Friday, March 8, 2013

8 Weeks....

That's right, it's hard to imagine we are only eight weeks away from the most exciting two minutes in sports. Another weekend is approaching and that means more three-year-olds are loading the gates across the country in an attempt to garner the points necessary to have a shot at history.

This Saturday has two points races on the schedule as a field of nine will be competing in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) at Tampa Bay Downs and out on the West coast a field of eight are expected to load the gates for the San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita. The latter is the prep for the Santa Anita Derby just four weeks away. The Fred "Cappy" Capossela Stakes at Aqueduct has some talented youngsters lined up as well. While this is a non-points race at only six furlongs, don't be surprised to see the winner pop up in the Wood Memorial next month to take a shot at getting into the Derby.

Verrazono highlights the Tampa Bay Derby field as he makes his highly anticipated stakes debut. Coming off a 16 1/4-length clinic in a one-mile optional claimer, while posting a 104 BRIS Speed rating will certainly be the sophomore to beat in this derby. Falling Sky, winner of the Sam Davis (G3) last month over this track will need to break well from the outside post. Dynamic Sky was a neck second in the Davis and figures to contend. Honorable Dillon is the other graded winner entered as he exits a victory in the Hutcheson (G2). Purple Egg is the interesting entry as he makes his three-year-old debut after suffering a few setbacks earlier in the year. He has not been seen since winning the Inaugural Stakes back in December and will try his first shot around two turns.

Flashback and Goldencents are the headliners in the San Felipe, being the only two graded winners entered. The lightly-raced son of Ghostzapper, Hear the Ghost figures to make some noise in his first race at a route distance after a fast closing second to Distictiv Passion in the San Pedro Stakes. There is some buzz surrounding Omega Star, who drew the outside post but don't count out the California Breeders' Championship Stakes scorer Tiz A Minister.

Keep an eye on Oaklawn Park and Flashy Gray, who makes her stakes debut in the Honeybee (G3) as she looks to get on the board for the Kentucky Oaks. My pick to win the Oaks before she opened up in the future pool at 15-1. Unfortunately many others saw the same hype surrounding this daughter of Flashy Bull as she closed out the pool this past Sunday as the 6-1 favorite.

Tampa Bay Derby (G2)
3/9 Tampa Bay Downs 5:15 EST
Three-Year-Olds, 1 1/16m

Verrazano 4-5
No reason he shouldn't win his graded stakes bow. Not going to get any value but if he loses there will be an excuse right?

Dynamic Sky 4-1
After an uninspiring fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile has come back as a three-year-old to to win a stakes and get a a neck second in a graded race. Should be in the money but this is Verrazano's race to lose. 

Honorable Dillon 6-1
Likes to come from off the pace and is making his first attempt around two turns. Just fighting to hit the board here. 

Purple Egg 10-1
Looks to stay undefeated in his sophomore debut. Tough spot to enter here after a long layoff. Will be interesting to see how he does. 

EX/TRI BX: 6,5,3,2

San Felipe (G2)
3/9 Santa Anita Park 6:35 EST
Three-Year-Olds, 1 1/16m

Hear the Ghost 6-1
The ghost will be heard from come Saturday. Stepped up to stakes company last out off his maiden win and showed he belongs as he was closing the gap on the winner. If he improves again in his third start look for him to pull off the upset. First start around two turns is always worrisome for these three-year-olds regardless of pedigree until they actually show they can handle the distance. 

Tiz a Minister 12-1
First start on dirt was impressive, posting a 108 late pace and a 98 BRIS Speed rating albeit it was against state-breds at Santa Anita. Likes to come from way back and with the early speed in this race will be picking off the field coming down the stretch. If he doesn't get too far back too early he will be there at the end and might be the one to emerge. 

Flashback 8-5
On many peoples short list to win the Derby. Stepped up to graded company after breaking his maiden to win going away by 6 1/4 lengths in the four-horse field in the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis. Need to see him race against a larger field in graded company before I'm fully on board and he can be upset here. 

Goldencents 2-1
Has won two Grade 3 races back-to-back but his late pace and BRIS Speed ratings have regressed in each race since breaking his maiden back in September. Likes to be on the lead if not right up on it and with the anticipated fast pace here it might hurt him at the end. 

EX/TRI BX: 5,6,2,3

Fred "Cappy" Capossela Stakes 3/9 Aqueduct 4:52 EST
Three-Year-Olds, 6f

EX/TRI BX: 5,1,3,4

No comments:

Post a Comment