By Dick Downey
Trainer Richard Violette, Jr. said Sunday that Upstart has rebounded from the Fountain of Youth Stakes and is being pointed to the Florida Derby on March 28.
“Right now, we’re certainly pointing to the Florida Derby,” he said. “We’ll follow his lead if he makes us change course, but that’s where we’re going.”
The son of Flatter recorded his first work since the Fountain of Youth Saturday morning at Palm Meadows, breezing four furlongs in :48.48 (10/43). Violette said he was pleased with the move and that the ridgling came out of the work so well that he galloped Sunday morning.
“He went an easy half,” Violette said. “We just let him blow off some steam, and he was great, and he cooled out great. I galloped him this morning. He didn’t need a day off. I’m really happy with where we are. He’s rebounded from the tough race in the Fountain of Youth.”
After crossing the finish line first, Upstart was disqualified in the Fountain of Youth after stewards ruled he interfered with Itsaknockout in the stretch.
Two others from the Fountain of Youth also breezed on Saturday. Itsaknockout went four furlongs in 49:97 (9/18) at Palm Beach Downs for Todd Pletcher. Frammento, third in the Fountain of Youth for Nick Zito, breezed four furlongs in 49:85 (30/43) at Palm Meadows.
On Friday, fourth-place finisher Frosted, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, breezed four furlongs in 48:45 (8/29) at Palm Meadows. Gorgeous Bird, fifth in the Fountain of Youth, breezed four furlongs in 49:95 (24/42) at Palm Meadows.
Additional content from Gulfstream Park release