Dance With Fate Awaits Decision on Derby Bid
A decision on whether to send Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) winner Dance With Fate to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will not be made for a week, trainer Peter Eurton said April 13.
A late nominee to the Triple Crown series in late March, Dance With Fate had an easy morning at Barn 22 at Keeneland following his 1 3/4-length victory in the $750,000 Blue Grass the previous day. Eurton was en route to his Southern California base.
Eurton said directly after the Blue Grass that he didn't know if the Derby would be next for the son of Two Step Salsa . Dance With Fate is to return to California as scheduled April 14. Eurton pointed to a quick turnaround to the classic at Churchill Downs May 3 and the dirt surface for the Derby.
The colt entered the Blue Grass, the last edition of the race to be run on Keeneland's Polytrack, off a runner-up finish in the Feb. 15 El Camino Real Derby (gr. II) over the Tapeta track at Golden Gate Fields.
With Saturday's victory, Dance With Fate earned 100 points toward the Kentucky Derby and a spot in the starting gate is his should his connections opt to run. Eurton trains Dance With Fate for Sharon Alesia, Michael Mellen's Bran Jam Stable, and Joseph Ciaglia's Ciaglia Racing.
The Blue Grass was run before Keeneland's second-largest crowd of 39,722, and trainer Wesley Ward was thrilled with the third-place effort of Pablo Del Monte.
"I was very proud of him," Ward said of the pacesetting Pablo Del Monte, who earned 20 qualifying points for the Derby. "I think if the weather was a bit cooler like it is now, his speed may have carried farther.
"We are thinking about the Derby. That's the good thing about the points system. You know exactly where you stand."
Pablo Del Monte is one of six horses with 20 points.
The Derby is limited to the top 20 point earners that pass the entry box. Of the horses under consideration for the Derby, Pablo Del Monte stands 25th.
"We will stay here as long as possible, because he really thrives here," Ward said.
Trainer Justin Nixon said Blue Grass fifth-place finisher Coltimus Prime was fine the day after the race and is headed to Woodbine, where he will be pointed to the Queen's Plate (Can-I).
Martine Pare, assistant to trainer Reade Baker, said Asserting Bear came out of his eighth-place finish in good shape and would remain at Keeneland for a while before heading to the Toronto track, where he also will target the Queen's Plate.
Sixth-place finisher Gala Award and Vinceremos, who finished 14th, came out of the race well, according to Juan Tovar, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. The two colts shipped to Churchill Downs Sunday morning.
Let's Go Stable's Divine Oath, who did not draw in to the Toyota Blue Grass from the also-eligible list, breezed a half-mile in :48 2/5 for Pletcher at Keeneland in preparation for the April 19 Coolmore Lexington (gr. III). Working before 7 a.m., Divine Oath posted splits of :13 1/5 and :25, and out five furlongs in 1:01.
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