Bevy of Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) Workers at Palm Meadows

December 10, 2019

Video for Practical Joke, State of Honor and Unbridled Holiday

Fountain of Youth (G2) runner-up Practical Joke Breezes; “probable” for $1 million Florida Derby State of Honor, Talk Logistics and Unbridled Holiday Confirmed Starters

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – After a busy Saturday morning with workers galore at the Palm Meadows Training Center, 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 (G1) at Gulfstream Park April 1. Fountain of Youth (G2) runner-up Practical Joke also worked for a “probable”, start in the 1 1/8-mile prep for the Kentucky Derby.

Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence’s Practical Joke worked in company with last year’s Gotham (G3) winner Shagaf shortly after 7:30. The Chad Brown-trained pair went five furlongs in 1:00.90, with two-time Grade 1 winner Practical Joke working on the inside.

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 to run the colt who was making his first start of the year when he finished second, beaten 5 3/4 lengths by probable Florida Derby favorite, Gunnevera, in the Fountain of Youth.

“I want to speak to the owners and come up with a final decision … weigh our options,” said Brown, who remarked he was pleased with Practical Joke’s move Saturday morning. “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.

Conrad Farms’ homebred 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 blinkers the colt wore when he finished third in the Sam F. Davis (G3) and again while second in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) will be removed for Florida Derby, according to assistant trainer Norman Casse, who oversees the conditioning of the horse for his father, Mark Casse.

“We were looking for a more conservative work today,” Norman 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, the third-place finisher in the 2011 Florida Derby. Leparoux rode the winner of that year’s Florida Derby, Dialed In.

Hardway Stables’ 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 of Talk Logistics’ work. “It was a maintenance work and just what we were looking for.”

Trainer Patrick Biancone liked what he saw from the work produced by D P Racing’s Unbridled Holiday, who will be making 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 cheater [blinkers] on him because we’ve been very easy on him up to now, and we need to step up now,” said Biancone, who added the colt will run with the addition of blinkers in the Florida Derby. “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. Wednesday at Ten Palms Restaurant at Gulfstream Park.

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