his action and just galloped him home.”

McPeek said his top 2-year-old prospect Frac Daddy is in light training and could have his first work as early as next weekend. Frac Daddy finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of Gulfport when second in the Kentucky Jockey Club.

“I don’t want him peaking too soon, so he’s kind of in gallop mode right now,” said McPeek. “The Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby are out top priorities for the winter campaign. If he has one start before then, it would probably be in an allowance race.”

McPeek also reported that Pure Fun, upset winner of the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet last weekend, suffered a minor injury in the race and would be sidelined for approximately 45 days before returning to training here later this winter.