Sweetnorthernsaint went to the front and was never threatened as the 10 cents on the dollar favorite in Saturday's $63,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Handicap at muddy Laurel Park.
Trainer Mike Trombetta considered Dubai but has opted to give stable star Sweetnorthernsaint a confidence builder in Saturday's $100,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Handicap at Laurel Park.
Saturday's 80th running of the $100,000-added Derby Trial (gr. III) at Churchill Downs is expected to attract a field of eight to 10 3-year-olds and the race could feature a colt that is considered a major contender for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Water Cannon doused the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopes of Capac when he scored a narrow victory in the $40,000 Miracle Wood Stakes as the heavy favorite tired to fifth.
Capac, strong winner of a Feb. 4 allowance race at Laurel Park, is scheduled to make his stakes debut in the $40,000 Miracle Wood Stakes Feb. 28 at the Maryland racetrack.
Is there any possibility that the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner can come out of the Miracle Wood, Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT), Southwest Stakes, John Battaglia Memorial or Borderland Derby? Not likely, but that doesn't mean there won't be any potential Derby contenders competing this weekend.
Even with the injury to Second of June, it's refreshing to finally have a weekend that held true to form and helped put several pieces of the puzzle together rather than creating more confusion, as has often been the case in recent years.
If someone told you right now, the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner will come out of Sunday's Sham Stakes, you'd obviously run to the windows and put down a bundle on Action This Day. But it might not be wise to rush to any hasty conclusions.
The much talked about Capac made a triumphant 3-year-old debut Wednesday, charging to the lead at the head of the stretch in a seven-furlong allowance race at Laurel, then drawing off to a convincing 3 3/4-length score.
So, Godolphin, which has been intent on winning the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) the past several years, has decided not to nominate a single horse this year. For a stable that focused each year on the first Saturday in May, this is a perplexing turn of events. Or is it?
Just who is Capac? Why was Bob Baffert so determined to buy the son of Deputy Minister off one maiden victory in the slop? Why was Bobby Frankel also interested? Why did Richard Santulli finally buy quarter-interest for a mid-six-figure price? Perhaps we'll find out on Wednesday.
This is the 10th in a series of early looks at next year's potential Derby horses. Several promising colts emerged from maiden races over the past week, while the two weekend stakes produced solid results.
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