02/01/2014 6:33PM

Gulfstream Park: Wildcat Red leaves no doubt in Hutcheson

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Barbara D. Livingston
Wildcat Red makes quick work of his foes in the Grade 3 Hutcheson on Saturday, winning by 4 3/4 lengths under Javier Castellano.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Jose Garoffalo was forced to skip the Holy Bull Stakes last week with his star 3-year-old Wildcat Red. So he went to Plan B, Saturday’s $200,000 Hutcheson Stakes, and was rewarded when Wildcat Red drew off to a convincing 4 3/4-length victory over C. Zee in the Grade 3 dash for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.

With Javier Castellano aboard for the first time, Wildcat Red was as impressive winning the seven-furlong Hutcheson as Cairo Prince was dominating the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull here one week earlier. Stalking the pace of Gambler’s Ghost, who cut out realistic splits of 22.30 and 44.87 over the fast track, Wildcat Red edged to command entering the stretch, then steadily pulled clear leaving the issue no longer in doubt through the final furlong.

C. Zee, runner-up in the Spectacular Bid in his previous start, raced forwardly and outlasted Pablo del Monte by a half-length to finish second.

Wildcat Red, a son of D’wildcat, is owned by Honors Stable Corp. He completed the distance in 1:22.21 over a track upgraded from good to fast earlier in the day and paid $6 as the favorite in a field of nine.

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

Asked why he passed the Holy Bull with Wildcat Red, Garoffalo said: “He had a little infection in the throat, some mucus in the upper wind pipes. It wasn’t a big deal, really. So we picked this race. We thought the horse fit pretty good in this spot, and he proved he was the best horse, as we expected. He did the job and I think he showed he’s more mature, more relaxed, and can go longer.”

[Clocker Reports: Get Mike Welsch’s clocker reports from Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows]

Garoffalo said if all goes well, Wildcat Red would come back in three weeks in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth here.

“That’s the next step, hopefully,” said Garoffalo. “If everything goes in a good way we’ll be there, especially after just reading that Cairo Prince is not going in that race.”

cojinoa20 More than 1 year ago
All my respect to the connections of this horse, I know Mr. Garoffalo will do the best to keep this youngster fit so that they can move forward to the triple crown races. "Dale Vale"!
Tiznow More than 1 year ago
It's been 30 years since Swale won both Hutcheson and Kentucky Derby, the last horse to win both. Is that possible?
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
Remember that there is a huge difference between one turn and two turn races. The Hutcheson has produced lots of exceptional sprinters. Very few ever went on to glory going two turns, especially in the Classics...
Kara Schroeder More than 1 year ago
I agree...depending on how his next couple of races go, I think he'd be a good bet on one of the undercard sprint races on Derby day. Looks like a nice sprinter who is already learning to rate just off the pace and then show his turn of foot down the stretch.
DANCERS1FAN . More than 1 year ago
Back in "the day", many triple crown prospects started the year in a 7 furlong race. Of course that was also when they usually had 3-4 preps also - not just two....
Scott More than 1 year ago
Doesn't strike me as a Derby Horse, but you do have to love a sprinter showing patience and waiting to turn it on. He clearly has the turn of foot to put him into a striking position and being able to relax can take you a long way. We'll see in a race or two.
Kara Schroeder More than 1 year ago
I agree Scott...I don't think he's cut out to be a Derby horse, but maybe a really nice little sprinter...especially like you said with his being able to rate and then turn it on. I liked the look of this race, will be interesting to see how he progresses the next couple months.