At seven furlongs, the $250,000 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) is not normally a steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). This year, however, it might be for at least one 3-year-old.
Leading a field of eight in the April 7 Bay Shore is Shivananda Parbhoo’s Trinniberg, a six-length winner of the Swale Stakes (gr. III) last out at Gulfstream Park and twice graded stakes-placed as a juvenile. Even though he has never gone two turns, the connections said the son of Teuflesberg would be considered for the Derby if he ran well enough on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
“It all depends on this race,” Parbhoo said. “If he were to win it easily, there’s a good chance we’d talk about the Derby.”
Trained by Bisnath Parboo, Trinniberg will break from the rail under Willie Martinez and was pegged as the 9-5 morning-line favorite. Other top contenders are Hardened Wildcat (2-1) from the barn of Chad Brown and How Do I Win (5-1) for Todd Pletcher. One of four graded stakes on the Aqueduct card, the Bay Shore has a probable post time of 4:38 p.m. EDT.
Trinniberg won only once in five starts in 2011, but finished runner-up in both the Hopeful (gr. I) and Nashua (gr. II). In all of those starts he wore blinkers, but they came off for the Swale and the result was a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 99.
“We knew we needed to take the blinkers off,” said Parbhoo. “We actually knew it at Churchill when he was training for the Breeders’ Cup (seventh in the Juvenile Sprint), but we didn’t want to do it over there. After the Breeders’ Cup, we gave him some time off on the farm, and he’s like a totally different horse now; more relaxed, easy, not headstrong.”
Currently, Trinniberg has $174,500 in graded earnings, good for 24th on the Derby graded earnings list. If the Derby is not in the cards, Parbhoo said the May 19 Preakness (gr. I) could be a likely next spot.
Trinniberg’s front-running style may benefit New Farm’s Hardened Wildcat, who made a wide run from last to win the six-furlong Fred “Cappy” Capossela March 10 at Aqueduct.
In the Bay Shore, Hardened Wildcat looks for his third consecutive victory as he stretches beyond six furlongs for the first time. A second-out maiden winner over Aqueduct’s inner track on Jan. 14, the gelded son of Hard Spun got up just in time to take a first-level optional claimer on Feb. 10 and was an easy 1 3/4-length winner of the Capossela.
“I think the extra furlong should help him, and the horse is training great right now,” said trainer Brown. “I was really impressed with his last race. When they turned for home, he was pretty far back, and I was very impressed with the run he put in down the lane.”
Junior Alvarado will be back aboard Hardened Wildcat, who will break from post 6.
Another exiting the Capossela is Mike Repole’s How Do I Win, who was shortened up for his most recent race after a pair of fourth-place stakes finishes against Alpha around two turns at Aqueduct in the Count Fleet and the Withers. A 17 1/2-length maiden winner for a $50,000 claiming tag in the slop at Belmont last fall, How Do I Win returned a month later to post a three-length starter allowance tally on the Aqueduct main track.
“He’s been running decent races and trying hard,” said Pletcher. “I think shorter is better for him, and seven-eighths might be just right.”
John Velazquez, aboard for How Do I Win’s two victories, regains the mount.
King and Crusader won the six-furlong Jimmy Winkfield Stakes at Aqueduct on Jan. 16, three days after he took a one-mile optional claimer by two lengths.
Joseph Sutton’s Maan was undefeated in two starts heading into the Gotham, his first race beyond 6 1/2 furlongs.
$250,000 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III, Race 8, 4:38 p.m.), 3YO, 7 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Trinniberg (KY), W Martinez, 120, B Parboo
2. Perfect Trippi (FL), C S Nakatani, 116, D L Romans
3. Copy My Swagger (KY), D Cohen, 116, D Jacobson
4. Phil Dancer (PA), C H Velasquez, 120, R E Reid Jr.
5. King and Crusader (MD), M J Luzzi, 120, R E Dutrow Jr.
6. Hardened Wildcat (KY), J Alvarado, 120, C C Brown
7. Maan (KY), J Castellano, 116, E Kenneally
8. How Do I Win (KY), J R Velazquez, 116, T A Pletcher