Nine stakes winners were entered Wednesday for Saturday's $500,000 Lone Star Derby (gr. III), including Rebel Stakes (gr. III) winner Windward Passage.
Team Valor's Steve Asmussen trainee Windward Passage (Captain Bodgit--Storm Runner, by Miswaki) was excluded from the Kentucky Derby due to the surprise entry of Danthebluegrassman. His late kick should be set up well by the frontrunners entered for Saturday's 1 1/8-mile race. Asmussen also entered Riley Allison Derby winner Forty Nine Deeds, a son of Alydeed out of a Mr. Prospector mare.
"It's a very competitive group of horses and I feel very good about our chances," Asmussen said. "The main thing is you have a lot of horses coming out of very different races. How their form matches up? We won't know until Saturday."
Track oddsmaker Rick Lee made Federico Tesio Stakes winner Smoked Em the 7-2 morning-line favorite, but agrees with Asmussen that the race should be competitive.
"This is a very wide open race," Lee said. "It's tough to separate them. It should make for a great betting race."
Smoked Em's trainer Todd Pletcher seems to expect a solid performance from his colt, a son of Smoke Glacken. "The horse is training great," Pletcher said. "This race fits well on his calendar and the purse is very attractive as well."
The field for the Lone Star Derby will consist of:
1 -- Forty Nine Deeds, Glen Murphy, 10-1
2 -- Dusty Spike, Donald Pettinger, 12-1
3 -- Peekskill, Corey Lanerie, 12-1
4 -- Windward Passage, Donnie Meche, 9-2
5 -- Smoked Em, Chris McCarron, 7-2
6 -- Jeremiah Jack, Gerard Melancon, 20-1
7 -- Cappuchino, Rene Douglas, 8-1
8 -- Holdthehelm, Kent Desormeaux, 12-1
9 -- Bay Monster, Anthony Lovato, 15-1
10 -- Premeditation, Casey Lambert, 20-1
11 -- Screen Idol, Ronald Ardoin, 12-1
12 -- Padlock, Curt Bourque, 30-1
13 -- Tracemark, Alex Solis, 5-1
14 -- Wiseman's Ferry, Jorge Chavez, 10-1