Lion Heart on Southern Cal Route to Derby

(from Santa Anita notes)
Undefeated Lion Heart, a future book favorite for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), will take the Southern California route to the Run for the Roses on May 1, trainer Patrick Biancone said.

Lion Heart has won all three of his starts, including the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 20.

"He came out of that race good and we'll give him a bit of a holiday and get him ready for the (April 3) Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and the Kentucky Derby," Biancone said. "He would run one time before the Santa Anita Derby, probably in the San Rafael (gr. II at one mile on March 6)."

Asked if he felt Lion Heart merited an Eclipse Award as top 2-year-old colt despite missing the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), Biancone said, "I'm not a voter but I hope they believe that. I think he's done enough. In three months he's won at six and seven (furlongs) and (at) a mile and 1 1/16. What can you do more? When he won at seven furlongs he set a stakes record. He's fast and he's got stamina and that's normally what people look for. I have no concern that he'll get a distance. He's a smart horse. He does everything perfect."