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