Santa Anita Derby Taking Shape
Date Posted: 3/19/2004 7:14:49 PM

(from Santa Anita notes)
Five 3-year-olds are pointing to the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 3, with three others awaiting developments this weekend before a decision is made.

Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Wimbledon, San Rafael (gr. II) victor Imperialism and Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) hero Lion Heart are headed for the Santa Anita Derby. Quinton's Gold Rush, who beat Wimbledon in a maiden race, and Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Lucky Pulpit are also firm for the West Coast's major sophomore race, which is contested at 1 1/8 miles.

Borrego, Rock Hard Ten and St Averil are on hold, although Beau Greely seemed inclined toward running Louisiana Derby runner-up Borrego in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park on April 10.

"If I had to make a decision today, I'd say he's running in the Arkansas Derby," the trainer said from his Hollywood Park headquarters. "But we'll know more after Saturday's races."

In other Santa Anita Derby developments:

Trainer Don Chatlos said Last Minute Detail, fifth in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), will run next in the $150,000 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) at seven furlongs at Aqueduct on the Wood Memorial undercard April 10. "He won't be running in the Santa Anita Derby," Chatlos said. "I wasn't happy with the trip he got in the San Felipe. We're stepping off (the Triple Crown trail)."

Rafael Beccera said a decision on St Averil would be made shortly. "We took blood yesterday and I haven't gotten the results yet," the trainer said. "We'll know more this weekend. At this point I would say it's 50-50."

Capitano, runner-up in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) on March 13 at Golden Gate Fields, will skip the Santa Anita Derby and opt for a softer spot. "We're going to dodge all the big shots for the time being," trainer Ray Bell said. "We'll try to find some races with decent purses but without facing top quality horses, because I don't think he's in the same class as the Derby horses here. But he's still a nice horse. If we just spot him appropriately then we might have some fun with him."

Likewise, El Camino Real winner Kilgowan is expected to opt for a softer spot.

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