Haskin's Road to the Kentucky Derby (Cont.)

Cross that double dose of Ribot with Herbager and Mahmoud on the female side and you can understand Robledo's enticing dosage index of 1.61. And his second dam is by Kentucky Derby and Belmont winner Bold Forbes. Not a bad pedigree for a $1,900 reject. Cerin said the colt came out of the race "super" and is scheduled to run next in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate on Mar. 8.

There were two other races of note this past week. In a 1 1/16-mile Gulfstream allowance race on Friday, the Kenny McPeek-trained Ten Cents a Shine, runner-up in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, turned in an excellent 3-year-old debut, just getting up to dead-heat with the intriguing Senor Swinger. Ten Cents a Shine, a son of Devil His Due, had showed signs of greenness in his previous races, but he ran a much more professional race and kept digging in against a tenacious opponent. Just when it looked as if he might hang, he gave another surge to finish on even terms. Senor Swinger, coming off only a 6 1/2-length maiden win going 1 1/16 miles at Hawthorne, received a lot of support at the windows after working a sharp 6 furlongs at Gulfstream in 1:12 2/5.

Senor Swinger, a son of El Prado, made a strong move on the turn from fifth to take command turning for home. Ten Cents a Shine, racing closer to the pace than in his previous starts, rallied right behind Senor Swinger. With Senor Swinger being hit left-handed by Edgar Prado and Ten Cents a Shine right-handed by Jerry Bailey, the pair battled to the wire, both keeping a straight course, which is what you like to see from a young horse under pressure. It was a gap of 5 1/2 lengths back to Roaring Fever in third. The winners came home their final sixteenth in a solid :06 2/5. Both colts will skip the Fountain of Youth and point for the Florida Derby.

At Turfway Park, Champali made it five of six with a 2 3/4-length victory in the WEBN Stakes. It was the son of Glitterman's second career victory at a mile, having won the Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs last fall. His only defeat came in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes when he finished fifth, beaten 2 3/4 lengths. This is a hard-knocking colt, but there is a question how far he wants to go.

In other news last week, D. Wayne Lukas backed off a little on Scrimshaw after the colt's third-place finish in the Santa Catalina Stakes. The son of Gulch was coming off a hard-fought 6-furlong allowance victory in 1:08 1/5. "He just ran too fast too early," Lukas said. "He got a "1" on the Ragozin Sheets. I wanted to let him put on 35 to 40 pounds, then give him a couple of slow workouts and look for a race, later in February. He looks great and came out of the race in great shape. I just want to put some bottom into him now. He's a sound horse and he has a good mind." Lukas worked Scrimshaw 5 furlongs Sunday in 1:00 2/5.

Lukas also is still high on Ozzie Cat, who was second, beaten a neck, in the Golden Gate Derby. Lukas says the son of Storm Cat reminds him of Cat Thief. He wants to teach him to put horses away and develop a killer instinct. The Fountain of Youth is a possibility. Lukas said Tropical Park Derby winner Nothing to Lose has developed rapidly and he'll probably put him on the dirt. "He has a good kick, and distance will not be a problem," he said.

Lukas also has two 3-year-olds with high-profile pedigrees. Arbitrate, a son of Serena's Song, has not been able to break his maiden in four starts, finishing second, third, and fourth twice, but Lukas said "he's going to be a factor with racing and distance." Flanders' son, Big Country, has run poorly in his two starts, on dirt and grass, but Lukas feels he's still very immature.

Bobby Frankel squares off with Baffert when he sends out his big horse, Empire Maker, for his 3-year-old debut against dual stakes-placed Truckle Feature in Friday's 1 1/8-mile Sham Stakes. Empire Maker has been training brilliantly; in his most recent work, he went 6 furlongs in 1:12 3/5 in company with stablemate Midas Eyes, who should show up in a 7-furlong allowance race in about 10 days. Frankel said Empire Maker will run in the Florida Derby after the Sham, then the Wood Memorial. Truckle Feature drilled 5 furlongs in :59 1/5 on Sunday. Also expected to run is the impressive maiden winner Ten Most Wanted, trained by Wally Dollase. The son of Deputy Commander worked a sharp 7 furlongs in 1:26 at Hollywood Park last week.

Another trainer who has no clue where he's going to run is John Ward, trainer of Sky Mesa. The son of Pulpit had his third breeze Monday morning, going in 1:05 at Palm Beach Downs. "I'm just trying to get him fit right now," Ward Said. "He had a nice easy breeze and I'm tickled to death with him. Don't ask me where he's going to run. When Baffert makes up his mind I'll make up mine. Maybe Bob and I can have a match race and get this prep out of the way."

Futurity and Sanford winner Whywhywhy, prepping for his debut in the Fountain of Youth, drilled a sharp 7 furlongs in 1:25 4/5 Monday at Santa Anita.

Region of Merit, a promising son of Touch Gold who defeated the Todd Pletcher/Michael Tabor colt Aristocat in a 7-furlong allowance race at Gulfstream Park, is back working for Chris Clement, breezing an easy half in :51 at Payson Park.

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