01/04/2012 12:45PM

Gulfstream Park: Sheppard taking his time with Ever So Lucky

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Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Ever So Lucky is on a farm recovering from bone bruising in a leg, and may return in the Hutcheson.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Ever So Lucky is one of the more exciting prospects in the class of 2012. But trainer Jonathan Sheppard is in no rush to put his star back into serious training just yet.

Sheppard flew to Camden, S.C., earlier this week to inspect the troops on his farm, including Ever So Lucky who arrived there over the weekend. A son of Indian Charlie, Ever So Lucky was on cruise control at the end of his eye-catching debut win at Churchill Downs before returning just 15 days later to finish a strong second behind the still-undefeated Gemologist in Churchill Downs’ 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.

Sheppard said jockey Julien Leparoux told him Every So Lucky was trying to drift a bit at the end of the Kentucky Jockey Club, and he also discovered the colt had a little heat in one front leg after the race.

“We sent him to New Bolton and had him checked out thoroughly after his last start, and they did find a little wear and tear, a little bone bruising in his leg,” Sheppard said Monday. “They recommended we back off him for a couple of weeks. He’s jogged and done some galloping back home, but has not had any breezes yet. I’m going to take a look at him for a couple of days when I get up to Camden and then make a decision whether to go on with him right now or wait a little longer.”

Sheppard said at this point he’s not even sure if Ever So Lucky is the type of horse who can stay 1 1/4 miles.

“Personally, I think he’s a little more of a miler, but we’ll let him tell us,” the 71-year-old Hall of Famer said. “Right now, I’m thinking the Hutcheson at seven furlongs might be the right place to bring him back. He’s already been two turns and that race isn’t until February, so we still have a bit of time. If all goes well, we can make further plans after that.”

Currency Swap galloping on farm

Another potential 3-year-old prospect expected to return from the farm shortly is the undefeated Currency Swap who has not started since winning the Grade 1 Hopeful on Sept. 5. Currency Swap missed the Breeders’ Cup and the remainder of his 2-year-old campaign due to a tiny ankle chip.

“He’s on the farm in Ocala and galloping a mile and one-eighth daily,” trainer Terry Pompay said. “The plans are for him to ship back here the second week of January. Naturally, we’d like to make the bigger races at the end of the meet and put him on the Derby trail, but we won’t push him too much to get there.”

Jump Up sets sights on stakes

Trainer Eddie Kenneally said he will start looking for some stakes opportunities for his undefeated 4-year-old filly Jump Up after the daughter of Jump Start remained perfect with a popular one-length allowance decision over Majestic Maria in Monday’s main event. Jump Up showed a new dimension while also stretching out around two turns for the first time Monday, rating off the pace before readily wearing down the leader when set down through the stretch by Leparoux.

“I knew she would have no problem with the distance, and she relaxed beautifully,” Kenneally said. “Julien rode her with complete confidence. I think she’s perfectly suited for the longer races, and we’ll likely start looking for a stakes for her next start.”