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Bourbon Courage on Course for Donn 'Cap

Gulfstream Park
Photo: MEC

Bourbon Lane Stable and Wayne Lynn’s 4-year-old Bourbon Courage arrived in South Florida at Palm Beach International Airport Wednesday from New Orleans on a Tex Sutton Forwarding charter flight ahead of his 2013 season debut in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) Saturday, Feb. 9 at Gulfstream Park.

“He got his first tour of the track yesterday morning,” said trainer Kellyn Gorder who also made the trip from his winter headquarters at Fair Grounds. “We’re in Jonathan Sheppard’s barn. I’m going to stay and watch him breeze Sunday morning. After the Clark we gave him a couple weeks off and he’s done well training at Fair Grounds. Javier Castellano will ride him.”

A son of Lion Heart, Bourbon Courage made a quick entrance onto the national stage last year in eight starts, winning his first two at Fair Grounds in February and March and competed in six Graded stakes after that.

Fourth in the Derby Trial (G3) at Churchill Downs and fifth in the Woody Stephens (G2) at Belmont Park, Bourbon Courage started to hit his best stride finishing second by a half-length in the West Virginia Derby (G2) at Mountaineer Park in his first try around two turns on Aug. 4.

He went on to win the Super Derby (G2) at Louisiana Downs by five lengths in early September, finished second by a length in the Indiana Derby (G2) at Hoosier Park in early October and ran a very big race to finish third in the Clark Handicap (G1) last out on Nov. 23 at Churchill, beaten a length for it all by Shackleford in his first test against older horses..

Among Bourbon Courage’s major rivals in the strong field assembling for the Donn is WinStar Farm and Maribeth and Chuck Sandford’s 4-year-old Take Charge Indy, the 2012 Florida Derby (G1) winner trained by Pat Byrne. The son of A.P. Indy also makes his first start since the Clark Handicap in which he finished second, a head in front of Bourbon Courage.

Also expected to line up for the 57th edition of the Donn are Golden Goose Enterprises and partners’ Citrus Kid, Bruce Hollander and Cary Shapoff’s Csaba, Let’s Go Stable’s El Padrino, Preston Stable’s Flat Out, William S. Farish, Jr.’s Pool Play and B.J. Wright’s California invader Ultimate Eagle. Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Mucho Macho Man is listed as a ‘possible’ starter.

Pool Play completed his final major preparation for the Donn Friday morning at Palm Meadows with a five-furlong workout in 1:00 4/5 for trainer Mark Casse. The 8-year-old son of Silver Deputy ran a big race to finish second by a neck behind Csaba in the $100,000 Hal’s Hope Stakes (G3) going a mile here on Jan. 13 in his first start since finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.

 

 

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