Bobby Zen

Granpollo Stable’s Grand Mo the First (Uncle Mo), aiming for the May 4 GI Kentucky Derby, breezed six furlongs at Gulfstream Tuesday while GI Kentucky Oaks aspirant, Stonehedge LLC’s Fiona’s Magic (St. Patrick’s Day), also continued preparations in south Florida.

The Victor Barboza Jr.-trained colt, who finished a distant third behind early Derby favorite Fierceness (City of Light) in the Mar. 30 GI Curlin Florida Derby at Gulfstream, was timed in 1:16.48 under jockey Emisael Jaramillo before galloping out a mile.

“The six-furlong workout this morning, I really liked it,” Barboza said. “It was a good work for the horse. He came back to the barn very fresh. He’s ready for the move to Churchill.”

Grand Mo the First is scheduled to travel to Churchill Downs Apr. 24.

“The horse will go to Kentucky Thursday in the night and will get there early in the morning,” Barboza said.

Jaramillo will follow Grand Mo the First to Kentucky next week. The 47-year-old jockey rode in his first Kentucky Derby in 2016, finishing far back aboard Gustavo Delgado-trained Majesto.

Grand Mo the First also finished third in the Mar. 9 GII Tampa Bay Derby, in which he was just a neck behind winner Domestic Product.

Fiona’s Magic tuned up for the Oaks with a six-furlong breeze in 1:15.16 Tuesday morning.

“We’ve just been doing some strong, long gallops with her. We breezed three-quarters. I told [exercise rider Jose Ortiz] to just go easy and finish up a little bit down the lane,” trainer Michael Yates said. “I feel like we’re going in the right direction. She was very relaxed and did it well within herself.”

Fiona’s Magic, who qualified for the Kentucky Oaks with a second-place finish in the GIII Forward Gal S. and a victory in Gulfstream’s GII Davona Dale S., finished off the board in the Mar. 30 GII Gulfstream Park Oaks.

“We learned absolutely nothing from that race,” Yates said. “We breezed her eight days before the race and scoped her. She scoped clean. Everything looked to be on ‘go.’ She had no nasal discharge. Everything was normal, but after the race, we scoped her, and she was loaded with mucus.”

Yates saddled Dorth Vader for a fifth-place finish in last year’s Kentucky Oaks.

“Hindsight is always 20-20. What I learned last year is there’s no way that’s the right way. You just have to take care of your horse the best you can,” he said.

Yates opted to prepare Fiona’s Magic at Gulfstream for her serious Kentucky Oaks preparation before shipping her to Churchill Downs Apr. 25.

“I just think you need to keep your horse in whatever atmosphere is best for them to keep them training well and moving forward,” Yates aid. “That’s what we chose to do.”

A rider has yet to be engaged to ride Fiona’s Magic in the Oaks.

The post Classic Contenders ‘Grand Mo’, Fiona’s Magic Work at Gulfstream appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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