OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Undefeated Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial hero Gemologist departed Belmont Park at the crack of dawn Sunday morning and was expected to arrive at Palm Meadows training center by mid-afternoon to begin preparations for the May 5 Kentucky Derby. Trainer Todd Pletcher said the 3-year-old Tiznow colt would remain in Florida until May 1, when he would leave for Churchill Downs.
“He came out of the race really well,” said Pletcher by phone from Florida. “The tentative schedule is for him to breeze twice between now and the Derby, then fly to Kentucky on May 1. We'll leave the option to call an audible if we so chose, but as long as we're happy with the conditions down here, that's the plan.”
Gemologist completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.96, for which he earned a 98 Beyer Speed Figure, best of three Derby preps run on Saturday. Owned by WinStar Farm, for whom Pletcher won the 2010 Derby with Super Saver, Gemologist also boosted his graded stakes earnings to $703,855, placing him a solid sixth on the list of Derby hopefuls. The field is limited to 20 3-year-olds based on graded stakes earnings. Another of Pletcher’s 3-year-olds, El Padrino, is 23rd with $250,000.
Accompanying Gemologist on the flight to Florida was Broadway’s Alibi, winner of Saturday’s Grade 3 Comely.
“She also came out of her race well,” said Pletcher. “I have to talk with Mrs. Robsham and Anna Ford; we haven’t made a decision about the [May 4] Kentucky Oaks. Right now, we’re keeping an eye on everything.”