“He’s doing well so far,” said Kenneally Saturday morning from his Palm Meadows winter headquarters. “We’re going to go one race at a time. We’ll see how he does in the Mr. Prospector before deciding what comes after that.” The son of Patton worked a strong five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 Thursday at Palm Meadows.
Kenneally was hopeful of getting Kelly’s Landing’s 2008 campaign going during the Gulfstream meet last year but was delayed with a lung infection. After a third-place in a Churchill Downs allowance on May 11, Kelly’s Landing finished fourth in the Aristides Handicap (G3) there, won a Keeneland allowance in mid-October and finished seventh as the favorite last out in the Bet On Sunshine Handicap at Churchill on Nov. 22.
Kenneally also has a promising 3-year-old prospect for Jack and Louise Lally’s Summerplace Farm in Saratoga Sinner, a Harlan’s Holiday colt that broke his maiden going 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream on Wednesday. The $130,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase was making his third start and first since a very good third-place try behind Danger to Society going one mile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 19.
“We’ve thought for some time he could be a nice colt. He was making up ground on Danger to Society in the Churchill race,” said Kenneally. “Then, when he came (Danger to Society) back and won the allowance here on Thursday, it certainly gave us more encouragement. We’ll nominate to the Holy Bull (Stakes (G3) on Jan. 31), but he’s still got his allowance condition, so we’ll see what options we have when he’s ready to run again.”
Rollers Lives Up to His Name in Workout
Lael Stables’ 4-year-old Rollers punched his ticket to next week’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park with a strong five-furlong workout Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park and jockey Alan Garcia won himself the job by handling the drill.
The Stormy Atlantic colt blistered five panels in a ‘bullet’ 59 4/5 and was the only horse to post a sub-minute drill of 25 working that distance.
Garcia was in the right place at the right time when the originally scheduled exercise rider failed to get to trainer Barclay Tagg’s barn in time. He and agent Tony Micallef happened to be passing by when assistant Robin Smullen pressed the 23-year-old into service. A half-hour later, Garcia had the mount for what is expected to be a talent-packed six furlong battle.
“He (Garcia) sure did a pretty good job for us,” said Smullen. “I asked for a fast work around 59 because he’s a heavy horse right now, and Alan gave us just what we asked for.”
Smullen described Rollers as a “push-button” horse that has put on some weight in the two months since a seventh-place finish in an allowance race in the mud at Aqueduct on Nov. 15. The New York-bred won the $250,000 Gallant Bob Handicap at Philadelphia Park in September to cap a three-race summer win streak.
“I sent him off with a maiden filly because I knew he needed to go fast today,” said Smullen. “They sat about five lengths behind before catching her and finishing well.”
Belmont Stakes Winner Da’ Tara Back to Work at Palm Meadows
Robert LaPenta’s 4-year-old Da’ Tara breezed an easy half-mile in 49 2/5 Saturday morning at Palm Meadows for trainer Nick Zito in his first recorded workout since finishing third behind Bullsbay in an allowance race at Churchill Downs on Nov. 28.
Da’ Tara made national headlines last spring when posting a wire-to-wire upset at 38-1 in the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 7 as Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) hero Big Brown was being eased in the stretch. The victory for Da’ Tara was his first since breaking his maiden on a ‘sloppy’ track at Gulfstream on Jan. 5.
Da’ Tara’s form tailed off in four starts after the Belmont, finishing seventh in the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) and fifth in the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga over the summer, and sixth in the Jerome Handicap (G2) at Belmont in early October before the Churchill allowance.
Zito also had a pair of promising 3-year-olds of 2009 on the track at Palm Meadows Saturday morning for workouts, both winners of their last starts at Calder since arriving in South Florida for the winter season.
Live Oak Plantation’s Florida homebred Rocketing Returns breezed an easy half-mile in 50 flat. The son of Gone West won a seven-furlong allowance at Calder on Dec. 20 in his third career start after a runner-up debut at Saratoga on Aug. 9 and maiden score at Belmont on Oct. 16.
My Meadowview Farm’s Nowhere to Hide drilled a ’bullet’ half in 47 1/5, fastest of 32 posted at the distance. The son of Vindication broke his maiden going one mile around two turns at Calder on Dec. 13. In four starts last year at Saratoga and Belmont, he finished fourth, second twice and third.
Prominent on Saturday’s Gulfstream work tab were Allen Paulson Living Trust’s 7-year-old A.P. Arrow, who breezed an easy half-mile in 51 1/5, and John Oxley’s 3-year-old Beethoven, timed five furlongs in 1:01 4/5.
A.P. Arrow is being targeted for $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) on Sat., Jan. 31, a race in which he finished a game second by a half-length last year behind California invader Spring At Last for trainer Todd Pletcher.
A son of A.P. Indy, A.P. Arrow has posted earnings of $1.4 million during his career for trainer Todd Pletcher, and will be making his first start since finishing seventh of eight behind Curlin in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont over a ‘sloppy’ track on Sept.27. He returns to competition this season in the care of trainer Ken McPeek.
Beethoven is being pointed to the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) to be run on Donn Day, both races at 1 1/8 miles. Beethoven is a son of Sky Mesa with three wins in five starts as a 2-year-old, most recently capturing the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 29.