Invisble Ink Ready to Write Name on Derby Trail

Invisible Ink, a son of Thunder Gulch trained by Todd Pletcher, scored his third straight victory, winning a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Gulfstream on Jan. 31. After having to steady on the first turn, Invisible Ink tracked the early pace before wearing down Percy Hope to win by a neck in 1:43 3/5. What's really interesting about this colt, a $105,000 yearling purchase, is that he's inbred 3x3 to Mr. Prospector.

Another allowance winner last week to keep an eye on is Clutch Player, a son of A.P. Indy. Trained by Dallas Stewart, who also has Dollar Bill, Clutch Player captured a mile and 40-yard allowance race in the slop at Fair Grounds by more than 5 lengths on Jan. 29. Now 2-for-6 lifetime, Clutch Player has a good deal of grass breeding on his female side. He'll skip the Risen Star, leaving that race to stablemate Dollar Bill, and point straight for the Louisiana Derby.

Two highly regarded D. Wayne Lukas 3-year-olds had their first works of the year last week. The grade I-placed Scorpion breezed a half in :48 3/5 at Gulfstream, while Duality, winner of the Bashford Manor Stakes, breezed a half in :49 2/5, also at Gulfstream. If Lukas can make up the time he's lost with these colts and they progress from 2 to 3, he could have two serious horses for the Triple Crown. Both have classic pedigrees and are bred to run all day. Duality, who has not run since being injured in the Sapling Stakes, is owned in partnership by Padua Stables and the Phillips Family of Darby Dan fame. Like Monarchos, this Seeking the Gold colt is inundated with classic Darby Dan blood, as indicated by the 28 points in the classic category of his dosage profile. Scorpion, a son of Seattle Slew, looks to be crying out for two turns.

Speaking of pedigrees, some people have wondered if Godolphin's Street Cry, whom we featured last week, is more of a closing sprinter or miler, rather than a true distance horse, considering his high 4.33 DI. To answer that simply, his sire, Machiavellian, is by Mr. Prospector out of a Halo mare. His dam, Helen Street, won the Irish Oaks over the testing Curragh, while Helen Street's sire, Troy, romped in the 1 1/2-mile English Derby, Irish Derby, and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Frank Alexander has not been able to make any plans with Remsen winner Windsor Castle, who came down with a high fever about two weeks ago. Alexander, who said the colt still was not 100 percent as of last week, has been basically walking and grazing him. Luckily, with a solid 2-year-old campaign behind him, especially an impressive victory in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen Stakes, Windsor Castle will not need much before the Derby, which gives Alexander the luxury of not having to rush him back. His new owner, Dogwood Stable, always does what's best for their horses, so when the son of Lord Carson does come back, you can be sure he'll be ready.

A P Valentine is still not being asked for speed, breezing 5 furlongs in 1:02 4/5 at Hialeah Sunday. Bill Mott-trained Mongoose, continues to train well at Payson Park, breezing a half in :51 last week, then 5 furlongs in 1:04 3/5 on Sunday. Iroquois winner Meetyouathebrig went 5 furlongs in 1:02 2/5, also at Payson on Sunday. Global Gait, Bob Baffert's latest acquisition, worked a super 7 furlongs in 1:25 last Thursday and definitely will run next in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. Baffert's big gun Point Given will not be seen until the March 17 San Felipe Stakes. The son of Thunder Gulch worked 5 furlongs last Wednesday in :59 flat. Songandaprayer, who held tough in the Holy Bull in his first start around two turns, turned in a sharp 7-furlong work in 1:24 3/5 at Gulfstream last Tuesday.

Shug McGaughey's two promising 3-year-olds Saint Verre and Pure Prize continue to slowly move in the right direction, training at Palm Beach Downs and Payson Park, respectively. McGaughey, who said he's not in a hurry with either of them, feels Saint Verre has a "chance to be a nice horse," and should be ready to run by the end of the Gulfstream meet. Pure Prize is coming along slower and will not be seen before April at the earliest.

Just Allen will try to prove his victory in the Count Fleet Stakes was no fluke, as he heads Saturday's Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct.

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