The 3-year-old son of D’wildcat, who won the Hutcheson (G3) and the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (G2) in his 3-year-old season, breezed four furlongs in an easy 50.14 seconds over his home track at Gulfstream on the morning of June 5. He is scheduled to work again Friday.
“I was very happy with the workout. It was a very easy workout,” Garoffalo said. “It was exactly what I wanted, because it was his first breeze after the layoff. He did it good, and he came back happy, and now he’s ready to do something more serious.”
Garoffalo said Wildcat Red will stretch out to a five-furlong breeze this week as the Florida-bred continues to improve upon his fitness level following the extended layoff. While the Venezuelan native does not yet have a specific race in mind for his stable’s star pupil, he aims to have the colt race ready by the end of June or early July.
“Hopefully by the first or second week of July, we’ll be ready to run again,” he said.“I haven’t seen a specific race [for him] yet, but I want to have the horse ready first, and then I will see where I’m going to put him.”
Garoffalo said the time off has agreed with Wildcat Red, who earned more than $840,000 in a 10-race sophomore season that included starts in the Florida Derby (G1), Kentucky Derby (G1), Haskell Invitational (G1), and King’s Bishop Stakes (G1). The bay is less than $70,000 from becoming racing’s newest millionaire.
“He’s changed a lot,” Garoffalo said.“He looks more mature, stronger, bigger, more muscular. Everything looks good so far.”
Naval Command Eyes Summit of Speed
Naval Command, winner of three of five starts as a 2-year-old, including the Happy Ticket Stakes at Louisiana Downs, may make her 3-year-old debut on Gulfstream’s July 5 Summit of Speed card, according to trainer Bill Kaplan.
The daughter of Midshipman has worked three times since May, including a bullet three-furlong blowout in 35.06 seconds on May 29, the fastest of 18 workers that morning. The Florida-bred most recently turned in a 47.12-second four-furlong breeze, the second-best of 72 works, on June 6. She has not raced since finishing fifth in Alcibiades Stakes (G1) at Keeneland last fall.
“She’s doing outstanding. She’s coming back off her layoff, and she’s as fast as ever,” Kaplan said.
Kaplan is looking at two races on the nine-stake, $1.175 million Summit of Speed program for Naval Command’s return, including the seven-furlong Azalea (G3) for sophomore fillies and the six-furlong Princess Rooney (G2) for fillies and mares. The Princess Rooney is a designated Win and You’re In race for the 2015 Breeders’ Cup, guaranteeing the winner a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) in October.
“We’ve got those two races that come up, the Azalea at seven furlongs, or possibly even the Princess Rooney for 3-year-olds and up. There’s a good chance she’ll run in there,” Kaplan said.
Kaplan said he’s been impressed by the relative ease with which Naval Command has regained her fitness-level since returning from her extended layoff.
“She’s fast,” he said, “very fast, and she gets fit quickly. She trains very strongly.”
Naval Command boasts a 3-2-1-0 record at Gulfstream. After breaking her maiden in impressive fashion from off the pace in her career debut last June, the chestnut filly finished second in the Cassidy Stakes in just her second career start. She has not raced over the Gulfstream Park oval since drawing off to an eye-opening 9 ½-length victory in a 6 ½-furlong allowance on August 14, her final start before the Happy Ticket and Alcibiades.
On The Road for Summit of Speed
Gulfstream Park representative Bill Badgett will be in Kentucky, Illinois and New Jersey the next several days giving information to horsemen about the $1.175 million Summit of Speed, which will be run at Gulfstream Sunday, July 5, and the rest of Gulfstream's summer and fall schedule.
Gulfstream, which will pay shipping costs for out-of-town runners, will be hosting the Summit of Speed for the first time this year. The Summit of Speed includes the Breeders' Cup Challenge Win and You're In races the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2) and $250,000 Smile Sprint (G2). Others races include the $150,000 Azalea (G3) and $150,000 Carry Back (G3). Two additional races have been added to Summit of Speed Day - the $75,000 Miesque's Approval and $75,000 Spook Express.
Badgett will be at Churchill Downs Thursday, Arlington Park Friday and Saturday and Monmouth Park Sunday and Monday.