Haskin's Derby Report (Cont.)

One horse to definitely keep an eye on is Buddha, a son of Unbridled's Song, who was turned over to Jim Bond by owner Gary West. Stalking a :44 2/5 half, he drew off in a flash, winning by 4 1/4 lengths. His time of 1:23 flat for the 7 furlongs was a full second and two-fifths fast than Quest. The $250,000 yearling purchase is out of a Storm Cat mare, and his maternal great granddam is a half-sister to Damascus. Like Quest, he is well behind, as far as the Derby is concerned, and is going to have to do something very dramatic in his next start to put himself in any kind of position to make it to Louisville.

If you're looking for horses who are just about ready to step into the limelight, remember these names: Sunday Break, Quest Star, Personal Reward, Windward Passage, and Forty Nine Deeds. All are coming off excellent performances, and all have pedigrees that say they will improve the farther they go.


One stable that has sent out several promising 3-year-olds, all with different trainers, is West Point Thoroughbreds/Stables. Risen Star hopeful Bob's Image is trained by Dallas Stewart and is coming off two impressive victories at Fair Grounds. My Man Ryan broke his maiden in style for Richard Violette, stretching out for the first time, then was second in an allowance race to subsequent Whirlaway runner-up Smoked Em. Ethan Man, trained by Pat Byrne, won a recent 6-furlong allowance race at Gulfstream by 6 lengths, earning a 99 Beyer Speed figure. And the New York-bred Sherm, trained by Gary Contessa, demolished state-breds in his career debut, winning by 15 1/2 lengths in a solid 1:11 3/5.

Other news

-- An outsider who could run big first time out in the Risen Star is French Assault. Take a look at the tape of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile. That horse on the outside, who looks so menacing at the head of stretch, is none other than French Assault, who would only be beaten 5 1/4 lengths at 61-1. He previously was second to Repent in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile, and subsequently had no shot to catch Jeremiah Jack in the Sam Houston Texan Juvenile, in which he made a huge move from the back of the back to finish second over a speed-favoring track.

-- An excellent work at Gulfstream has put Tropical Park Derby winner Political Attack in the Fountain of Youth Stakes.

-- Mountain Rage, a dual stakes winner on the grass for Bob Baffert, turned in a sharp 7-furlong work in 1:24 1/5. Look for him to take another crack at the dirt, despite a poor effort in Hollywood Futurity. His sire Mecke could handle both surfaces in top-class company.

-- Although Fisher Station looked impressive winning a two-turn allowance at Oaklawn Park, his trainer Jim Baker is being realistic, saying the colt still has a long way to go to indicate he might be classic material.

-- Clergy, undefeated in two sprints for Frank Brothers, turned in a solid 5-furlong breeze in 1:01 1/5 at Fair Grounds; pointing for Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn.

-- Hopeful runner-up Mayakovsky is up to five furlongs in his works, breezing in 1:01 1/5 at Santa Anita. The San Felipe is still a possibility.