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Upstart, Prospect Park eye final Derby prep races
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Thanks to a second-place finish behind unbeaten Dortmund in Saturday’s $400,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita, Prospect Park will next try for the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 4.

Prospect Park was developed in Camden at the stables of Mickey Preger Jr. at the Camden Training Center before being sent to veteran West Coast-based trainer Clifford Sise.

In the San Felipe, Prospect Park finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Dortmund in the 1 1/16-mile test which the 5-0 winner completed in 1:41.65.

Camden’s other connection in the field of 10 3-year-olds, Lord Nelson, owned by Camden resident John Fort’s Peachtree Stable, was fourth.

As for Prospect Park, both Sise and jockey Kent Desormeaux had nothing but high marks for the Tapit colt which is being pointed to the Santa Anita Derby, the last major prep race in California for the May 2 Kentucky Derby.

"I had a full ride," Desormeaux said in a Santa Anita press release after his second in the San Felipe. "I had to throw on the air brakes in the first turn to get him covered. He galloped and cantered to the quarter-pole. I had to thread a needle there where he shied a bit. He was made for this. He did a great job.

"(Dortmund) got the battle, we’ll win the war."

"He came out of the race great," added Sise. "I talked to Marty (co-owner/breeder Martin Wygod) and he’s very happy with the way he ran. We feel like he’ll run all day and with the trip he had yesterday, we’ve got a pretty fresh horse (Sunday) morning.

"He ran very well, yeah. We were OK with the trip. I think the next step is the Santa Anita Derby."

Prospect Park currently sits in 10th place on the leaderboard with 20 points for the 20 spots available to start in the Kentucky Derby. Lord Nelson is 27th with six points.

Prospect Park received 53 votes, good for 12th place, in the most recent National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) 3-year-old poll.

 

Upstart update:

The 3-year-old Flatter colt was developed in Camden at Frank Wooten Stables and is currently sixth in Kentucky Derby point with 36. He sits in third in the latest NTRA 3-year-old poll.

Upstart was disqualified and taken down to second in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream on Feb. 21. That came after a 5 ½-length win in the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes on Jan. 24.

Trainer Rick Violette said Upstart in on target for a start in the Florida Derby.

"Right now, we’re certainly pointing to the Florida Derby," Violette said in a Gulfstream Park press release. "We’ll follow his lead if he makes us change course, but that’s where we’re going."

Another horse with local ties, Upstart, is scheduled to make its next start in the $1 million Florida Derby on Saturday, March 28 at Gulfstream Park.