Uncle Mo Todd Pletcher
Indian Charlie—Playa Maya, by Arch
Breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 as he progresses toward much-awaited debut. The new one-mile stakes carded at Gulfstream on March 12, same day as Tampa Derby, adds a new twist and is now their first choice. From a historical standpoint, only one horse in the past 30 years -- Big Brown -- has won the Derby off only one two-turn race at 3. But Uncle Mo, like Big Brown, could be a freak. We won’t know for sure now until the Wood.
To Honor and Serve Bill Mott
Bernardini—Pilfer, by Deputy Minister
His Remsen form was boosted by Mucho Macho Man’s victory in the Risen Star. He’ll get a chance to boost that form even further when he debuts in Saturday’s Fountain of Youth. Worked a bullet half in :48 2/5. He’s had some terrific works over the deep Payaon Park surface; he’s ready.
Dialed In Nick Zito
Mineshaft —Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat
Never like uncertainty on the Derby trail, so we’ll just have to bank on
Zito finding a desirable two-turn race before the Florida Derby, which is
imperative. But what and where? Time is running out at Gulfstream. Coincidentally,
the colt hasn’t worked in 11 days. The bottom line is that Zito needs to find
two races for him…somewhere. This is what can happen when you’re playing
catch-up with a lightly raced horse. Keeping him where he is for now.
Mucho Macho Man Kathy Ritvo
Macho Uno—Ponche de Leona, by Ponche
He may not have the greatest 10-furlong pedigree, but the way he gobbles up ground going 1 1/8 miles and 1 1/16 miles, he should have no problem getting the extra furlong. He did everything right in the Risen Star. He runs hard and you had to love his fast closing fractions. Inbreeding to Grey Dawn II will help him stretch out. Here is your Cinderella story.
Stay Thirsty Todd Petcher
Bernardini—Marozia, by Storm Bird
Only two more weeks until he attempts to get out of Uncle Mo’s shadow in the Gotham Stakes. Once again, he worked faster than Mo, with a sharp 1:00 3/5 breeze. The Gotham is a good spot, but then he’ll have to hit the road again, as Mo is slated to run in the Wood Memorial.
Brethren Todd Pletcher
Distorted Humor—Supercharger, by A.P. Indy
With Uncle Mo now running at Gulfstream, WinStar will get their wish and make it back to Tampa for the Tampa Derby over a surface he apparently loves. Visually, you couldn’t have asked for him to handle that track any better. He follows in the footsteps of past WinStar horses Any Given Saturday, Rule, and Super Saver, who have run big at Tampa.
Soldat Kiaran McLaughlin
War Front—Le Relais, by Coronado’s Quest
Moved him past a couple of horses, feeling he is going to be tough in the Fountain of Youth, especially with the way he’s working. He was very sharp breezing a half in :47 3/5 on Saturday. He just may be a lot better than people think.
Jaycito Bob Baffert
Victory Gallop—Night Edition, by Ascot Knight
He continues to train up a storm, working seven furlongs in 1:24 4/5 as a follow-up to his 1:25 2/5 drill on Feb. 15. Baffert has him primed for a huge effort in the San Felipe. We’ll see what gives between him and Astrology. If either wins, they will vault right up near the top.
Astrology Steve Asmussen
A.P. Indy—Quiet Eclipse, by Quiet American
The Kentucky Jockey Club form was boosted by Santiva’s excellent effort in the Risen Star. It’s difficult to maintain your ranking this late without running, and so far he’s not as advanced in his training as Jaycito. He breezed 5 furlongs in 1:03 1/5, but look for his training to pick up in the next two weeks. It would be a surprise if he doesn’t come out running in the San Felipe. At 48-1, this is your potential Future Wager overlay, along with Stay Thirsty at 40-1.
Santiva Eddie Kenneally
Giant’s Causeway—Slide, by Smarten
Other than winning, you couldn’t have asked for a better 3-year-old debut, as he answered most of his critics who felt he was too slow. He still needs to get a bit faster, but his Risen Star effort was a big step in that direction, as he was running on well at the finish. You have to love his consistency; he always runs his race.
Rogue Romance Kenny McPeek
Smarty Jones—Lovington, by Afleet
He is another who needs to keep improving and show a little more turn of foot, which might have helped him break free of traffic a bit quicker in the Risen Star. But all in all this was an excellent effort and he should move forward.
Anthony’s Cross Eoin Harty
Indian Charlie—Screening, by Unbridled
Still not convinced the Robert Lewis was a top prep and didn’t like the slow closing fractions, but decided to add him because he has improved with every race and showed marked improvement with blinkers added. He seems able to use his tactical speed more effectively and showed his mettle under fire. And he has a sharp trainer who has plenty of Derby experience, both as a trainer and as head assistant to Bob Baffert during his Derby glory days.
Toby’s Corner Graham Motion
Bellamy Road —Brandon’s Ride, by Mister Frisky
Hate to have a baker’s dozen two weeks in a row, but there was no reason to drop him, and the feeling is that he’s a very good horse who has a lot of upside and will be tough in the Gotham Stakes. He still has some maturing to do, but keeps on winning and defeated some nice horses in the Whirlaway.
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