D'Wildcat to Stretch Out in Lone Star Derby

D'Wildcat, a brilliant 10 1/2-length winner of the 7-furlong Swale Stakes in his last start, will stretch out to 1 1/8 miles in the $500,000 Lone Star Derby Apr. 7, trainer Bob Hess told The Blood-Horse Wednesday.

"After his work this morning, we're going to give it a shot," Hess said. "Based on conformation and pedigree, I don't know that he'll run that far, but it's not the toughest Derby in the world. There are nice horses in there, but they're not Point Given, and we definitely want to avoid him. Although 1:39 doesn't seem like a fast time for a mile work here, he went very slow early and closed the last quarter in :23. And he galloped out very strong, which I liked to see.

"It's an easy ship and the money is hard to pass up. In addition, if he should win, it makes him eligible for a $1 million bonus, and it would give (owner) Dave Shimmon and me the option to try the Preakness with him. This colt has a lot of speed, but he did show a new dimension in the Swale, rating behind the leaders, so I'm sure he won't be rank (in the Lone Star Derby.) As I said, he is 15.2 and looks like a sprinter, but he does have the right mental make-up.

The son of Forest Wildcat was purchased by Shimmon, who races under the name Fog City Stable, for $600,000 at the Ocala March 2-year-olds in training sale. In his second career start, he defeated Crafty C.T. in a maiden race on Jan. 8, blazing six-furlongs in 1:08 3/5.

Lone Star officials have only two definite starters lined up at this point -- Louisiana Derby winner Fifty Stars and El Camino Real Derby winner Hoovergetthekeys.