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Friday, May 13, 2005

Lone Star Derby

- The Lone Star Derby is tomorrow, and it looks like a lively betting affair that I'll have to spend some time on. There are some familiar names of horses that fell by the Derby wayside, specifically Real Dandy, Storm Surge, and Magna Graduate. Storm Surge had enough earnings for the Derby, and you’d think maybe his trainer Dallas Stewart was having some second thoughts after the surprising result. However, he felt the colt, a son of Storm Cat, was not yet ready for 1 1/4-mile distance of the race. The trainer then zeroed in on the Lone Star Derby.

"He's won over this racetrack, it's $300,000, and it's a graded race," said Stewart. [Daily Racing Form] He was last seen running 3rd, 7 lengths behind Coin Silver in the Lexington. Real Dandy comes off a decent 4th in the Arkansas Derby in which he earned a lifetime best Beyer of 93, which is the best 2-turn fig in the race other than General Charley, a Texas-bred coming off a stakes win against his own kind.

When he won the recent Stymie division of the Texas Stallion Stakes, General Charley ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.76, about six lengths slower than Dixie Dot Com's track record of 1:40.53. Even more impressive than the final time, however, was the one-mile split of 1:35.26, which was eight-hundredths of a second faster than High Strike Zone's clocking two races later in the Texas Mile. [Dallas-Ft Worth Star Telegram]

Also entered is Southern Africa, a horse that some people really like, and he comes in off his second in the Win Star Derby to Thor’s Echo, who is also entered.

Most interesting to me is John Kimmel’s Awesome Twist (Awesome Again), making his stakes and route debut in his 4th start after an awesome 6 length win at Keeneland, earning a 94 Beyer. His dam is the Grade 1 winner Twist Afleet, who won the Test at Saratoga.
"The further he goes, the better he's going to be," Kimmel said... "This horse has got stamina all over him. I mean, every race he wins, he's drawing off at the end and galloping out 15 in front of the field. This horse is just starting to get running."
"He just thrashed horses in the a-other-than, falling back on a track that had been nothing but speed-favoring…..He was probably the only horse who came from last and circled six wide and won by six against a track bias. I think that's a very good sign for his future." [DRF]

- Joe Bravo on riding the Derby rabbit:
Next time, I [want] to be the tiger, not the rabbit."

Bravo said he found himself in the role of rabbit in the Derby, and that was hard to accept.

"When I got there and found out I had to be the rabbit for Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, it really hit me hard," Bravo said. "But any time you're on their team, you're playing in the right field." [DRF]
He didn't realize this until he got there?