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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

J P Brings Gusto to Arkansas

Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily - Day 76
The Derby preps are really starting to roll and on Monday we have another good one, as a full field is set to clash in the Southwest Stakes. With the recent success of horses who have run at Oaklawn Park on the road to Louisville, it makes sense to pay close attention to their series of graded stakes for the sophomore set. The President’s Day field of eleven includes a number of interesting prospects like, Elite Alex, Yankee Passion, Archarcharch, and Caleb’s Posse, but it is the one horse already proven in graded competition that looms the one to beat.
A ridgling son of Successful Appeal out of the Caller I. D. mare Call Her Magic, J P’s Gusto arrived at Oaklawn on February 9 from Southern California, where he compiled the impressive resume of a multiple graded stakes winner. He’s been in Arkansas with his new trainer just long enough to get in one six furlong drill over the racing surface. J P's Gusto was recently transferred to trainer Joe Petalino by his owner, Dr. John Waken's Gem Stable, with the series of Southwest, Rebel, and Arkansas Derby in mind as the best possible way to prepare his horse for a run at the Kentucky Derby. Top rider Ramon Dominguez will be in the saddle for the first time on Monday.
You don’t have to go back very far to recall that J P’s Gusto was the top rated juvenile on the West Coast. Gritty wins last Summer in the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship, Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes, and Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity earned him that honor.
[Considering his resume, what did you think of J P’s Gusto current position of  #15 on the community’s ranking of 2011 Kentucky Derby contenders]
When last seen, he finished full of run when second to Comma to the Top in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity two months ago for former trainer David Hofmans. His one try on dirt resulted in a middle of the pack finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but his trip that day was less than ideal, so there is reason to believe that he can handle a traditional dirt surface.
I like some of the lightly raced colts in here a great deal, notably Elite Alex and Yankee Passion, but asking them to handle the quality experience of J P’s Gusto at this early stage may be too much to expect.
In other Derby Doings, a Todd Pletcher trifecta of high profile colts worked out this morning, including the undefeated champion Uncle Mo.


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Older Comments about J P Brings Gusto to Arkansas...

Archarcharch wins, but it was a tough trip for J P's Gusto.
Just don't see JP'S GUSTO relishing with much gusto (no pun intended) the new venue, surface, trainer, and that Southwest cookin..Go Elite Alx!
Dirt is certainly a question for him, and I like the other two you mentioned, but all the others need to prove thier class.
I am not on the JP Gusto wagon..I will be looking at Elite Alex and Yankee Passion..JP has to convince me he likes dirt as much as he liked the west coast surface last year

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. 

Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also consults for Derby Wars, is on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.  

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