Friday, March 16, 2012


The Derby Trail stops in Arkansas for the 1 1/16 mile, $500,000, Rebel Stakes(G2) this Saturday at Oaklawn Park. The prep for the Arkansas Derby next month, took a hit when Gemologist and Currency Swap decided to opt out of the Rebel. They instead ran 1-2 in an allowance race earlier this afternoon at Gulfstream Park. A full field of 13 was still drawn for the next stop on the Derby Trail. With a $500,000 purse, the winner will most likely lock up one of the 20 gates at the Kentucky Derby.

Rebel Stakes(G2)
3/17 Oaklawn Park @ 5:48 CST

Najjaar 6-1
Won allowance race last time out at 1 1/16 mile. Should be closing down the stretch. Only question is that he has not produced great speed ratings in any of his races. 

Secret Circle 9-5
Coming off a win in the Southwest(G3). Impressed in every race run so far with triple digit speed ratings. Only question is can he get the distance as he has never run past a mile. 

Sabercat 5-1
Three-year-old debut, coming off a win in the Delta Jackpot(G3) back in November. Speed ratings are questionable, but should find a way to finish in the money. 

EX/TRI BX: 11, 8, 7

*Hit the exacta with Creative Cause and Bodemeister in the San Felipe. Liaison finished fourth while Empire Way looks like he will not be making the Derby unless he comes up with something soon. 

*Came up empty in the Tampa Bay Derby. Spring Hill Farm was injured and is off the Derby Trail. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

San Felipe(G2)/Tampa Bay Derby(G2)/Swale(G3)


As we near closer to the Derby, many of these talented three-year-olds are still looking for enough graded stakes earnings to claim a spot in the Derby. This weekend will give many of these horses an opportunity as there are three graded stakes races on the Derby Trail Schedule.

The 7 Furlongs, $150,000 Swale Stakes(G3) is held at Gulfstream this Saturday. While this is considered a race on the Derby Trail, not too many Derby horses will come from a 7 furlong race this late in the season. Look for Ever So Lucky, Motor City and Quick Wit to battle it out in the Swale. 

The 1 1/16 mile, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby(G2) is held at Tampa Bay Downs this Saturday. Battle Hardened returns to the track he won the Sam F. Davis Stakes(G3) just last month. Prospective is the only horse in the field currently in the top 20 in graded stakes earnings. 

The 1 1/16 mile, $300,000 San Felipe Stakes(G2) at Santa Anita is loaded with talent. Creative Cause heads this talented field of 10 and looks to show everyone that he is the top horse out on the West Coast. Empire Way is a strong contender who is coming off a second place finish on this track last month in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes(G2). They will have to take on the promising colts out of Baffert's stable, Liaison and Bodemeister.

Tampa Bay Derby(G2)
3/10 Tampa Bay Downs @ 5:28 EST

Spring Hill Farm 5-2
Pletcher horse stepping up in class after going undefeated in two allowance races. Posted good speed ratings in both races.

Battle Hardened 9-2
Won Sam F. Davis Stakes at Santa Anita last month. 

Take Charge Indy 3-1 SCRATCHED
Finished second to El Paudrino in three-year-old debut back in January.

EX/TRI BX: 7,9

San Felipe Stakes(G2)
3/10 Santa Anita @ 4:38 PST

Creative Cause 5-2
Looks to build on his 7 furlong prep race, finishing third. Still posted strong speed rating and his race is at a distance.

Empire Way 6-1
Has continued to improve off each start. Pedigree says he can go the distance. Collected some graded cash in last months Robert B. Lewis, but is still on the outside looking in.

Liaison 6-1
Looks to redeem himself after throwing his rider in last race. Already has the earnings, but looks to show he belongs.

Bodemeister 3-1
Tons of talent as shown in his previous maiden win. Step up in class is making his first graded stakes start. Needs to collect some graded stakes earnings in this one.

EX/TRI BX 2,6,7,10

*Hansen took down the Gotham and is back on track. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012


The 1 1/16 mile, $400,000 Gotham Stakes goes off later today at Aqueduct. Hansen is back to redeem himself after a disappointing  second place finish in the Holy Bull back in January. With a field of 13, Hansen is the overwhelming favorite and must bounce back with a strong performance. While the two-year-old champ leads all other three-year-olds with graded stakes earnings, he needs to get back on track today with only one more prep race looming before the Derby.

3/3 Aqueduct @ 5:02 EST

Hansen 6-5
Heavy favorite looks to bounce back after disappointing three-year-old debut. Only graded stakes winner in race, in a class above the competition.

Rest of the field is wide open as any of these horses could hit the board.

*El Padrino won the Risen Star with Z Dager coming in third. Both should look towards the Louisiana Derby next month. 

*Union Rags had an impressive three-year-old debut in the Fountain of Youth. Discreet Dancer fell off to finish third. Sadly, Algorithms had a popped splint, was scratched from the race and is off the Derby Trail.