01/22/2014 4:00PM

Gulfstream Park: Violette keeps Financial Mogul, Samraat separated

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Tom Keyser
Financial Mogul will make his 3-year-old debut for trainer Rick Violette in Saturday's Holy Bull Stakes.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Rick Violette currently has two top 3-year-old prospects in training at Palm Meadows, Financial Mogul and the undefeated Samraat, and for the time being has plotted different courses for the pair in hopes of achieving the same goal – getting into this year’s Kentucky Derby.

[Holy Bull Stakes: Get PPs, watch Saturday's card live]

Financial Mogul will launch his 3-year-old campaign here Saturday in the Grade 2 Holy Bull while Samraat is scheduled to board a van for New York early next week to run the following Saturday at Aqueduct in the Withers.

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

Financial Mogul, a son of Street Boss, won once in four starts as a 2-year-old but ended his campaign on a high note, finishing a late-running second behind Cairo Prince in the Grade 2 Nashua.

“He showed promise as a 2-year-old even though he had a couple of sub-par races,” said Violette. “I thought he was very impressive breaking his maiden on the same day Honor Code broke his at Saratoga. I was caught between a rock and a hard place for his next start. It was too close to run him back in the Hopeful but I didn’t think he was ready for the Champagne, so I turned him back in the Futurity and he really didn’t run his style of race that day.

[Clocker Reports: Get Mike Welsch’s clocker reports from Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows] “But he bailed me out by running so well in the Nashua and really proving he wants to stretch out, that he’s more comfortable sitting and making one run, which is what we’ll be looking for him to do again on Saturday.”

Violette opted to skip the Remsen and bring Financial Mogul right to Florida to prepare for his 3-year-old campaign.

“If we waited around up there to run in the Remsen, his rest would have either been significantly shorter or we would have had to wait longer into the winter to get his 3-year-old career going,” said Violette. “So I just pulled the plug on him and got him down here for a little rest. He’s probably not fit enough to run from here to Hong Kong on Saturday but he’s fit enough to make a good showing. If he were a speed horse I probably wouldn’t run him in this spot. But with a one-run horse, you can do this, let them make a run from the half- or three-eighths pole, while giving him an opportunity to finally run two turns, get his career re-started, and hopefully move forward off the race.”

Samraat, a New York-bred son of Noble Causeway, was undefeated and virtually untested at 2, having won his three starts by a combined margin of nearly 26 lengths, including the mile-and-70-yard Damon Runyon for New York-breds by 16 3/4 lengths on Dec. 18.

“I was tempted to keep him up there and run in the Jerome, but it would have been just 15 days after such a huge effort in the Damon Runyon,” said Violette. “And fortunately, the way the weather has been in New York, we made the right choice to bring him down here where it’s nice not having to worry about when you’re going to be able to breeze or even gallop all the time. Piecemeal training is not ideal and you pay the price for it in the end. In fact, if all goes well in the Withers, I’ll have to decide whether I want to bring him back down here for a month or leave him in New York for the next one.”

Stakes runners in Friday turf feature

A second-level optional $62,500 claiming race at 7 1/2 furlongs on grass will highlight Friday’s 10-race card. The nine-horse field, which includes main-track-only entrant Four Arias, is led by She’s Spooky and Coarsegold, who finished two-three, just a neck apart, behind Tapicat in the Voodoo Dancer Stakes on New Year’s Day.

She’s Spooky, who has turned in a series of sharp efforts for trainer Alan Benning since her fourth-place finish in Calder’s Frances Genter, set the pace before giving way grudgingly to the winner in the closing stages of the 7 1/2-furlong Voodoo Dancer. Coarsegold rallied from near the rear of the field and just missed running down She’s Spooky for second money while becoming stakes-placed for the fourth time in her career.

She’s Spooky figures to get pressed on the lead by the red-hot Will to Shine, a winner of her last two starts, and Ceci N Red. Those two finished just a head apart under similar conditions here going a mile on Dec. 29.

◗ Mexikoma, a late-charging sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, continues to train forwardly for his 3-year-old debut at Palm Meadows. Mexikoma, a son of Birdstone trained by Rick Mettee, worked five furlongs in 1:02.75 over a fast track at the training center on Wednesday.