June 24, 2024

High Fly, Papi Chullo breeze; Pletcher skips teleconference

Last updated: 3/29/05 9:10 PM

High Fly is back on track for Saturday’s Florida Derby 
(Eleanor Gustafson/Horsephotos.com)

Fountain of Youth S. (G2) winner HIGH FLY (Atticus) breezed four furlongs in
:48 2/5 Tuesday over Gulfstream Park’s fast track in preparation for Saturday’s
$1 million Florida Derby (G1). The Nick Zito-trained colt missed a scheduled
work last Saturday after spiking a fever on Friday, but he galloped nearly two
miles on Monday and now appears back on track for Gulfstream’s centerpiece

The present status of couple other Florida Derby hopefuls is less
encouraging. Todd Pletcher, who trains Fountain of Youth (G2) runner-up and
Florida Derby probable BANDINI (Fusaichi Pegasu), was scheduled to appear on
Tuesday’s NTRA national media teleconference but backed out, citing an
unspecified but minor health issue with the colt.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin did speak to the media on Tuesday’s teleconference,
but he’s not convinced Holy Bull S. (G3) hero CLOSING ARGUMENT (Successful
Appeal) will be able to make the Florida Derby due to a bruised foot.

“We’ll try to train him and if he does fabulous, there’s a chance we might
still enter,” McLaughlin said. “This incident is minor, but it’s terrible timing
for a $1 million race.”

The conditioner added that the bay colt will likely be pointed toward the
April 16 Blue Grass S. (G1) or April 23 Lexington S. (G2) at Keeneland if he
misses the Florida Derby.

Maiden PAPI CHULLO (Comeonmom), runner-up in the Sham S. and fourth in the
Fountain of Youth, is also dealing with a foot problem but breezed a half-mile
in :49 3/5 at Gulfstream on Tuesday in advance of the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby.
Owner Greg Norman said they will keep evaluating the gray colt’s foot but
expects to run on Saturday.

“Even though he’s a maiden, he has a resume that would make any
three-year-old proud,” Norman said.

NOBLE CAUSEWAY (Giant’s Causeway) and B.B. BEST (Yes It’s True) are also
considered probable for the Florida Derby. Post positions will be drawn
Wednesday morning.