State of Honor, Talk Logistics; Practical Joke A Maybe
After a busy Saturday morning at Palm Meadows, three horses — State of Honor, Talk Logistics and Unbridled Holiday — were given the green light to run in the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby. Practical Joke, who also worked, isn't definite.
Practical Joke went in company with last year’s Gotham winner Shagaf. The Chad Brown-trained pair went five furlongs in 1:00.90, with Practical Joke working on the inside. Brown said he was happy with the work.
Practical Joke Work: https://youtu.be/T0sYjItSVxc
Shortly after the work, Brown said Practical Joke is probable for the Florida Derby, but did not offer a full commitment.
“I want to speak to the owners and come up with a final decision … weigh our options,” said Brown. “It’s probable I will run, but it’s not certain. We’ll see how the horse comes out of his work. The other idea is maybe running in the Blue Grass.”
If Practical Joke runs in the Florida Derby he will be ridden by Jose Ortiz, who was aboard the 3-year-old son of Into Mischief in the Fountain of Youth.
State of Honor
State of Honor, who has been knocking on the door in several 3-year-old preps, worked solo, going four furlongs in 48.30.
State of Honor Work: https://youtu.be/6kgVG60YRYs
The colt wore blinkers when third in the Sam F. Davis and second in the Tampa Bay Derby will be removed for Florida Derby, according to assistant trainer Norman Casse.
“We were looking for a more conservative work today,” Casse said. “He’s been a little too keen in his previous two races. We worked him without company today — he has never done that before. We wanted him to relax a little bit. If he’s going to have a chance to win the Florida Derby, he is going to have to relax a little more.”
Julien Leparoux will have the mount aboard State of Honor, a son of To Honor and Serve, who was himself the third-place finisher in the 2011 Florida Derby. Leparoux rode the winner of that year’s Florida Derby, Dialed In.
Talk Logistics, fourth in the Fountain of Youth, was given the go-ahead by his trainer, Eddie Plesa Jr., to start in the Florida Derby after working five furlongs in 1:01.25 with jockey Joe Bravo in the saddle.
“He did it perfectly,” Plesa said. “It was a maintenance work, and just what we were looking for.”
Trainer Patrick Biancone said he liked what he saw from the work produced by Unbridled Holiday.
He'll add blinkers and make his graded stakes debut in the Florida Derby after finishing third at odds of 22-1 in a first-level allowance March 4, where he was beaten four lengths by the winner, Always Dreaming, who is Florida Derby-bound.
Working from the starting gate and in company, inside of stablemate Dad’s Princess, Unbridled Holiday covered four furlongs in 48.00.
Unbridled Holiday Work: https://youtu.be/ppyawbHcsZY
“We had cheaters on him because we’ve been very easy on him up to now, and we need to step up now,” said Biancone. “He’s a horse that was born to be a mile-and-a-quarter, mile-and-a-half horse. He was always very forward physically, but mentally (backward). He had to run many races before he understood about racing.”
Nik Juarez will ride the son of Harlan’s Holiday, the winner of the 2002 Florida Derby.
The post position draw for the Florida Derby will take place 11 a.m. on Wednesday at Ten Palms Restaurant at Gulfstream Park.
Edited Gulfstream Park release