Mr. Fantasy, third in the Gotham Stakes (gr. III), will not run in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) as originally planned, and will point for the one-mile Withers Stakes (gr. III) April 25, said Terry Finley, president of West Point Thoroughbreds
Mr. Fantasy, a half-brother to stakes winner Tin Cup Chalice, is owned by West Point, Donald Brooks, and Nick Cammarano. The son of E Dubai won his first two career stakes by a combined margin of 19 lengths against New York-breds before finishing a well-beaten third in the Gotham Stakes after setting the pace.
Finley said the decision was made to abandon the Kentucky Derby trail after trainer Kiaran McLaughlin looked at the colt and felt he’d be better off taking an easier route.
“Kiaran hadn’t seen him in a while and when he looked at him before heading to Dubai he felt he was tucked up ever so slightly, and that was enough for us take him off the Derby trail,” Finley said. “I looked at his pedigree last night and that late May foaling date really jumped out at me. He’s a prime candidate to be ruined if we pushed him to make the Derby.
“I think we’ve learned over the years by running in some bad spots and letting our enthusiasm get the better of us. I’d had have to think we’ve built up our institutional knowledge. Immediately after the Gotham, we planned on pointing for the Withers. We kind of slid back in the Derby picture, but we caught ourselves and decided to circle the Withers again. That will give us several options, including the Big Apple Triple.”