Bayou Raider Timo Tops Tropical Park Derby Field

(from Calder report)
C.K. Woods Stable's homebred Timo invades Calder from New Orleans for the second time at the meet as the horse to beat in a full field of young prospects on their third birthday in the $100,000 Tropical Park Derby (gr. III) Thursday.

Based at Fair Grounds for the winter with trainer Bill Badgett, Timo shipped to Calder in late November to capture the $100,000 Mecke Stakes under jockey Eibar Coa, who gets the return call in the 1 1/8mile turf test on New Year's Day.

The Tropical Park Derby shares top billing on the holiday card with the $100,000 Tropical Oaks, the companion event for fillies to be run at 1 1/16 miles on grass. An overflow field of 16 was entered in the Oaks with Sanford Goldfarb's Bobbie Use among the likely choices. Only 12 will start.

Timo rallied from 11th of 12 after a half-mile in the Mecke to get up in time by a half-length as the favorite. The roan/gray son of El Prado won the Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont Park in his previous start and should be the solid choice on Thursday while carrying top weight of 122 pounds.

Richard Torrone's Imperialism and David Garner's Cool Conductor finished second and third, respectively, in the Mecke and both are back in for another try with jockeys John R. Velazquez and Rene Douglas named to ride.

Imperialism, by Langfuhr, closed with a rush in the Mecke, beaten only a half-length. Trained by Angel Salinas, he has improved significantly since moving on from main track sprints for a claiming price early in the summer to do well over a distance on turf or dirt.

Cool Conductor, a Stravinsky colt trained by Bill Mott, held a one-length lead at the furlong pole in the Mecke before giving way grudgingly to finish third, beaten by only 1 ΒΌ lengths. The $100,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase finished fourth to Timo in the Pilgrim in his previous start.

A fresh challenger to this group with excellent turf stakes is Courtlandt Farm's Commendation, to be ridden by Cornelio Velasquez. Trained by Graham Motion, the Capote colt finished fourth last out on the main track in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) behind The Cliff's Edge.

However, Commendation had won three of his four previous starts on turf, including the Bourbon County Stakes at Keeneland. In his lone defeat on grass the $315,000 Saratoga yearling purchase finished third in the Summer Stakes (gr. IIT) at Woodbine, but was placed 10th by the stewards.

Jockey Jerry Bailey began his record-breaking 2003 season with a victory aboard Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Nothing to Lose in the Tropical Derby last New Year's Day and will try to get off to a fast start in 2004 in similar fashion.

Bailey, who hasn't ridden since Grand Slam I at Calder on Dec. 13, will be atop the Ramseys' promising El Prado colt Kitten's Joy, who has won his only two starts on turf at Belmont and Keeneland for trainer Dale Romans.

In the Oaks, trainer Richard Dutrow, Jr. sends out Bobbie Use as one of the favorites in her South Florida debut with jockey Eibar Coa getting the call. The New York-bred daughter of Not For Love won her first try on turf at Belmont and came back to finish second by a head in the Miss Grillo Stakes over that course.

Starview Stable's Pink Champagne has won her two career starts, both on turf, and looks like a solid contender under Joe Bravo. Trained by John Kimmel, the daughter of Awesome Again won her debut at Belmont and the Natalma Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Woodbine on Sept. 6 in her only other start.

Trainer Mott sends out Live Oak Plantation's Cold Wynnter with Jerry Bailey. Mott will be saddling the Northern Afleet filly for the first time after she was purchased privately. She won her last two starts at Calder for trainer Marty Wolfson, including her turf debut.

$100,000 Tropical Park Derby (gr. IIIT, 12:53 p.m. EST), 3-year-olds, 1 1/8 mile on turf
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Broadway View (KY), 112, Eddie Castro
2. Potomac Chase (KY), 115, Horacio Karamanos
3. Wasabi Cat (KY), 112, Brice Blanc
4. Global Arena (FL), 112, Leoncio Matutes
5. Soverign Honor (FL), 117, Manoel R. Cruz
6. Milestone Victory (KY), 112, Michael J. Luzzi
7. Timo (KY), 122, Eibar Coa
8. Cool Conductor (KY), 112, Rene R. Douglas
9. Imperialism (KY), 115, John R. Velazquez
10. Kitten's Joy (KY), 119, Jerry D. Bailey
11. Up Anchor (KY), 117, Corey J. Lanerie
12. Commendation (KY), 119, Cornelio H. Velasquez

$100,000 Tropical Park Oaks (11:35 a.m EST), 3-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 mile on turf
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. America America (KY), 118, Cornelio H. Velasquez
2. Runaway Rizzi (FL), 111, Manuel Aguilar
3. Faswiga (FL), 118, Jorge F. Chavez
4. Last Waltz (KY), 116, John R. Velazquez
5. Live Wire Lucy (FL), 111, Cecilio Penalba
6. Really American (KY), 114, Jose A. Velez, Jr.
7. Coquinerie (KY), 116, Jose A. Santos
8. Bobbie Use (NY), 111, Eibar Coa
9. Wild for Jeanne (KY), 114, Julio A. Garcia
10. Cold Wynnter (FL), 116, Jerry D. Bailey
11. Wekiva Mist (FL), 111, Brice Blanc
12. Pink Champagne (KY), 118, Joe Bravo
AE Bridal Path (KY), 111, Cornelio H. Velasquez
AE My Amandari (KY), 111, Jerry D. Bailey
AE Honey Ryder (KY), 111, John R. Velazquez
AE Lucifer's Stone (KY), 111, Michael J. Luzzi