Although Saturday's San Rafael Stakes at Santa Anita has drawn several classy colts, there is a major question whether or not the race will produce any Kentucky Derby contenders. Of the top choices in the one-mile race, only Pelirrojo looks like he wants any part of 1 1/4 miles. The other big names, Came Home, Fonz's, and Werblin, all have either pedigree issues or logistics going against them.
U S S Tinosa tracked in third early on before kicking clear in the stretch to win the restricted Sham Stakes by 4 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita Friday.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the betting windows, Bobby Frankel has surfaced with yet another standout. His latest shooter is Labamta Babe, who up and knocked off favored Siphonic in the $150,000 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) on Jan. 19.
Christopher Paasch hopes Cottonwood Cowboy has come of age since his disappointing debut at Del Mar last August. The 45-year-old trainer realizes that the son of Meadowlake will have to be at his best to beat pro tem 3-year-old leader Siphonic in Saturday's $150,000 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.
Before the early (and we stress early) list of classic hopefuls gets too long, we're going to sort out the growing number of promising 2-year-olds and take a crack at where they might fit in the 2002 Kentucky Derby picture. We're sure there will be omissions, but this at least will provide an idea who might be some of the major players next spring. Horses are listed in alphabetical order:
Trainers on both coasts unwrapped some exciting early Christmas presents last week, and all the gifts appear to come with batteries packed with enough charge to last well past next May. This is the time of year when the colts with Derby pedigrees make their appearance, and if you like to see brilliance and a big closing kick to go along with a very low dosage index, then you're going to love Pelirrojo, Charioteer, Axis, and Iwin.
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