He has only one start under his belt, but Buff Bradely says Divisidero has a level of composure well beyond his experience.
Accordingly, the 3-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy was entered to contest Saturday's Palm Beach off his debut win.
“I always said, ‘If they win with me first time out, they’re a pretty special horse,’” said Bradley, who typically does not have his trainees at their sharpest for their debuts.
Divisidero, a $250,000 yearling purchase at the 2013 Keeneland September sale, has so far met the expectations set by his purchase price. Overlooked by bettors in his initial outing in a field of 13, the 25-1 shot opened many eyes by race’s end, closing from 10 lengths off the pace to run down the post-time favorite Tapkee in the final strides. The colt launched an eight-wide rally to get up for a half-length victory.
“We thought he would run a big race,” Bradley said.“You’re not sitting there saying you’re going to win, because you’re running against the top horses around and top maidens. In the race that we were in, there were horses from Chad Brown and Bill Mott and Todd Pletcher and those guys, so it was tough, but he showed us a lot of run that day and overcame going wide and being far back. He doesn’t really need to be that far back.”
Bradley said Divisidero, despite his inexperience, has a mature mind that makes stepping him up to graded stakes competition seem like the next logical step.
“He’s really coming around,” Bradley said. “He’s picked up weight since his last race and has really trained very well, so that’s why we decided to enter him. Mentally, he’s a pretty cool horse. He just lies down and takes it easy, relaxes good. I told his owners, ‘That’s what makes a racehorse, what he does.’ He shows class, and when he gets out on the track he’s all business, but when he’s back in the stall, he knows how to rest. With his mentality, I think he knows how to relax and run and do what you want, and he listens to the jockey.”
Rafael Hernandez was awarded the return mount on Divisidero.
Croninthebarbarian is among the more experienced 3-year-olds Divisidero will face in the 1 1/16-mile Palm Beach, postponed after severe rainstorms pummeled the Hallandale Beach area last Saturday. Croninthebarbarian, winner of the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Stakes last September, has hit the board in three South Florida stakes since November. The well-conformed, muscular son of Stroll most recently finished third, 3/4 of a length from victory, in Gulfstream’s Kitten’s Joy Staks.
“The horse always shows up,” said Zack Simms, trainer Gary Simms’ son and assistant. “He has a ton of heart, and he’s a hard-knocker. He’s a grinder. I think if he gets the right trip, he’s going to give us a big performance.”
Croninthebarbarian was forced to launch his bid while six-wide in the Kitten’s Joy and got caught five-wide when rallying for third in the Dania Beach on Jan 3. Prior to those efforts, the colt lost by an unlucky nose in the Pulpit Stakes on Nov. 29 at Gulfstream Park West.
“He’s been wide in his last couple of races and maybe moved a little late, but for the most part, we’re looking forward to a better trip this time, and hopefully we can get it done,” said Simms, who named Joe Bravo to ride Ol Memorial Stable's colt.
After finishing a head behind Croninthebarbarian in the Pulpit, the Chad Brown trained Night Prowler found himself the right trip in his last start, when he got up in time to win the 7 1/2-furlong Dania Beach in his 3-year-old debut. The gelded son of Giant’s Causeway has never finished out of the money in four lifetime starts.
“We’re really proud of the way this horse has developed,” Brown said.“We were looking forward to running him, but hopefully he maintains his good form in his training all week.”
Night Prowler tuned up for the Palm Beach with an easy four-furlong breeze Monday morning at Palm Meadows, covering the distance in 49.95 seconds over the facility’s turf course.
“He’s easy,” said Brown, whose trainee is scheduled to be ridden by Javier Castellano.“He’s been very laid back since we gelded him when he was two. It’s really just changed this horse’s demeanor and really his whole career.”
The Palm Beach field is rounded out by: Decision Day, winner of the Coronation Futurity on synthetic at Woodbine, and Bear's Personality, both of whom will make their turf debuts; Felifran and Eh Cumpari, fourth and fifth in the Kitten’s Joy; Nutty Futty, third in last year’s With Anticipation at Saratoga; and maiden winner Call Me Crazy.
Edited Gulfstream Park release