Donegal Racing’s Dullahan, fourth behind Hansen and Union Rags last
out in the Breeders Cup Juvenile (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5,
will get a chance to join those star 3-year-olds on the Kentucky Derby
(G1) trail when he makes his season debut in a field of six drawn for
Sunday’s $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Kent Desormeaux will be back aboard Dullahan for trainer Dale
Romans in the 1 1/8 miles turf test. Desormeaux was on Dullahan when he
won the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1) on the polytrack at Keeneland
and again in the Breeders’ Cup, when he rallied from last of 13 to
finish fourth, six lengths behind Hansen.
A chestnut colt by Even the Score, Dullahan was a maiden when he won
the Breeders’ Futurity, but had run very well in his two previous starts
on turf at Saratoga, finishing second by a half-length in August
allowance race and a close-up third in the With Anticipation Stakes (G3)
in early September.
Dullahan was a $250,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase and is a
half-brother to 2009 Kentucky Derby hero Mine That Bird. Romans
indicated that plans for Dullahan are to run in the Palm Beach and then
the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland on Apr. 14 before the Kentucky
“Like Paddy O’Prado, he’s proven he can run on anything. We’re
creatures of habit and it did work for us,” said Romans, referring to
Paddy O’Prado’s 3-year-old campaign in 2010 when he won the Palm Beach,
finished second in Blue Grass and third in Derby. “We have the luxury of
not having to worry about Graded earnings. He’s proven on turf and
Polytrack. We just need to keep him safe and sound.
“His race in the Breeders’ Cup was sneaky good. I mean he got really
squeezed. He got shut off in the first turn, was all the way back to
last, and showed a big run down the lane. He runs well on turf and
synthetic, but I think he’ll prove to be best on dirt. That was a good
group of horses in the Breeders’ Cup. We’ve seen Union Rags and Hansen
come back to do so well.”
Dullahan faces a pair of solid contenders proven on turf in Team Valor
International’s Howe Great with jockey John Velazquez named to ride for
trainer Graham Motion and Julien Leparoux aboard Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s
Coalport for trainer Wayne Catalano.
Howe Great is a Kentucky homebred by Japanese-bred stallion Hat Trick
and has won both of his starts at the meet over the course, most
recently the Kitten’s Joy Stakes on Jan 21 after an allowance victory on
Dec. 15. Howe Great began his career at Parx Racing in September,
finishing second in his debut and breaking his maiden in October, both
races sprinting on dirt.
Coalport ran a big race to finish fourth in the Dania Beach Stakes here
over the course on Dec. 18 after finishing 11th in the Breeders’ Cup
Juvenile Turf (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5 with trouble in the
race. The son of the Ramsey’s 2004 Eclipse turf champion Kitten’s Joy
missed a start in the Kitten’s Joy because of a “minor (physical)
issue,” according to Catalano.
Completing the field for the Palm Beach are Rontos Racing Stable’s
Scorcher, J.L. Castanon; Jacks or Better Farm’s Argentine Tango, Elvis
Trujillo; and Bruce Hollander and Cary Shapoff’s Csaba, Paco Lopez.