Jesus’ Team Battles Back from Salmonella, Laminitis
Claimer-Turned-Grade 1 Runner Breezes 3 Furlongs FOY Winner Simplification Breezes Easy 5 Furlongs
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Jesus’ Team has battled long odds throughout his racing career, rising from the $25,000 claiming ranks to more than hold his own against the very best Grade 1 company, but the tough-as-nails son of Tapiture has overcome no more imposing obstacles that those he has faced during the 11 months since his most recent race.
Turned out after a disappointing effort in the Alydar at Saratoga last August, Jesus’ Team would have to fight for his life after coming down with salmonella and laminitis.
“The horse had surgery and he got salmonella at the hospital. After the salmonella, he got laminitis. He lost a lot, a lot of weight. When I saw him, I almost died,” trainer Jose D’Angelo said. “He is a warrior.”
Since recovering from a series of physical afflictions, Jesus’ Team rejoined D’Angelo’s stable at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, where he was sent to the track for his first workout in nearly a year Saturday morning.
Jesus’ Team breezed three furlongs in 37.05 seconds for the workout that was overseen by D’Angelo’s father, Francisco.
Grupo 7C Stable’s former claimer finished third in the 2020 Preakness Stakes before finishing second behind Knicks Go in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland. After prepping with a victory in the Claiming Crown Jewel at Gulfstream, Jesus’ Team again finished second behind Knicks Go in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream.
“With all that happened, we had a hard road to bring him back,” sad D’Angelo from Saratoga, where he has a small string of horses. “We’re very happy. My father said he went easy, easy and he looked good. He wants to be back.”
At Gulfstream Park, Tami Bobo and Tristan De Meric’s Simplification breezed Saturday for the second time since finishing sixth after bleeding in the May 21 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico. The 3-year-old son of Not This Time breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:03.53 with the Sept. 24 Pennsylvania Derby (G1) at Parx as the main goal.
“He went very easy three-eights, the gallop out was 1:15, very good,” trainer Antonio Sano said. “The Pennsylvania Derby is next month. He’ll have a race before then – the Smarty Jones or the West Virginia Derby – but I don’t know where yet.”
The $300,000 Smarty Jones (G3) is scheduled for Aug. 23 at Parx, while the $500,000 West Virginia Derby (G3) at Mountain will be run Aug. 6.
Simplification captured the March 5 Fountain of Youth (G2) and finished third in the April 2 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream before finishing a strong fourth in the May 7 Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs.