Florida Derby contender Frac Daddy has become a familiar face to
Gulfstream Park Paddock Judge George Berry during the past couple weeks,
schooling almost daily in the paddock and walking ring in preparation
for a start in Saturday’s $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1).
The son of 2007 Florida Derby winner Scat Daddy finished a
disappointing sixth in the $400,000 Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream on Jan.
26 in his most recent race. Although a nasty gash in his foot suffered
when he grabbed a quarter during the race surely impacted his
performance, the gray colt didn’t help his cause by acting up badly in
the post parade and loading into the gate.
“He did not act well at all in the post parade. He was fine in the
paddock, but when he got on the racetrack, he did not handle it at all,”
trainer Ken McPeek said. “He was looking at the crowd and he seemed
distracted. I never had that at all before.”
Frac Daddy has been schooling in the paddock and gate, acting cool,
calm and collected, and has been training impressively for the Florida
“He’s doing great right now. I couldn’t get him better,” McPeek
said. “If he’s good enough, great. If he’s not, it won’t be our fault
because we’ve hit all the details.
Prior to the Holy Bull, Frac Daddy showed immense talent, finishing
second behind Florida Derby entrant Indy’s Illusion in his debut in mud
at Belmont and breaking his maiden by nearly 10 lengths at Churchill
Downs. He finished a close-up second behind multiple graded-stakes
winner Uncaptured in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill in his
“If I was down on this colt, I’d be running him in an allowance
race,” McPeek said. “He’s a nice horse and I think he deserves a shot.
His race in the Kentucky Jockey Club showed that he has graded-stakes
talent. He showed his immaturity in his first race of the year. Let’s
hope he’s matured at this stage. I think he’ll be fine.”
McPeek will saddle two other horses for stakes on the Florida Derby
undercard: Travers winner Golden Ticket in the $100,000 Skip Away (G3)
and Kimberley Jean in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2).