- Wilko is one of my favorite whipping boys, but man, he gave me a scare in the World Cup Saturday morning just after I mocked his U.S. odds of 8-1.…he was 33-1 in the UK. According to the race comments at the Racing Post site, “he led briefly 1f out.” Jeremy Noseda, who handled the training duties for Wilko there, writes on his website of the colt’s future plans as he looks for his first win since the ’04 Juvenile: “In the future, we are hoping to prepare him for a tilt at the Metropolitan at Belmont Park at the end of May or the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs in mid-June.”
As for World Cup champ Electrocutionist (Red Ransom), who earned a Timeform rating of 127 (thanks Walter) for his win, he’ll be heading back to the turf. In the opinionated piece from the UK’s Independent Online that I linked to in the Discreet Cat post, there was a note that: [Electrocutionist] was off the bridle almost throughout on Saturday, and only his generosity and class got him home.
In any event, the Racing Post reports that not only will he indeed return to the grass for his next effort, he may very well face the impressive Duty Free winner David Junior in the Royal Ascot. [Free registration is required for this very worthwhile site.] Whatsmore, the connections of both horses named the Breeders Cup Classic as their ultimate goal.
- The increasingly bizarre tale of Ernie Paragallo took another turn this past weekend when all of his horses were scratched from both weekend cards at Aqueduct. The Form reported that new trainer Frank Amonte Jr. failed a drug test, testing positive for Vicodin, a legal painkiller that he did not have a prescription for; he will serve a 15 day suspension.
- You may think that the Lane’s End is a throwout as far as a Derby prep goes, but that’s not the case for the connections of 48-1 winner With A City (City Zip). "The Kentucky Derby has been the plan all along," said trainer Michael Maker. Owner Ron Peltz started to follow this horse after seeing his half-brother The Daddy win at Saratoga (he went on to take the Super Derby). And although he watched him race for $40,000 claiming tags at Calder, it wasn’t until after he saw him win a turf allowance that he ponied up $150,000 to buy him privately. His first race for the new connections was a last place finish in the Battaglia, but Maker was undaunted.
"His race in the Battaglia showed that he needed blinkers….He was wandering and climbing. He also bled pretty badly (because of a lung infection), so we just took him back to the barn and started training towards this race." [Cincinnati Post]So never mind his final time of 1:51.11, nor his lifetime high non-Polytrack dirt Beyer of 63. With A City is on the Derby trail. Perhaps Maker got his case of Derby Fever during his stint as an assistant to Wayne Lukas.
And speaking of Lukas, he’s got nothing this year! Not even a Going Wild-type that we can make fun of!
- Walter also reports that Discreet Cat earned a Timeform rating of 119+. Using that rule of thumb of subtracting 12-14 points to approximate a Beyer fig, that makes him more than competitive with the U.S.-based Derby contenders, including favorite Brother Derek, who worked a bullet six furlongs in 1:11 at Santa Anita on Sunday. Brother Derek's split times were :12 1/5, :23 4/5 and :35 2/5, and his gallop out time was 1:24 1/5, according to Santa Anita clocker Gary Nelson. [Bloodhorse]
- Point of Impact worked five furlongs (on the dirt) in 1:00.40 (5/42).