Fort Bragg Scheduled to Arrive at Gulfstream Tuesday Evening
Tim Yakteen: Florida Derby Contender a ‘Quality Individual’
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Fort Bragg, a prominent contender for Saturday’s $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa, was scheduled to arrive at Gulfstream Park Tuesday evening following a cross-country flight.
The son of Tapit, who left trainer Tim Yakteen’s barn at Santa Anita at 4 a.m. Tuesday, will be stabled at Gulfstream under the care of trainer Kevin Attard.
Fort Bragg, who is rated second at 5-1 on the morning line behind 4-5 favorite Forte, is owned by SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Robert Masterson, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital LLC and Catherine Donovan.
“I train some horses for SF Racing and Madaket in Canada. Through that connection, they asked me to help out,” Attard said. “Tim got a hold of me and asked if I could look after him while the horse is here, and I was happy to oblige.”
Yakteen will be at Oaklawn Park Saturday to saddle 5-2 morning-line favorite Reincarnate for the Arkansas Derby (G1).
Fort Bragg was entered in last Sunday’s Sunland Derby (G3) before his connections made the decision that the Florida Derby was a better fit for the $700,000 at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale.
“One of the big factors was the extra week between the races. I was happy to take advantage of that. We had a nice breeze Sunday, so we are all set for the race," Yakteen said.
Fort Bragg is coming off a fifth-place finish in the March 4 San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita Park after racing three- and four-wide throughout the 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-olds, weakening late to finish 5 ½ lengths behind Yakteen-trained Practical Move.
"We just didn’t have an ideal trip. There was plenty of pace and we were drawn wide and didn’t get a lot of separation,” Yakteen said. “Things didn’t work out our way that day. He still ran a big race. We feel that he’s a quality individual and deserves another opportunity in the Derby picture. We’re excited to see him run this Saturday.”
Attard will continue to be in daily communication with Fort Bragg’s connections.
“It’s exciting anytime you get good horses around you. It’s a good, positive thing and you can learn a lot,” he said. “I’m definitely looking forward to it and hopefully the horse runs good for them,”
Fort Bragg is scheduled to make his first appearance on the Gulfstream Park main track at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Formerly trained by Bob Baffert, Fort Bragg finished first in two of his first three starts before finishing a troubled third behind Practical Move in the Dec. 17 Los Alamitos Derby (G2).