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McPeek Still Believes in Frac Daddy

31 January 2009: Trainer Ken McPeek at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida.

Frac Daddy’s winter may not have unfolded as Ken McPeek had expected, but the veteran trainer’s confidence in the 3-year-old son of Scat Daddy has not been shaken.


McPeek shipped Frac Daddy to Gulfstream Park in December looking forward to a productive 3-year-old season.

“Having been around a few good horses in my time, I think this horse could be any kind,” McPeek said at the time.  “If he improves the way I expect him to, we’ve got a big chance to be in the middle of a lot of nice races.”

Frac Daddy, who concluded his 2-year-old season with a sharp second-place finish in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs, finished sixth in his 2013 debut in the $400,000 Holy Bull (G3), in which he grabbed a quarter. He subsequently suffered from a throat ulcer that has healed in time to make his second start in the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1) on March 30.

From personal experience, McPeek has learned not to be discouraged by just one subpar showing.

“The best example is Tejano Run. Early on, everyone was high on him as a 2-year-old. Then his first race (at 3) was an absolute clunker,” said McPeek of his 1995 Kentucky Derby runner-up who finished fifth at 1-2 odds in the Risen Star in his 3-year-old debut. “The first race doesn’t mean anything. It’s actually the next two that are the only ones that are important anymore. What Churchill’s done is probably good for the game – the format – because there were a lot of horses who got their earnings at 2 and then they wouldn’t do anything after that. They’d sit on the bench. Now, they’ve got to run.”

Under the new points system instituted to replace the traditional graded-stakes earnings system, the Florida Derby offers a total of 180 points, including 100 for first and 50 for second. A second-place finish would be enough to earn a spot in the 20-horse Kentucky Derby field.

Frac Daddy is expected to clash with Fountain of Youth (G2) winner Orb, Holy Bull victor Itsmyluckyday, Eclipse champion Shanghai Bobby, Spectacular Bid winner Merit Man and Pick of the Litter in the Florida Derby.

“I don’t seem to worry about everybody else. You got to line them up. You can’t control anything after that,” McPeek said. “I don’t care if there are three in or 30,”

On the Florida Derby Day card, McPeek also plans to run Kimberly Jean, runner-up to highly regarded Close Hatches in an allowance, in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), and Travers Stakes winner Golden Ticket, an allowance winner at the meeting, in the $100,000 Skip Away (G3).

 

 

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Older Comments about McPeek Still Believes in Frac Daddy...

Scat Daddy had STOP painted all over him and we are suggesting here a SON somehow doesn't? Lets see the energy distribution at 9 furlongs against class and demanding early pace before lowering the boom on this one......It might surprise me.
Frac Daddy went 5f in 1:00.24 (2/16) at Gulfstream Park on 3-22.

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