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Collaborate Showing “Great Progression” For Florida Derby
Collaborate breaking his maiden (Credit: Coglianese Photos)

Collaborate Showing “Great Progression” For Florida Derby

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.’s Collaborate is showing “great progression” as he works toward making his stakes debut in the $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park March 27.

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Working inside of stablemate and 4-year-old stakes-winning filly Sound Machine Sunday, Collaborate covered 4 furlongs in :47.05 seconds, best of 51 to try the distance that morning.

“He’s always been a good work horse,” Joseph 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 broke his maiden by 12 1/2 lengths going a one-turn mile here February 27 on the undercard of the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2).

Greatest Honour, winner of that Derby prep worth 50 points, is expected to return for the Florida Derby. Joseph knows the task of beating a multiple graded stakes champion straight after a first career win is a tough one, but his faith in the Into Mischief colt (fifth while debuting on February 6) is strong.

“I think he’s a special horse,” Joseph said. “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.”

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