Oak Tree Derby: 8 Vie for Graded Stakes Win

Oak Tree Derby: 8 Vie for Graded Stakes Win
Photo: Benoitphoto.com
Make Music for Me won his only prior start on grass, the one-mile Pasadena Stakes at Santa Anita March 6.

A modest group of eight 3-year-olds attempt to break through for a first graded stakes victory in the $150,000 Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT) on the Hollywood Park turf course Oct. 16.

The 1 1/8-mile Oak Tree Derby is the eighth race on the Hollywood program with a 4:30 p.m. PDT post.

Make Music for Me  , who earned national attention with a good closing fourth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), makes his first appearance for trainer Alexis Barba since finishing 10th in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in June. Ellen and Peter O. Johnson Sr.'s son of Bernstein won his only prior start on grass, the one-mile Pasadena Stakes at Santa Anita March 6.

That one-length victory over Macias remains Make Music for Me’s lone win in 10 starts, but he has hit the board on three occasions in graded stakes. He has earned $362,260 to lead the field.

Kid Edward can make Jim Cassidy the first trainer since the Oak Tree Derby was inaugurated as the Volante Handicap in 1969 (it was changed in 1997) to win back-to-back renewals. Cassidy won the race last year with The Usual Q. T. and certainly has another good opportunity with Kid Edward, who ran second with a big late kick to course record-breaking Sidney's Candy   in the 1 1/16-mile La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar in August.

Owned by the Gould Family Trust, the Irish-bred son of Singspiel did not improve on that effort when fifth in the Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) Sept. 5. The chestnut colt has won two of five, all on grass. David Flores, who took the Oak Tree Derby two years ago aboard Muny, retains the mount.

Three others come out of the Del Mar Derby, a race won easily by Twirling Candy   -- Jairzihno (second), Royal F J (third), and Fantastic Pick (fourth).

Newcomer Blue Panis is a three-time winner in his native France making his United States debut for owner G. Normand Augustin and trainer Fabrice Chappel.

A son of Panis, Blue Panis has earned $174,666 in 14 starts. This will be his initial try beyond a mile. Joe Talamo gets the riding assignment.

The only two members of the field coming off a win are Haimish Hy and Sebastian Flyte.

Trained by Art Sherman for a partnership that includes Zvika Akin and Richard Franco, Haimish Hy has won both of his starts on grass, but his last win came over the Polytrack at Del Mar. Dismissed at 31-1 in the El Cajon Stakes Sept. 3, Haimish Hy got up at the wire by a neck in the one-mile event after trailing the field for half of the race.

Overall, the son of Ecton Park has won four of eight, banking $134,980.

English-bred Sebastian Flyte won at 2-1 in his first try in this country against optional claimers Sept. 4 at Del Mar. Owned by Triple B Farms and trained by Ben Cecil, Sebastian Flyte had a maiden win in eight starts in Great Britain and Ireland.

$150,000 Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT, Race 8, 4:30 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Haimish Hy (KY), A Quinonez, 120, A Sherman
2. Sebastian Flyte (GB), M Garcia, 118, B D Cecil
3. Kid Edward (IRE), D R Flores, 118, J M Cassidy
4. Jairzihno (GB), P A Valenzuela, 118, S Callaghan
5. Fantastic Pick (GB), C S Nakatani, 118. J Lloyd
6. Blue Panis (FR), J Talamo, 118, F Chappet
7. Royal F J (KY), R Bejarano, 118, J Carava
8. Make Music for Me (KY), B Blanc, 118, A Barba
 

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