Easyfromthegitgo Bound for Lexington Stakes; 11 Entered for Northern Spur
Updated: Saturday, April 6, 2002 5:30 PM
Posted: Saturday, April 6, 2002 5:30 PM
Trainer Steve Asmussen said Easyfromthegitgo will have his final Kentucky Derby prep in the April 20 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland. The son of Dehere had also been under consideration for the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland on April 6.
Also pointing for the 1 1/16-mile Lexington Stakes is West Point Thoroughbred's Swale Stakes (gr. III) winner Ethan Man, who worked five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 at Churchill Downs Saturday for trainer Pat Byrne.
"He's working good," said Byrne of the work. "He's a fast horse and I'm not looking for any speed. He did it nicely in-hand."
Byrne may use the Lexington as a springboard to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), but it depends on the son of Glitterman's performance in the race.
"Even though we're playing catch-up in regards to distance for the Derby, fitness-wise we're right there," said Byrne. "Education-wise, we'll get that in the Lexington. Whether we'll go a mile and a quarter, we won't actually know. First of all, we have to win the Lexington. If we get beat in the Lexington, we're definitely not going to the Derby."
Meanwhile, 11 3-year-olds entered Wednesday's Northern Spur Stakes at Oaklawn Park, and the ever-changing list of horses probable for the April 13 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) is currently down to 10.
Trainer Beau Greely decided not to rush into stakes company with recent maiden winner Like A Hero, so they will skip the Arkansas Derby.
"This is a really good colt, but he just doesn't have the seasoning for such a race," Greely said. "Instead, we'll keep him here, and go through his conditions."
Greely would have also needed to find a new rider for the son of Pleasant Colony out of the Silver Hawk mare Like a Hawk as Laffit Pincay Jr. will be at Aqueduct that day to ride Medaglia d'Oro in the Wood Memorial.
Anthony Lovato will ride Bay Monster in the Arkansas Derby. Bay Monster worked six furlongs at Oaklawn Park Friday, getting the distance in 1:12 3/5 under Lovato. The pair galloped out seven furlongs in 1:26 1/5.
"Bay Monster did it easily, and came back fine," said Wren. "I've got my Derby horse, and I've got my Derby rider."
With the field down to 10, only Wild Horses is currently without a rider.
"I've narrowed the field down to Javier Castellano, Rene Douglas and Eddie Martin Jr.," said trainer Todd Pletcher, who has saddled the last two Arkansas Derby winners. "I should have a decision by Monday."
Rushaway Stakes winner Mr. Mellon worked in company Saturday at Churchill ahead of the Arkansas Derby, breezing five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 for trainer Elliott Walden.
"He had one work between the races (the Rushaway and the Arkansas Derby) and I wanted to try to reduce the risk of it being not exactly what I wanted," Walden said. "I wanted him to get a little something out of it, so I wanted to give him a target. He's usually a good work horse."
Larry Melancon has the mount for the Arkansas Derby.
Currently pointing for the Derby are: Private Emblem, Windward Passage, Mr. Mellon, Holdthehelm, Wild Horses, Bay Monster, Dusty Spike, Dial A Hero, Gold Dollar, and It'sallinthechase.
The field for the Northern Spur, in post position order, will consist of: Canyon de Oro, Justin Vitek; Cojet, Joe Johnson; Guppie's Secret, Calvin Borel; Pie's Lil Brother, Rod Trader; Missme, David Nuesch; Cope With an Image, Larry Melancon; Screen Idol, Anthony Lovato; Interminable Gold, Luis Quinonez; Faxamillion, Tim Doocy; Thunderpumper, James Lopez; Campaigner, Cindy Noll.
Another 3-year-old in action Saturday was Lane's End Spiral Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Azillion, who breezed five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 ahead of the Blue Grass Stakes.
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