Ministers Wild Cat Adds Blinkers Saturday

(from track report)
Rapidly maturing Ministers Wild Cat, a colt who drifted in during the stretch run of his last two races, will wear blinkers for the first time in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), trainer Neil Drysdale said.

"The intention is to keep him focused," the Hall of Fame trainer said. The homebred Kentucky colt by Deputy Minister-Hollywood Wildcat, owned by Irving and Marjorie Cowan, worked seven furlongs with blinkers at Hollywood Park on Friday, going 1:27 1/5.

Ministers Wild Cat drifted in through the stretch in winning the Golden State Mile on Feb. 9. He lugged in through the stretch after going wide on the first turn from his No. 10 post position when he ran second to Ocean Terrace in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) on March 8.

Ministers Wild Cat has two wins and two seconds from four starts with earnings of $112,050.

Saturday's probable favorite, Atswhatimtalknbout, is scheduled to work five furlongs Monday under David Flores, trainer Ron Ellis said. If all's well after the Santa Anita Derby, Ellis plans to ship the $900,000 son of A.P. Indy to Kentucky on April 8 for his engagement in the Run for the Roses on May 3.

"If everything's good afterwards, he's got a flight booked on Tuesday (April 8)," Ellis said Sunday. "We'll get there right away and try to settle in and get him used to the track.

"Most races, I usually ship in three, four days ahead of a race, no matter where we're going to ship to, but in a case like this, where it's the Derby and my horse takes a little while to get used to his surroundings, I want to school him plenty of times, because that's a day that he could get shook up," Ellis said. "We're just going to take him back there and get him used to everything. With shipping, you've either got to go right on top of a race or about a month ahead. You don't want to get in that dead zone of two weeks."

Ellis said that Hollywood movie moguls Steven Spielberg, Gary Ross and Frank Marshall, who bought minority shares in Atswhatimtalknbout from B. Wayne Hughes, could be on hand with their entourage for the Santa Anita Derby.

Craig Dollase has engaged Jose Valdivia Jr. to ride Logician, who was fourth at 86-1 in the San Felipe, beaten two lengths. "He came out of his work (five furlongs at Hollywood Park Saturday in 1:00) real well," the trainer said.

Longshot Iron Lad worked five furlongs Sunday in 1:00 3/5. "He looked really good," said trainer Jim Cassidy, who was still shopping for a rider.

Bob Baffert's three contenders, Domestic Dispute, Indian Express and Kafwain, all are scheduled to work on Monday, assistant trainer Jim Barnes said. Baffert was at Sunland Park Sunday to saddle Apalachian Thunder and Spensive in the WinStar Derby.

Probable for the Santa Anita Derby: Atswhatimtalknbout, David Flores; Buddy Gil, Gary Stevens; Domestic Dispute, Corey Nakatani; Indian Express, Tyler Baze; Iron Lad, no rider; Kafwain, Pat Valenzuela; Logician, Jose Valdivia Jr.; Ministers Wild Cat, Victor Espinoza; and Ocean Terrace, Kent Desormeaux.