Updated on 09/17/2011 12:52PM

Silver Wagon gets rolling


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Silver Wagon got his first feel for the Gulfstream Park racetrack when he worked five furlongs in 59.40 seconds shortly after the first renovation break on Monday morning.

, winner of the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga, will make his 3-year-old debut in Saturday's Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes. The 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull is the first major test on the road to the Grade 1, $1 million Florida Derby on March 13.

Silver Wagon was a bit anxious as he broke off from the five-furlong pole, covering the first three furlongs in 34 seconds and change before settling down to a more relaxed stride through the stretch. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.14, according to Daily Racing Form.

"I thought he worked well and, most important, galloped out strong and didn't appear to get tired," said trainer Ralph Ziadie. "He was on the muscle and probably got away a little from the exercise rider at first, but that's understandable since he hasn't run in more than four weeks. My rider said he felt like a different horse over this track - that he grabbed a hold of it much better and went along a lot smoother than he does at Calder."

Silver Wagon has started only once since the Hopeful, finishing third, beaten five lengths by Second of June in Calder's What a Pleasure Stakes on Dec. 13. The start was the first beyond seven furlongs for Silver Wagon, who is owned by Buckram Oak Farm.

"He was even less fit than I thought he'd be going into his last race, and he still ran pretty well," said Ziadie. "He'll be a lot fitter, and you'll see a completely different horse in the Holy Bull. I'm looking for a big race Saturday, and I'll be extremely disappointed if he's not right there."

Jerry Bailey, who has ridden Silver Wagon in each of his last three starts, will have the call again for the Holy Bull.

Second of June will be the likely favorite in the Holy Bull, which is expected to attract the first three finishers from the What a Pleasure, Second of June, Silver Wagon, and runner-up Twice as Bad. Among the other likely Holy Bull starters are the New York-bred Friends Lake, Canadian hopeful Smoocher, and Calder-based Hitthegroundrunning.

Weaver happy with Saratoga County

Trainer George Weaver said he was extremely happy with the performance of Saratoga County, who finished second behind the more experienced Wynn Dot Comma in Saturday's Grade 3 Spectacular Bid Stakes.

"I thought he ran an excellent race considering it was only his third start and he got floated off the last turn a little bit by Smokume," said Weaver. "My colt likes to lay on horses a little bit, which is why I put blinkers on him, and I could see he was thinking about that horse on the inside of him instead of where the wire was when he got carried out on the turn."

Weaver said he'll consider the seven-furlong Hutcheson on Feb. 14 for Saratoga County's next start.

"I'll take a look at who goes in the Hutcheson but he's also eligible for a first-level allowance race, so that's also an option," said Weaver. "We'd also like to find out his distance limitations somewhere down the line. I don't think he's a Kentucky Derby candidate, but I do think he'll go a mile or a mile and one-sixteenth."

Wynn Dot Comma also eyes Hutcheson

Trainer Marty Wolfson said Wynn Dot Comma came out of the Spectacular Bid in good order and will likely be pointed for the Hutcheson. The victory was the fifth in six career starts for Wynn Dot Comma, whose only defeat came at the hands of the undefeated Sir Oscar in his 2-year-old finale.

"He's got four white feet and they are the worst feet of any horse I've ever trained," said Wolfson. "But so far it seems he's come out this last race fine. The Hutcheson will probably be next. The Gotham is the race I really want to make with him this winter. I think a one-turn mile will suit him nicely."

Lion Tamer, six-length winner of the Hutcheson in February 2003, is getting close to making his 2004 debut after working five furlongs in 1:03 at Palm Meadows on Sunday morning. Lion Tamer, who is trained by Todd Pletcher, started only twice after the Hutcheson, and has not run since finishing sixth in the Blue Grass Stakes last April.

Kitty Knight turns tables on Final Round

Final Round, third in the Grade 1 Acorn and Mother Goose Stakes last year, launched her 2004 campaign with a third-place finish in a third-level allowance on Sunday. It was her first start since she ran fourth behind Lady Tak, Bird Town, and House Party in the Grade 1 Test on July 26.

Kitty Knight, who had been idle herself since July 9, won Sunday's race, rallying from just off the pace under jockey Jean-Luc Samyn. Kitty Knight had finished far behind Final Round in seventh in the Acorn. A daughter of Capote trained by Allen Jerkens, Kitty Knight won a minor stakes at 2 and was the first mount Samyn has accepted at this meet.

Request for Parole wins thriller

Request for Parole, among the also-rans in last year's Donn Handicap, returned to the turf and scored an exciting nose victory over multiple graded stakes winner Del Mar Show in Sunday's eighth race. Request for Parole had closed out his 2003 campaign finishing sixth over a sloppy track in the Grade 2 Clark Handicap.

Trained by Stanley Hough, Request for Parole has now won three of his seven starts on turf.

King here for Frisky Spider

Jockey Eddie King Jr. was making the rounds, soliciting business at Palm Meadows on Sunday morning along with his agent, Danny Nied Jr. King has gotten off to a good start at the Gulfstream meet, winning with two of his first seven mounts. One of those victories was an allowance win aboard the undefeated Frisky Spider, whose next stop will likely be the Hutcheson. King won the 1997 Hutcheson aboard the 105-1 Frisk Me Now.

"I'm down here because of Frisky Spider, but I still have to make a living here besides the big horse, so that's why I came up to Palm Meadows today," said King.

King, who was the regular rider for the Grade 1 stakes winner Frisk Me Now, is spending his first winter in south Florida since 2001.

"Even though he was such a big longshot, I knew Frisk Me Now would win the Hutcheson that year," said King. "I could see how he was maturing and could tell he was ready for a big race. But except for a couple of occasions, like in the Ohio Derby and Suburban, Frisky never gave me his best race. I think his son can compete with anybody and will turn out to be even better than Frisk Me Now, because he's got all the talent and loves the competition."

* Pre-entries for the eight Sunshine Millions races on Jan. 24 close on Wednesday.