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Theregoesjojo goes smoothly in slop

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Theregoesjojo may have been a day late but he won't be a furlong short when he takes on Dunkirk and Quality Road in Saturday's Grade 1 Florida Derby.

Trainer Ken McPeek had to postpone Theregoesjojo's final Florida Derby workout for 24 hours after heavy rain left the Gulfstream Park main track a sea of slop on Saturday morning. But after watching his horse breeze six furlongs in 1:15.20 and gallop out seven-eighths in 1:30 around the dogs over a slightly less sloppy track on Sunday, McPeek pronounced his Kentucky Derby prospect fit and ready to go for the Florida Derby.

"I was hoping to get a dry track by Sunday and it didn't happen, but that's the way the ball bounces," said McPeek. "And it really didn't matter because the work went well. The most important thing was that he galloped out nicely and he's coming into the race in good order. Everything is falling into place perfectly. Everything's a go on our end. Now it's up to him from here."

Theregoesjojo is coming off a second-place finish behind Quality Road in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on Feb. 20. Theregoesjojo is the only horse to have defeated Quality Road. That came when he scored an impressive 2 3/4-length victory over Quality Road going seven furlongs under allowance conditions earlier in the meet. The 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby will mark Theregoesjojo's first start around two turns.

"I don't think two turns is an issue," said McPeek. "He relaxes well and has a cruising mode."