Race of the Week 2017

Wildcat Red Kentucky Derby Bound

A stubborn runner-up in the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1) on Saturday, Florida-bred Wildcat Red will remain at Gulfstream Park to prepare for his next start.            

Trainer Jose Garoffalo said Sunday morning he will point the multiple graded stakes winner to the first leg of the Triple Crown on May 3 after his neck loss to Constitution in the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby.            

“It was kind of bittersweet, but good. We’re happy with the horse,” Garoffalo said. “The horse did his job. We trained the horse to win the race, but races are races. You can either win or lose. But the horse showed that he can go longer, and proved to a lot of people that they were wrong. In a way, there are a lot of positive points. “We still have to evaluate the horse. We’ll give him two or three days to check how the horse is doing, but according to the way he came back everything seems that we’re going to go to Louisville.” Wildcat Red has four wins and three seconds in seven starts, all at Gulfstream Park, including the seven-furlong Hutcheson (G3) and 8 ½-furlong Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (G2).

Garoffalo is not concerned about shipping the son of Grade 1-winning sprinter D’wildcat or running on a new track. “We’re going to be there maybe a week before and let the horse adapt to the track,” he said. “He’s the kind of horse that can run on any track. I’m not afraid of the track or if he’s going to handle it. We will give him the opportunity to know the track. We’re probably going to work here and we’ll only gallop there. He’s a smart horse.”            

Purchased for $30,000 last March, Wildcat Red has now banked $690,850 for Garoffalo and owner Honors Stable Corp., neither of which have had a Triple Crown starter.            

“He is a monster,” Garoffalo said. “He’s the kind of horse that you don’t see too often. He’s got the heart, he’s got the guts. He’s amazing. He’s a once-in-a-lifetime horse.”                       



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Older Comments about Wildcat Red Kentucky Derby Bound...

samraat IMO is not that fast - another gritty one for sure tho
What he has to worry about is Samraat pounding him into submission on the lead.
This guy is as gritty as they come - A horse like him could potentially hang on for a share on derby day - my question here is, how's he going to react when some of these late runners come charging down that long stretch?
He's definitely outrun his bloodlines...showed a lot in the last three on two turns and longer distances. great rides by jock in all them but I just don't see him winning the big dance.
I love the horse but there is to much speed in the race.
So, does anybody on here know Jose? If you do, how about running the idea of getting Willie to ride him by him in the Derby? I bet Willie would welcome the opportunity and he would give it his very best effort for Jose and the owners of WR. Willie and Wildcat, now that's a winning combination if you ask me!
CFC you misunderstood my post. I am not blaming Willie for the loss or the so called questionable ride. My point was that you only get 1 shot at the Derby with that horse. Here was a horse everybody had on the front end for as lomg as he could go. He got left at the gate,would it of happened with a so called much better jock on his back. Definately,but going into the race your odds of a better ride would of been greater.Before he won the 3 Derbys,Calvin was just looked upon as an illeterate Cajun who could ride a bit.
As for Willie Martinez's ride in the Ky Derby aboard Trinniberg, if his ride was questionable, the connections wouldn't have kept him aboard the horse. They did go on to win the BC Sprint. If there was a reason for Trinniberg losing the Derby? How about the race was too long(since he's a champion sprinter)? And another little guy might include Arcangues. Sure would've liked to had that one at over 130-1.
Bernie in the 90's ,Willie was one of the leaders at the CD meet as well as other midwestern tracks. At his best,he was a top rider.I do see him in the Tampa entries and happy that he is still able and capable to ride competetively. But as you gave an example with Mine That Bird,the little guy will never get his or her chance to shine when the spotlight is on. Look at Mine that Bird,going into the Derby the horse ,trainer and owners were below the little guy status on the totem pole. I am sure their motto always was. All i need is a chance to show what i can do. Funny as you mention it on the Preakness. Two weeks later they climbed out of the basement and straight up to the Penthouse.True to form,they shunned the little guy to the side and went for the Star/Named Rider. Lesson for all the little guys in the world.If you are ever lucky enough to make a splash. Seriously,do not forget where you came from.Their are many who just need the CHANCE.
@tmallios...I am a fan of Willie, but I don't know him, wished I did! I lived in Bham, Alabama when they opened up the horse track in the 1980's and Willie used to ride there, he was my favorite jock. BTW, Jon Court used to ride there to early in his career also. Anyway, when Borel jumped-off 'Mine That Bird after the derby win, I was hoping the owners would have put Willie on him, but they didn't, they put Mike Smith on him. Willie has still got the touch, he picks and chooses his rides at Tampa, but when he gets on one, you better pay attention. @ Buzzcat......really, JV would never ride WR in the Derby? What other solid options does he have? You kind of make it sound that JV would be too good to get on WR for the derby. If I was a jock, I would be thrilled with this horse, he may not win, but you never know. This horse is a gutty, fighting, big-hearted competitor, I wouldn't discount him.
JR does not have better options for the Derby. Just for the record. In recent history the Fla.Derby winner has gone on to win more Derbys than any other prep. This horse lost a million dollar race by a nostril. Unless something happens to Javier or any other Jock prior to the race and a spot opens up.I would be shocked if Johnny V. jumped off. That includes riding Artie. But more than likely his decision will come down to W.R. or Intense Holiday. Smith will be riding a Baffert charge in the Derby. Also BBB, i am sure you are a big fan of Willie Martinez,maybe even know him. He was a very capable rider in his day. But he had his shot 2 years ago in the Derby with Triniberg. Not holding the loss against him,it definately was not his fault. But the one thing i expected,was the sprinter to get out of the gate and be on the lead.Good ole Willie got left at the gate. That is why they try and ride the best on that day. Nerves is a hard thing to overcome.
Oh i forgot BBB Johnny V will never ride WR in the ky derby as he has alot better options
I know him personally BBB and i always root@bet on him. Johhny V is a few lengths better rider.
I just like Wille better, he fits this horse and I hope Jose will use him. Willie has been around for a long time and he is a great jock.
Regardless if i like the horse or not. What exactly did Johnny V. do wrong on him this past weekend.
Jose, I would put Willie Martinez on Red for the Derby, he will give WR a great ride.

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