Into Mischief colt Collaborate won a maiden race by 12 1/2 lengths for Saffie Joseph Jr.
Three Chimneys Farm and e Five Racing Thoroughbreds’ Collaborate breezed four furlongs Sunday morning at Gulfstream Park in preparation for a start in the $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) presented by Hill n’ Dale at Xalapa March 27.
The son of Into Mischief was timed in 47.05 seconds at the Hallandale Beach. Fla., track, the fastest clocking of 51 recorded at the distance, while returning to the worktab for the first time since producing a dazzling maiden victory at Gulfstream Feb. 27. He worked in company with Sound Machine, a 4-year-old stakes-winning filly.
“He showed great progression today. He’s always been a good work horse,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said. “He worked with Sound Machine. She was a little keen early on. She was on the outside and was leading and they finished head-and-head and he galloped out stronger than her.”
Collaborate graduated by 12 ½ lengths under wraps on the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) undercard after completing a one-turn mile in 1:36.35.
“He has the looks physically; he’s big, tall. Few are comparable to him in looks. As big as he is, he’s very athletic, very fluid, very efficient mover,” Joseph said. “Watching him work today, you don’t even know he’s working that quick. He came the last quarter in 22-and-4 and galloped out. You don’t think he’s going that fast, but when you look at the clock, he is.”
The Kentucky-bred colt, who was purchased for $600,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale, had finished a troubled fifth, beaten by just a length by victorious Democracy, in his six-furlong career debut over a sloppy track Feb. 6. Shug McGaughey-trained Bears Watching, who finished third, a neck and a nose ahead of Collaborate, came back to graduate Saturday afternoon at Gulfstream Park by 7 ¾ lengths.
“First time out, losing was a blessing in disguise. It didn’t feel good on the day, knowing the talent that he had, but I think it helped us going forward,” Joseph said.
Collaborate will concede racing experience to his rivals in the Florida Derby.
“I think he’s a special horse. Obviously, we’re asking a lot of him to make his third start in the Florida Derby and have to face a horse like Greatest Honour and a few others that will be more seasoned. I feel like he’s a horse who has the ability to overcome seasoning.”
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