HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trainer Jose D’Angelo’s world-wind campaign with Jesus’ Team will take him to Dubai this week. Who better to call than Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert to get the skinny on running a horse in the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1)?
“I talked to Bob Baffert three times last week, and he told me a lot of things about going to Dubai,” D’Angelo said. “He’s helped me a lot.”
D’Angelo is scheduled to fly to Dubai Monday, while Jesus’ Team will leave Palm Meadows, Gulfstream Park’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, Tuesday for his scheduled start in the March 28 Dubai World Cup.
The 30-year-old former leading trainer in Venezuela struck up a friendship with Baffert, a three-time Dubai World Cup-winning trainer, during Preakness Week around the stakes barn at Pimlico last fall. He also has been in contact with trainer Chad Summers, who saddled Mind Your Biscuits for a victory in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) in 2018.
In his first full year of training in the United States, D’Angelo took a tour of the East Coast and Midwest while driving the truck towing Jesus’ Team to several major-stakes engagements. Along the way, the former $25,000 claimer finished third in the Preakness (G1) and second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland before returning to South Florida to finish second in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream in January. Horse and trainer, by necessity, will have separate travel arrangements for the first time for the Dubai World Cup.
Jesus’ Team breezed seven furlongs in 1:31.60 Sunday morning at Palm Meadows to compete his local preparation for the Dubai World Cup.
“I’m very happy with the work,” D’Angelo said. “He finished very strong and his gallop-out was amazing. I’m very confident now that Jesus will run a great race with a chance to win the Dubai World Cup.”
Collaborate Sharp in 4F Breeze for March 27 Florida Derby
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, 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.”
Hall of Famer Javier Castellano on Papetu for Florida Derby
Trainer Antonio Sano reported Sunday that Hall of Famer Javier Castellano will ride Magic Stables LLC’s Papetu for the first time in the Florida Derby. The son of Dialed In finished third in the $300,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream following a wide trip from his far-outside post position Feb. 27. The Kentucky-bred colt finished second in the Mucho Macho Man and third in the Holy Bull (G3) in his first two starts of the year.
Sano will also be represented March 27 in the UAE Derby (G2) on the Dubai World Cup undercard by Lugamo, who won two of four starts and finished third in a stakes at Laurel last year. The Florida-bred son of Chitu, who was formerly trained in Maryland by Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon, has a solid series of five workouts at Gulfstream Park West in preparation for his 2021 debut in Dubai.
Gulfstream Park Press Release
Photo: Collaborate and Jesus’ Team, (Coglianese Photos)