01/24/2013 4:41PM

Gulfstream Park: Pataky Kid tunes up for return in Hutcheson

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Pataky Kid will make his 3-year-old debut in the in the Grade 2 Hutcheson.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Pataky Kid, winner of the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity at 2, will launch his 3-year-old campaign next Saturday in the Grade 2 Hutcheson, trainer Tom Proctor confirmed Thursday.

Pataky Kid, a son of Rockport Harbor, got his final major prep for the seven-furlong Hutcheson when working five furlongs from the gate in 1:00.72 here Thursday. Breaking into the teeth of a pretty strong headwind, Pataky Kid posted splits of 24.43 seconds, 36.08, and 48.11 while readily pulling away from workmate Breiland leaving the backstretch. Pataky Kid was going easily when completing the work at the three-sixteenths pole before galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.94.

Proctor, who was in California on Thursday, said he will take blinkers off Pataky Kid when he returns in the Hutcheson. Pataky Kid did not break sharply when equipped with blinkers for the first time in his 2-year-old finale, the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs, on Oct. 28.

“I gave him a little bit of a break after the Iroquois,” Proctor said. “That’s what I kind of do with my young horses. He’ll be turning back to seven furlongs after going longer in his last three races, but it’s a good place to get him started back. His best race so far was at a one-turn mile. I’m not sure who is going to be in there, but these are usually pretty tough races down there at this time of year.”

Pataky Kid is one of 30 3-year-olds nominated to the Hutcheson. Other potential starters include Merit Man, winner of the Spectacular Bid on New Year’s Day, and Honorable Dillon.

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

Proctor also reported that Marketing Mix, runner-up to female turf champion Zagora in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, remains on the farm and will not return to training until the first of February.

“We just gave her some time off, and she’s about ready to start back,” Proctor said. “She’ll have a couple of weeks training on the farm, and we’ll probably bring her in to Tampa Bay Downs to get her ready to run.”

Proctor said it’s much too early to predict when or where Marketing Mix, the only horse other than Zagora to receive first-place votes in the balloting for female turf champion, might launch her 2013 campaign.