Kentucky Oaks prospects go in the 1 1/16 mile G1 Ashland at Keeneland. Sis City is the morning line choice over Summerly. It's possible those two speedy fillies will hook up and set things up for someone else. Keep an eye on Rusty Arnold’s Letgomyecho, stretching out for the first time after upsetting Maddalena at Gulfstream.
"I really don't think she'll have a problem stretching out," [Arnold] said. "She's bred to go two turns, her running style says two turns, and she's always given me the impression that she wants more ground. I'd be very surprised if she doesn't handle the extra distance Saturday." [Daily Racing Form]Letgomyecho is by Menifee out of an Eastern Echo mare.
- With Ghostzapper sidelined and now pointing to the Met Mile and Rock Hard Ten taking a break, Eddington should be favored in the G2 Oaklawn Handicap. On the same card, Ashado makes her much anticipated return as a 4 yo in the G1 Apple Blossom Handicap. She'll have to be sharp to hold off Dream of Summer, coming off a tough nose loss to Tarlow in the G1 Santa Margarita.
- On the Wood card, Forest Danger meets Medallist and Don Six in the G1 Carter, with Frankel's Mass Media hoping the three of them get into a speed duel. Lost in the Fog is pegged at 1-5 - no show betting - against 6 hopeless overmatched foes in the G3 Bay Shore.
"We have no second thoughts at all," [trainer Greg] Gilchrist said. "We made the decision, and that's our story and we're sticking to it. It's not that he's never going to run a route of ground. But trying for the Kentucky Derby would have meant that the second route race of his career would have been going 1 1/4 miles and carrying 126 pounds." [SFGate.com]
- And there’s the Illinois Derby, a chance for a Derby trip for a couple who disappointed in stakes company in their last (Kansas City Boy and Magna Graduate), and some promising horses making their stakes and/or distance debuts. Greeley’s Galaxy suddenly appeared in Pool 3 this week and to be perfectly honest I didn’t even know who he was. He’s beaten a total of only 8 horses in his two wins and he reminds me a bit of Golden Shine form wise, and that one didn’t fare well in stakes company. Monarch Lane has better credentials than his trainer Pletcher’s Flower Alley did coming into the Lane’s End; having finished third in an allowance behind Sun King and Survivalist. Rikma is a Big A inner track horse who then won on the main track at 9f in a NW1x, and Bill Mott ships him to Illinois.
Unbridled Energy is an interesting one; he’s won 2 of 3 for Elliot Walden and tries stakes and distance for the first time. He’s by Unbridled’s Song, and comes from a nice female family; his third dam is a stakes winning producer of Tartan’s good turf horses Arachnoid and Acaroid. I’m interested to see how Medigating runs; perhaps he could help draw a line on Sun King’s win in the Tampa Bay Derby, as he was one of the horses that gave the winner’s backers a heart attack around the turn.
I think it’s a good race to fool around. Magna Graduate is coming back after only 2 weeks for his 3rd race in 5 weeks in a desperate attempt to make it to Louisville. Kansas City Boy’s last was so disappointing, especially since I had him, that I couldn’t possibly be enthusiastic about his chances, especially from the 9 post. I’ll take a shot with Unbridled Energy, expecting him to be higher than his 6-1 morning line, with Monarch Lane and Magna Gradute in exotics.