Hallandale Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Nine newly turned 3-year-olds will make their 2014 debuts Wednesday in the New Year's Day running of the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby at a mile.
Trying to make amends for his disqualification in November's Juvenile Sprint Stakes will be Wildcat Red. Trained by Jose Garoffalo, Wildcat Red finished first in the $125,000 race at Gulfstream to only be disqualified to second for interference.
Owned by Honors Stable Corp., Wildcat Red will start from the inside post New Year's Day with Paco Lopez in the saddle. The colt won his first two starts, both at Gulfstream, and has earned $80,850.
Breaking from post 7 will be Best Plan Yet with Jeffrey Sanchez riding. The colt is owned by Jacks or Better Farm and trained by Stanley Gold.
Best Plan Yet is coming off consecutive wins in the Foolish Pleasure Stakes and In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes Series.
"I really wanted to win it," said Gold of the In Reality Stakes. "I thought it would be his best performance to date, and everything went well."
Best Plan Yet was second in two earlier Florida Stallion Stakes. The colt has won three of six starts for $300,960, but has not raced since October.
Pablo Del Monte will be making his first start on dirt in the Gulfstream Park Derby. Trained by Wesley Ward, the chestnut colt has drawn post 6 with Kent Desormeaux again in the saddle.
"I raced the mother and she was a very fast horse, but she preferred the Polytrack or the turf," co-owner Ward said. "This guy seemed to have an affinity for Polytrack early on, and when I breezed him on the grass he breezed OK, but not outstanding. I took a chance and took him out to Hollywood and he ran an average race. It wasn't bad; it wasn't great. He had no troubled trips as far as the running of the race or anything."
Pablo Del Monte won his first two starts, both at Keeneland, but was fifth at Hollywood Park in the Generous Stakes on turf. He has earned $58,700.
Here is the field for the Gulfstream Park Derby in post position order: Wildcat Red, Paco Lopez; Gone as Wind, Luis Contreras; Enthrone, Jilver Chamafi; Aarons Orient, Javier Castellano; East Hall, Juan Leyva; Pablo Del Monte, Kent Desormeaux; Best Plan Yet, Jeffrey Sanchez; Grand Arrival, Jose Lezcano; General a Rod, Joel Rosario.
Won last year by Itsmyluckyday, the Gulfstream Park Derby has a post time of 4:33 p.m. (ET).