Buddy's Saint Bruce Levine
Saint Liam—Tuzia, by Blushing John
Pair of sharp six-furlong drills indicate he’s ready for a big effort in the Fountain of Youth. He has to show that his 101 Beyer Speed Figure in the Nashua was the norm and the 82 Beyer in the Remsen was the aberration.
Lookin at Lucky Bob Baffert
Smart Strike—Private Feeling, by Belong to Me
He’s back in steady training, up to a half-mile, and is still on target for the San Felipe Stakes. Baffert still has plenty of time to get him sharp and fit, which he’ll have to be with only two Kentucky Derby preps planned.
Super Saver Todd Pletcher
Maria's Mon—Supercharger, by A.P. Indy
He’s progressing in his training, breezing five furlongs in 1:01 2/5. Pletcher mentioned the March 6 Gotham Stakes as a possible first start back. Look for him to finally show he can be effective rating off the pace.
Rule Todd Pletcher
Roman Ruler—Rockcide, by Personal Flag
Love the efficiency of his stride. He’s gutsy, and has won on Belmont’s sweeping track, fast and sloppy surfaces on Delta Downs’ bullring track, and Tampa Bay Downs’ quirky surface. Needs to step up in class and learn how to rate off the lead.
Eskendereya Todd Pletcher
Giant's Causeway—Aldebaran Light, by Seattle Slew
Drilled five-eighths in 1:00 3/5 for the Fountain of Youth, second-fastest of 34 works at the distance. Unlike his last race, he should take back, as he did in his prior starts, and do what he does best—grind down his opponents.
Caracortado Mike Machowsky
Cat Dreams—Mons Venus, by Maria’s Mon
Here’s another feel-good story in the making. Cal-bred former claimer at Fairplex is now unbeaten in five starts after classy win in Robert B. Lewis. Showed great agility and an excellent turn of foot, and covers a lot of ground.
Jackson Bend Nick Zito
Hear No Evil—Sexy Stockings, by Tabasco Cat
He ran a big race in the Holy Bull, but needs to improve off it going 1 1/8 miles against a deeper, classier bunch in the Fountain of Youth. Zito has him sharp, and we’ll see how far his talent can take him.
Dave in Dixie John Sadler
Dixie Union—Risk, by Wavering Monarch
Been waiting for this colt to debut, and he turned in a big effort finishing a fast-closing second in Lewis. Had to come from last in a strung-out field, swung five-wide, and really kicked into gear the final sixteenth; perfect first start back.
Discreetly Mine Todd Pletcher
Mineshaft—Pretty Discreet, by Private Account
Pletcher could have run him in the Hutcheson, but opted to stretch him out in Risen Star, which is a good sign. His :59 1/5 bullet work three works back was huge, especially for Pletcher. Liked him a lot last year and have a gut feeling he’s sitting on a big one.
Pulsion Patrick Biancone
Include—Spring, by Stravisnky
Making his dirt debut in the Fountain of Youth. If works mean anything, he should relish it and turn in a huge effort. Taking a chance and putting him on the list based on that and his effort in the Norfolk Stakes. He’s been plagued with setbacks throughout his career and this could be his breakout race.
Ron the Greek Tom Amoss
Full Mandate—Flambe, by Fortunate Prospect
His late run from the clouds is not unusual at Fair Grounds, but he can’t expect to win like that with consistency. Yet he was visually impressive, with his long, powerful strides, and won with his ears pricked.
Drosselmeyer Bill Mott
Distorted Humor—Golden Ballet, by Moscow Ballet
Whether he ships to Fair Grounds or stays in Florida, Feb. 20 will be a big day for him as he attempts to step up in class and prove himself Derby material. Will this be the year the Kentucky Derby gods finally smile on Mott?
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