The Tropical Park Derby is a 1 1/8-mile test for 3-year-olds on the turf. In addition to the field of 12, there are four also-eligible entries.
Trained by David Brownlee, Wise Answer, by Wised Up, has made seven starts in his career, winning four times. All of the starts have been at Calder, making him the top 2-year-old there, but each one was on the main track. Prior to his latest effort, a third-place finish in the Nov. 10 Jack Price Juvenile Stakes, Wise Answer reeled off three consecutive stakes scores – all in convincing fashion.
Out of Colony Light mare All the Answers, Wise Answer won the Florida Stallion Affirmed Stakes, Foolish Pleasure Stakes and the Oct. 13 Florida Stallion In Reality Stakes, the last one coming by 10 lengths in a 1 1/16-mile event.
The Tropical Park Derby will be a whole new test for Wise Answer, however, as he will have to face a field that is not restricted to Florida-breds and try grass for the first time.
Carrying a race-high 122 pounds, Wise Answer will have Eibar Coa aboard and break from post three.
Stiff competition could come from a pair of Todd Pletcher-trained colts, Why Tonto and Cowboy Cal, both bred in Kentucky.
A son of Indian Charlie, Why Tonto is experienced over turf, having made his last four starts on the surface. He racked up a pair of wins at Meadowlands in September and most recently, was second in the Nov. 24 Grand Canyon Stakes at Churchill Downs.
Why Tonto, owned by Starlight Stable, Paul Saylor and Donald Lucarelli, was a $160,000 Keeneland 2006 September yearling sale purchase. He will leave from post two with Edgar Prado aboard.
Stonerside Stable’s homebred Cowboy Cal is a lightly-raced, but talented son of Giant's Causeway . After making a poor debut on Saratoga’a main track in August, Pletcher switched the colt to turf, where he has won his last two handily. Cowboy Cal broke his maiden at Belmont by 4 ¼ lengths and then came back Nov. 24 and won the 1 1/16-mile Laurel Futurity by 6 ¼ lengths under Prado.
This time, John Velazquez will ride and break from post five.
Another horse to watch for is Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s New York homebred Cannonball, who has won two of five starts. Trained by Wesley Ward, Cannonball was third in his most recent start, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Oct. 26 at Monmouth Park, which had a yielding turf that day. The son of Catienuswas right there the whole time before giving way in the final drive.
Cannonball will have the seasoned Elvis Trujillo aboard and the inside post.
The Ramsey's won this event in 2004 with future Eclipse champion Kitten's Joy. Barbaro won it in 2006 on the way to his Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum Brands (gr. I) triumph.
$100,000 Tropical Park Derby (gr. IIIT, Race 7, 3:03 p.m.), Three-Year-Olds, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Cannonball (NY), 119, Elvis Trujillo
2. Why Tonto (KY), 117, Edgar S. Prado
3. Wise Answer (FL), 122, Eibar Coa
4. Celestial Comet (KY), 117, Kent J. Desormeaux
5. Cowboy Cal (KY), 119, John R. Velazquez
6. Titan of Industry (KY), 117, Javier Castellano
7. Joey the Scholar (FL), 117, Julio A. Garcia
8. Heaven's Awesome (FL), 115, Ariel Smith
9. Kim's Dixie Tune (FL), 115, Eddie Castro
10. Moral Compass (KY), 117, Cornelio H. Velasquez
11. Dynhocracy (FL), 119, Manoel R. Cruz
12. Pir At the Moon (KY), 117, Jeffrey Sanchez
AE Fire Lookout (KY), 115, Rene R. Douglas
AE El Profeta (FL), 115, Jorge F. Chavez
AE Concertos Song (FL), 115, Constantino Hernandez
AE Horse Doctor (KY), 115, Calvin H. Borel