Storm Surge Tops Field of 12 in Walmac

Storm Surge heads a field of 12 3-year-olds slated for Saturday's Walmac Lone Star Derby (gr. III) at Lone Star Park. Dallas Stewart conditions the Overbrook Farm homebred who won the Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) by a neck at Fair Grounds in his first start this year. The $300,000 Walmac will be contested at nine furlongs.

The Kentucky-bred son of Storm Cat has placed third in three graded stakes since the Lecomte, including the Risen Star (gr. III), Louisiana Derby (gr. II) and most recently the Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) at Keeneland April 23.

Looking for his second win this year, Storm Surge will break from post seven with Robby Albarado in the saddle. Storm Surge has won five of 11 lifetime starts and earned $367,770.

Storm Surge will face competition from Elisabeth Alexander's Magna Graduate, trained by Patrick Byrne. Bred in Kentucky by Nicole Zitani and Ramon Rangel, Magna Graduate won the March 5 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes by 3 3/4 lengths over Pavo. A son of Honor Grades , Magna Graduate finished third in his previous start in the Illinois Derby (gr. II) at Hawthorne April 9 going nine furlongs.

Jockey Gary Stevens has the mount for the first time aboard Magna Graduate. The pair will break from the outside.

The winner of the April 2 WinStar Derby at Sunland Park, Thor's Echo, and runner-up, Southern Africa, will face off again in Saturday's race. Thor's Echo, trained by Doug O'Neill took Michael Puhich-trainee Southern Africa by one length in the WinStar. Since that nine-furlong event, Thor's Echo finished fourth in the April 24 Snow Chief at Hollywood Park. The California-bred son of Swiss Yodeler will break from post four under jockey Felipe Martinez.

Southern Africa will be making his first start since his WinStar defeat. The Cape Town colt will break from post eight with jockey Jon Court.

Walmac Lone Star Derby (gr. III), $300,000, Lone Star Park, May 14, Estimated local post time: 5:19 p.m., 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/16 miles

Post –Horse, Jockey,
1 – Munificence, Jamie Theriot
2 -- Real Dandy, Roman Chapa
3 – Shamoan, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
4 -- Thor's Echo, Felipe F. Martinez
5 -- Barometer Rising, Quincy Hamilton
6 -- General Charley, Ted Gondron
7 -- Storm Surge, Robby Albarado
8 -- Southern Africa, Jon Court
9 -- Awesome Twist, Javier Castellano
10 --Yes He's a Pistol, Danny Sorenson
11 -- Forever Wild, Murphy
12 -- Magna Graduate, Gary Stevens