Gemologist returned to the races in style on Friday, coming off a 3 ½-month layoff to post a seven-length victory in an $80,000 allowance race at Gulfstream Park.
The 3-year-old son of Tiznow, who had been idle since winning the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs last November, led throughout the mile race to prevail over previously undefeated Florida-bred Currency Swap, who was making his first start since capturing the Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga last September.
While winning his fourth straight triumph in 1:35 4/5 for the mile, WinStar Farm’s Gemologist covered the mile in 1:35 4/5 and stamped himself as another exciting Kentucky Derby prospect for trainer Todd Pletcher, who also conditions Florida Derby (G1) hopeful El Padrino.
“Physically, I thought he got everything he needed out of the race that we had hoped for, running a mile in 1:35-and-four and he galloped out really well,” said Pletcher, who will confer with WinStar Farm president Elliott Walden about the Kentucky-bred colt’s next race. “From a time standpoint it will be a race on either April 7 or April 14.”
Options for the undefeated Gemologist are the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct on April 7, and the Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland and the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn on April 14.
“We’ll decide whether it will be better to have four weeks or three weeks to the (Kentucky) Derby (May 5),” Pletcher said.
Under Javier Castellano, Gemologist won the race well in hand.
“He came off the layoff with a great performance. He was amazing. He did it on his own. He did it so easy,” Castellano said. “I was very impressed; he did it the right way and he’s heading in the right direction.”
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Photo of Gemologist courtesy of Gulfstream Park/Coglianese photo