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Frac Daddy Tries Grass at Saratoga

Arkansas Derby runner-up Frac Daddy will run for the first time Saturday since making the pace for a half-mile before fading to last of 14 runners in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes on June 8.


After finishing second at 23-1 in the Arkansas Derby, trainer Ken McPeek entered Frac Daddy in the Kentucky Derby, where he finished 16th, and then came the Belmont.


The son of Scat Daddy has been working and galloping steadily at Saratoga for his return, and will run on the grass for the first time in the eighth race, a first-level allowance.


"We've trained him over the turf course here [at the Oklahoma training track], and he acts like he likes it," McPeek said Thursday morning as Frac Daddy was out for a gallop over the Oklahoma dirt. "The horse is a real physical animal; he's real strong and does everything right. He's tricky to ride in a race, and if things don't go his way, he's problematic. It's a good time to try him on grass."


Frac Daddy has tantalized McPeek with his talent. The colt finished second in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in his third start behind eventual Prince of Wales Stakes winner Uncaptured. Taken to Florida, Frac Daddy baffled McPeek with a dull sixth-place finish in the Grade 3 Holy Bull, and then finished seventh in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.


He rebounded in the Arkansas Derby, but then turned in two non-threatening outings.


"He's a bit of an enigma, but we can all be, can't we?" McPeek said. "We've just got to figure him out. We've been too ambitious with him, honestly. There are times I've relegated him to a morning glory because he can outwork about any horse I have in the morning, when there's no dirt in his face and he's in cruising mode. He has been known to outwork [2012 Travers co-winner] Golden Ticket on a regular basis; he outworks Atigun. Then, when we put him in a tough spot, he melts down a little bit. But maybe the grass is a good spot."


Frac Daddy is 8-1 in the field of 10. His 5-year-old half brother, Lemon Drop Red, has won twice over the turf in Europe.




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