Daredevil (c, 3, More Than Ready–Chasethewildwind, by Forty Niner), a head-scratching last of 11 at odds of 5-2 in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Nov. 1, is likely to kick off his sophomore campaign in the seven-furlong GII Swale S. at Gulfstream Park Feb. 28.
The Let’s Go Stable and WinStar Farm colorbearer, an ultra-impressive winner of Belmont’s GI Champagne S. in the slop Oct. 4, returned to the worktab with a three-furlong bullet in :36.53 (1/6) at Palm Beach Downs Jan. 17.
“He’s doing well,” Let’s Go Stable’s Bryan Sullivan confirmed. “He went by myself in his first three-eighth’s of a mile breeze back on Saturday. [Trainer] Todd [Pletcher] was very happy with the way he did it. He’s progressing nicely.”
Sullivan continued, “I think the idea is to use the Swale to get a gauge on where he’s at, and if he performs the way we think he can, we’ll look at one of the Grade I preps for the [Kentucky] Derby. He’ll most likely just have two prep races if that’s the route that we decide to go. We’re going to take it week by week at this point, though.”
The half-brother to GI Donn H. and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Albertus Maximus (Albert the Great) ran to the money in his six-furlong debut in the Belmont mud Sept. 13, then returned in style on quick notice to add the one-turn mile Champagne. The $260,000 KEESEP yearling graduate failed to land a blow after exiting from post 10 while making his two-turn bow at the Great Race Place.
“It’s puzzling,” Sullivan said of Daredevil’s Breeders’ Cup performance. “We threw a lot at him in a short amount of time. It was three big races probably too close together as well as shipping across the country. I think that caught up with us a bit, and in the end, even though American Pharoah scratched out, it was still a very competitive field. It just wasn’t his day, but he came out of it perfect.”