Regular jockey Eduardo Nunez will be back aboard Finallymadeit for trainer Javier Negrete in the 1 3/16 miles test after a solid runner-up effort behind Smooth Air going one mile last out in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) on Mar. 14 at odds of 10-1, his sixth start of the meet without winning.
Finallymadeit faces six rival older horses in the Skip Away, including four 4-year-olds that finished behind Big Brown in last year’s Florida Derby (G1), led by Jet Set Racing’s Tomcito with Jose Lezcano to ride in the colt’s season debut and first start for trainer Tom Albertrani.
Tomcito is a Kentucky-bred son of Street Cry, but made the first five of his eight starts in Peru, including a victory in the ‘Derby National’ in November of his 2-year-old season. He re-surfaced last winter at Palm Meadows with trainer Dante Zanelli Jr. and finished third, 12½ lengths behind Big Brown in his U.S. debut, but showed little in two more starts, finishing seventh last out in the Peter Pan (G2) at Belmont Park on May 10.
Falling in behind Tomcito in last year’s Florida Derby and entered in the Skip Away were Garland Williamson’s Cool Gator (5th), Alien Farm’s Nistle’s Crunch (7th) and Minor Stable’s Fierce Wind (10th).
Jockey E.T. Baird gets the call on Nistle’s Crunch for trainer Ken McPeek as he makes his second start of the season. The son of Van Nistelrooy won the Commonwealth Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 9 and made a winning return in a two-horse ‘off-the-turf’ allowance field here on Mar. 21 run over a ‘sloppy’ track.
Chris DeCarlo rides Cool Gator for trainer Joe Orseno, C.H. Marquez will be aboard Fierce Wind and completing the field are Michael Eigner and Lewis Pell’s Imawildandcrazyguy, Manuel Aguilar; and Long Bay Stable’s Tizbig, Javier Santiago.