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Friday, April 18, 2008

Last Dance

It's the Last Dance for a last chance at the Derby and it's the Lexington Stakes (G2) from Keeneland on Saturday. After a big day last Saturday, Pletcher sends Atoned back to work to try and capture enough graded earnings to make the Derby cut. Atoned (by Repent out of Amidst) was the second choice to Denis of Cork (also could be on the outside looking in) in the Illinois Derby chart notes. With Prado on board again for Todd, he'll try to win back to back Saturday stakes for the trainer whose horse he jumped off of for the Derby, trading Monba in for Adriano as Dick Powell points out today. We'll see how he handles the poly, but he had a decent work on Sunday over the synthetics. A couple of other interesting quirks to this race include the entry of Salute the Sarge by Eric Guillot (an interesting chap) who goes two turns for the first time. The Sarge earned most of his graded dollars as a two year old, another bone of contention with many with respect to who qualifies to run in the Derby. The Peruvian horse, Tomcito, whose connections appear to be desparately trying to get into the Derby, is also entered. He, too, needs this race badly to qualify, but based on viewing his last race, the Florida Derby, in my humble opinion he seems more likely to be a Preakness or Belmont horse going the extra distance. A couple of horses I am liking at a price in this race are Behindatthebar (and not for the reasons you might be thinking), another Pletcher horse with David Flores up, who has raced fairly consistently over the synthetics and has won at this distance, Big Glen and Riley Tucker. Big Glen won the Rushaway at Turfway Park over Miner's Claim in late March and has faced formidable competition over his career. Riley Tucker, with Johnny V up, placed at Keeneland two weeks ago on an off the turf stakes and also has faced decent competition.

With all that being said, I'm sticking with Pletcher this week and looking elsewhere regarding Tomcito and the Sarge:

1 - Atoned, 2 - Behindatthebar, 3 - Riley Tucker, 4 - Big Glen

Then again, I picked Daisy over Ambre in Rock of Love 2, so what do I know?

Bella Cavello Update: The star of the stable, La Chica Rica, winner at Mountaineer last month with a BSF of 96, will ratchet it back to 4 1/2 furlongs at Charles Town on Saturday in a $33K allowance (Race 8) and will most likely be the post time favorite. A big showing here could push her closer to the $300K lifetime earnings mark.



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