Haskin's Derby Report--2/25/2002 (Cont.)

Other 3-year-old races

-- You might want to start paying attention to Bunk N Ted, who made it three-for-three in his career with a very impressive victory in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. Following an awkward start, he got himself into a ton of trouble, steadying behind horses, then getting trapped in a box for more than a quarter mile. When he finally found racing room, he angled to the outside and exploded by horses to win going away by 2 1/4 lengths, defeating Tails of the Crypt, winner of the Display Stakes at Woodbine last fall.

Bunk N Ted, trained by Ken Wirth, had previously won a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Tampa Bay by 12 lengths. In his career debut at Churchill Downs last November, he turned in a big stretch run to win by a neck in 1:22 3/5 for the seven furlongs.

His broodmare sire, Synastry, is a son of Seattle Slew, out of the Nashua mare Municipal Bond, and his second dam is by Prince John. Although Synastry is a three-quarter brother to sprinter Mr. Nickerson, Bunk N Ted's dam, Littlemountaingirl, is a half-sister to Palace Music, the sire of Cigar. His female family also has produced French Derby winner Hernando and Prix Lupin winner Johann Quatz. Who knows in racing? Maybe we have a great Cinderella story brewing here.

-- Tony Dutrow, who is pointing Saratoga Blues for the Gotham Stakes, may have another star in the making in Smooth Jazz, who is now undefeated in both his career starts following his impressive victory in the 6-furlong Best Turn Stakes at Aqueduct Saturday. He could also show up in the Gotham, but more likely will run in the 7-furlong Bay Shore Stakes the same day. Inbred to Graustark and three times to Princequillo, he sports a low 1.48 dosage index.

-- In the "last desperate try to get on the Derby trail" department, there were a pair of impressive maiden winners at Gulfstream Saturday. Elliott Walden's $950,000 yearling, Mr. Mellon, dominated his field going 1 1/16 miles, winning by 4 lengths in his third career start. This son of Red Ransom has a ton of pedigree, and his second dam, Glowing Tribute, is one of the great producers of her time, and from one of the greatest female families in modern breeding. Among her noted offspring is Kentucky Derby winner Sea Hero. The other big maiden winner on Saturday was Final Decision, who ran his 7 furlongs in a brilliant 1:22 3/5, winning by 2 1/2 lengths. The son of Gulch is trained by Christophe Clement.