West Point Thoroughbreds’ president Terry Finley said Mr. Fantasy, who finished third in the Gotham Stakes (gr. III), would most likely run in the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I) on April 4 for his next start. The $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) had also been considered for the son of E Dubai.
“We’re about 80 or 90 percent sure he’ll go in the Wood,” Finley said March 21. “This way, he doesn’t have to ship and he’s already run well over the racetrack. Hopefully, he’ll take a step forward from the Gotham.
“The other reason we’re leaning towards the Wood is that he can run first or second there and still probably have enough earnings for the (Kentucky) Derby. He’d have to win the Illinois Derby to get in since it’s for $500,000.”
Finley said Mr. Fantasy came out of the Gotham in good shape. Making just his third career start and first in open company, he dueled with eventual winner I Want Revenge before giving way in the stretch. He was beaten only a head for second by a fast-closing Imperial Council.
“I thought he ran well and the numbers came back good (he earned a 98 Beyer),” Finley said. “We were all a little disappointed that he tired some, but the winner ran a monster race. Sometimes that happens.
“We weren’t sure (about pointing toward the Kentucky Derby) after the Gotham, but we took a step back, took a deep breath and realized he ran pretty well. He’ll have to improve in the Wood, but stranger things have happened. He’s a fast horse and he’s got a chance.”
Mr. Fantasy, who is out of the Spectacular Bid mare Twice Forbidden, was impressive when romping by open lengths in maiden and allowance wins on Aqueduct’s inner track. He had his first work after the Gotham March 21 at Belmont, stopping the clock in :48.05 for four furlongs.