03/31/2011 11:57AM

J P's Gusto puts in bullet work with blinkers added; Arkansas Derby next

Benoit & Associates
J P's Gusto, with Patrick Valenzuela Up, wins the Del Mar Futurity.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – J P’s Gusto donned blinkers for a Thursday workout at Oaklawn Park and after he breezed five furlongs in a bullet 58.60 seconds his trainer, Joe Petalino, said he would add the equipment for his next start. Thursday afternoon Petalino confirmed J P's Gusto's next race will be the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 16.

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J P’s Gusto worked by himself after the renovation break, with the drill the fastest of 22 at the distance. Cliff Berry, the leading rider at Oaklawn, was aboard and has mount in the Arkansas Derby. The trainer caught J P’s Gusto galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.

“He was pretty aggressive with the blinkers on,” Petalino said. “He was more aggressive by himself. It might put him in the race a little bit.”

J P’s Gusto has sat farther off the pace than usual in his first two Oaklawn starts, when he finished second in the Grade 3, $250,000 Southwest, then seventh in the Grade 2, $300,000 Rebel. Earlier in his career, he won the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity.

Sway Away, who also is being pointed for the Arkansas Derby, was also on the Oaklawn work tab Thursday, going five furlongs in 59.60 seconds. The horse finished sixth in the Rebel, a race in which he false broke and lost a front tooth before getting shuffled back in the first turn. Jeff Bonde trains Sway Away, who came into the Rebel off a second-place finish to The Factor in the Grade 2 San Vicente at Santa Anita.