01/19/2013 3:09PM

Gulfstream Park: Majestic Hussar returns in sharp form, may target Fountain of Youth

Barbara D. Livingston
Majestic Hussar defeats Palace Malice in a Gulfstream allowance race Saturday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Eddie Kenneally and his owner Dr. Joseph Witek, said they’re ready to put Majestic Hussar on the Kentucky Derby trail following his impressive victory over odds-on favorite Palace Malice in Saturday’s opening race at Gulfstream Park.

Majestic Hussar, a homebred son of Majestic Warrior, broke alertly under jockey Jose Lezcano and controlled the seven-furlong entry-level optional $75,000 claiming race throughout over a sloppy racetrack. Majestic Hussar had won his maiden in equally impressive fashion in the slop when launching his career last summer at Saratoga. His only poor effort in four starts came the following month when he finished seventh behind division leader Shangahi Bobby in the Grade 2 Hopeful after setting the early pace.

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

“I was happy to see the wet weather but he’s a nice horse and I think he would have run well over a fast track today,” said Kenneally. “He was a little immature, ran poor in the Hopeful. I don’t think he was ready for that caliber of horses, and we wanted to give him a little break. So we backed off during the fall to have a fresh horse for the winter-spring campaign.”

Kenneally said Majestic Hussar would make his next start “in a graded stakes somewhere” but was uncertain which one just yet.

“We will stretch him out next time while looking at all the appropriate races, including the Fountain of Youth,” said Kenneally.

Purple Egg still recovering

Trainer Jane Cibelli reports that her undefeated 3-year-old Purple Egg has still not fully recovered from the effects of the ailment that forced him to miss both the Gulfstream Park Derby here on New Year’s Day and the Pasco Stakes at Tampa last weekend.

Purple Egg, who would have likely been the favorite in the Gulfstream Park Derby, has captured all three of his starts, including Tampa’s Inaugural when he rallied to a one-length victory over the odds-on favorite Brave Dave. Cibelli was forced to scratch Purple Egg from the Gulfstream Park Derby after he contracted a temperature the day before the race.

“He had a little bit of a temperature before the Gulfstream Park Derby and again before the Pasco,” said Cibelli, who trains Purple Egg for Goodwood Racing II. “We might have come back on him a little too soon after he missed the race here to make the Pasco. We pushed on him, and it was a mistake. We just have to get him right. Take a step back and get him healthy. At the moment he’s doing great but we’ll give him another week off, take a blood on him, and then go from there.”

Merit Man has work rained out

Merit Man was on a long list of horses whose works were postponed on Saturday morning due to heavy overnight rains. Merit Man, winner of the Spectacular Bid on New Year’s Day, is being pointed for the Grade 3 Hutcheson going seven furlongs on Feb. 3.

“It’s no big deal. We have plenty of time before his next start,” said trainer Bob Hess Jr. “He’ll work two more times before the race and I’ll look to wake him up a touch in this next one by putting him in company with a pretty good claimer I’ve got in my barn. There will be no 1:05’s like his last work.”