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Citrus Kid poised to strike

Fair Grounds Race Course
Photo: CDI

Local authorities normally frown on attempts to ship Florida citrus to Louisiana, but when it comes to shipping the highly regarded 3-year-old Citrus Kid from South Florida’s Palm Meadows training center to Fair Grounds for Saturday’s Grade II Lecomte Stakes as the centerpiece event of its “Road to the Derby Kickoff Day” program – nobody has a problem with that.


Following a bullet breeze Tuesday at Palm Meadows accomplished in 1:00.85, Citrus Kid was loaded on a van for New Orleans later in the day and was surely feeling his oats Thursday morning during training hours at Fair Grounds.


“This is a very nice horse,” said assistant trainer Reynaldo Abreu, who accompanied Citrus Kid to Fair Grounds for trainer John Terranova II, “and he’s also a very happy horse right now. He’s been training very well, and his last two works have been unbelievable. He went to the track this morning and he was looking around taking it all in. He was happy and squealing the whole time he was out there. Sometimes after a 10-hour van ride, a horse can look a little dull, but he stepped off feeling really good. Later, we will take him to the paddock in the afternoon for schooling.”


Citrus Kid, a son of 1999 Belmont Stakes winner Lemon Drop Kid, won the $75,000 Dover Stakes at Delaware Park last Oct. 10 and then ran third in Aqueduct’s Grade II Remsen in his most recent start Nov. 28.  He is listed as the fifth choice in the Lecomte morning line at 8-1.


Terranova, 39, was born in Syosset, New York and still resides there. He saddled Shadow Caster to win the Grade II Forego Handicap at Saratoga at odds of 50-1, and in 2000 saddled Gander to finish second in Belmont’s Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup and third in the Grade I Woodward Stakes.


Abreu began working for Terranova last month. Previously, he served as a longtime assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito and then went out on his own to train some horses for Mary Lou Whitney.


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