After launching his career at Saratoga last summer with style,
following up a debut victory with a triumph in the Grade 2 Saratoga
Special, very little has gone the son of Malibu Moon’s way in three
Trainer Todd Pletcher is hoping that Corfu will turn things around
with the addition of blinkers in Saturday’s $100,000 Spectacular Bid, a
six-furlong stakes for 3-year-olds, at Gulfstream Park.
A $675,000 purchase at the Barrett’s 2-year-olds-in-training sale
last March, Corfu has been a beaten favorite in his last three races, a
distant ninth in the Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga, a fading second in the
Futurity (G2) at Belmont, and a particularly disappointing and troubled
fifth in a Laurel stakes.
“Nothing seemed to go right. He didn’t get away real well, and I
think he’s a horse that needs to be up close or on the lead,” trainer
Todd Pletcher said. “So we put some blinkers on him for this and try to
take advantage of his speed and let him do his thing.”
Corfu, the 5-2 morning-line favorite who’ll be ridden by Javier
Castellano, may be joined in the starting gate by stablemate Trail
Blaze, who is coming off a sharp 4 ¾-length victory in his debut at
Aqueduct on Nov. 20.
“We entered in a non-winners of one
other than (allowance) that did not fill, so we opted to take a look,” Pletcher said. “He was pretty impressive his first time out and I
think he certainly ran fast enough to fit (in this race). The concern
would be to go from a maiden to a stake, seeing how much seasoning the
other horses have.”
The 3-year-old son of Indian Charlie ran 5 ½ furlongs in a swift 1:03
3/5 while closing from off the pace to score at first asking.“He’s a
big, nice-looking horse. We weren’t surprised that he ran well first
time out,” Pletcher said.
“He came to us right after Saratoga and we were able to get him ready
for a run at Aqueduct. The plan after that was always to bring him down
here and see how he develops. I think ultimately he’s a horse that will
Jose Lezcano has been named to ride Trail Blaze, who was
ridden by Joel Rosario in his debut. Rosario has opted to ride Hollywood
Talent, a graded-stakes placed colt bred and owned by Ken and Sarah
Ramsey and trainer by Wesley Ward.
Hollywood Talent, rated third in the
morning line at 4-1, won his debut at Keeneland in April with Rosario
aboard before finishing second in the Bashford Manor (G3) at Churchill
Downs and third in the Sanford (G2) at Saratoga. After finishing fifth
in a Presque Isle stakes, the son of Talent Search rebounded with a 3
½-length victory at Parx last time out.
Elusive Blueboy, rated fourth at
5-1, has made the climb from claimer to stakes winner in just three
lifetime starts. Placed in a $32,000 claiming race for maidens for his
debut, the son of Bluegrass Cat overcame an awkward start from his rail
post position to score by 10 lengths at Gulfstream in August.
always shown some talent. He had some breathing issues. We did a little surgery on him after that and it’s seemed to help
him,” trainer Ralph Nicks said. “We placed him in the company he needed
at the time. “Talent-wise, it didn’t surprise me. He had some issues he
had to overcome, and so far he has.”
Two months later, Elusive Blueboy
faltered late to finish second behind favored Wildcat Red, who finished
first in his first three races before being narrowly beaten in
Wednesday’s Gulfstream Park Derby.
“He was ridden aggressively that day, and maybe with a little more
patience in the middle of the race, he may have held on, or maybe not,”
Elusive Blueboy came back to win an overnight stakes in his most
recent start under Jose Alvarez, who has retained the mount in the
Cool Cowboy, a recent stakes winner, and Giancarlo, an impressive
maiden-breaker last time out, have been cross entered in the Spectacular
Bid and the Pasco at Tampa Bay Downs.
, who captured his first victory by 2 ¼ lengths at Gulfstream
in his second lifetime start last month, and Just Call Kenny
followed up a debut victory at Monmouth with a runner-up finish in a
Laurel allowance last time out, round out the field.