By Jim Freer
Tuesday, July 14 — Trainer Jose Garoffalo plans to send his stable’s nationally known star Wildcat Red to Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. for his next race.
That will be for either the $200,000 Monmouth Cup (Grade 2) or the $60,000 Teddy Drone Stakes, Garoffalo said today from his base at Gulfstream Park.
Both races will be on Aug. 2. The Monmouth Cup is 1 1/16 miles on dirt, and the Teddy Drone is six furlongs on dirt.
Garoffalo said he is leaning toward the Teddy Drone for Wildcat Red, a 4-year-old colt.
“Right now we want to see what he can do in sprints, Garoffalo said.
The Teddy Drone would be a prep for a graded stakes at a northern track later this summer.
Garoffalo is making that plan following Wildcat Red’s third place finish in a strong nine-horse field in the six-furlong Smile Sprint Handicap (Grade 2) at Gulfstream on July 5.
“There’s nothing for him here (Gulfstream) for a couple of months,” Garoffalo said
This coming Saturday, Garoffalo plans to run the 3-year-colt Black Martino in the $60,000 Lamplighter Stakes at Monmouth. The race is 1 1/16 miles on turf for 3-year-olds.
Black Martino’s latest race was June 20 at Gulfstream. He finished second by a neck to the highly regarded My Point Exactly in the $60,000 King Cugat Stakes. It was 1 1/16 miles on turf. The winning time was a fast 1:40.88 on a course listed as firm.
Wildcat Red and Black Martino are scheduled to be vanned tomorrow from Gulfstream to Monmouth Park. Garoffalo said he plans to keep them stabled there for several months.
Honors Stable Corp. owns Wildcat Red and Black Martino.
Honors is owned and operated by the husband-wife team of Salvatore Delfino and Josie Martino, who have homes in Venezuela and in South Florida.
Wildcat Red was prominent on last year’s Triple Crown trail.
However it often is noted that he is a son of D’wildcat and has what many handicappers regard as a sprinter’s pedigree.
At Gulfstream last year Wildcat Red won the seven furlong Hutcheson (Grade 2) and the 1 1/16 mile Fountain of Youth (Grade 2). He later finished second by a neck to Constitution in the 1 1/8 mile Florida Derby (Grade 1).
He finished 18th in the Kentucky Derby (Grade 1), after a troubled bumping-filled trip.
Wildcat Red raced in second place for most of the Smile.
Favorite Tale led most of the race and won by 4 1/4 lengths over Work All Week, the winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Grade 1).
Wildcat Red finished another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.
Favorite Tale won in the fast time of 1:08.85
Wildcat Red’s time was in the 1:10 range. He earned an Equibase speed figure of 101 – third highest in his 15-race career.
“It was a good field, and he ran a very good race,” Garoffalo said. “If he runs well at Monmouth (Teddy Drone), there are races at several other tracks up north where we could take him.”
One option would be the Forego (Grade 1) at seven furlongs at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 29.
The Monmouth Cup and Teddy Drone will be on the undercard of the 1 1/8 mile Haskell Invitational (Grade 1) for 3-year-olds.
Triple Crown winner American Pharoah is scheduled to run in the Haskell. It would be his first race since he won the Belmont Stakes (Grade 1) on June 6.
Wildcat Red finished third in last year’s Haskell.