Workouts Roll On for Florida Derby

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4:48 pm

Bourbon War, Hidden Scroll, Maximum Security

Bourbon War, a closing second in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, breezed a half-mile in 49.88 at Gulfstream Park Friday morning in preparation for the Florida Derby on March 30.

Friday morning’s tune-up was Bourbon War’s second half-mile workout since the Fountain of Youth on March 2.

“He did well. He came home in 49.88, I think they caught him in. I was looking for a little quicker than that, but the track was not real sharp this morning. I told my rider I’d rather you err on the side of too slow than too fast,” trainer Mark Hennig said. “The horse is fit. We just want to get him safely over there next Saturday.”

In the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth, Bourbon War settled well off the fast pressured pace set by Hidden Scroll before advancing on the far turn, swinging wide off the turn into the homestretch and making a strong finishing run. The son of Tapit finished three-quarters of a length behind Code of Honor before offering an impressive gallop-out under Irad Ortiz Jr.

The colt is owned by Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable.

Hidden Scroll Breezes, ‘Very Manageable'

Hidden Scroll worked five furlongs in 1:02.40 at Payson Park Friday morning while also prepping for the Florida Derby.

The Bill Mott-trained Hidden Scroll, who led into the stretch before finishing fourth in the Fountain of Youth in only his second career start, worked in company under exercise rider Neil Poznansky.

“It was a very nice work. He worked with a stablemate. The time of 1:02, the way the racetrack was today, I think it was a very useful work," Mott said. "He sat off his company, and he finished up and went by inside the eighth-pole with a reasonably good gallop-out. He seemed very good in the work. He was very manageable. We sat him in behind a horse, and he was real calm. They went off slow enough and he wasn’t anxious. He was content to follow another horse. He approached the quarter-pole and got into the bridle and finished up well.”

In the Fountain of Youth, the Juddmonte Farms homebred colt took over the early lead from longshot Gladiator King and set fast fractions before receiving a challenge from Global Campaign on the final turn. Hidden Scroll continued on to open a length lead in the stretch before tiring late, edged by Vekoma for third.

“I think it was a matter of learning for us. We thought from the beginning we could do anything with him,” Mott said. “The last work we sat him right in behind and ate a lot of dirt. He was fine doing that. Today we sat him in behind, but we sat him off to the side, so he wasn’t getting dirt. He saw daylight but he saw another horse in front of him and he seemed kind about that as well.”

Hidden Scroll was favored at 6-5 for the Fountain of Youth on the strength of a spectacular debut victory at the track.

Maximum Security Goes Easy Half

Maximum Security breezed four furlongs in 52.95 at Palm Meadows on Friday morning with the Florida Derby possibly in the sights of his connections. The workout was the slowest of 63 recorded at the distance.

“I thought he had a good breeze. He came home in 12,” trainer Jason Servis said. “I would still like to not commit, but I would say we are on schedule.”

Maximum Security is undefeated in three career starts, all at Gulfstream Park. The homebred colt broke his maiden for a $16,000 claiming price by 9 3/4 lengths on Dec. 20 before winning a Jan. 24 optional claiming starter allowance by 6 1/2 lengths. In his most recent start, Maximum Security won by 18 1/4 lengths while running seven furlongs in 1:21.72 in a Feb. 20 optional claiming starter allowance.

Final Jeopardy

The Servis-trained Final Jeopardy, a 3 3/4-length optional claiming allowance winner at Gulfstream Park last time out, breezed a half-mile in 52.80 at Palm Meadows on Friday for either the Wood Memorial or the Florida Derby a week earlier.

Gary and Mary West own both Maximum Security and Final Jeopardy.

“We’re looking at the Wood Memorial. It’s not a definite but we’re kind of looking at that,” said Servis. “He galloped out really good. That race is a mile and an eighth, so I’m feeling a little better about the work. But it’s not definite yet.”

Edited release