Past performances for Friday’s G2 $250,000 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn are found here. Cotton Blossom and Cash Included look to be the early favorites, although Time’s Mistress looked impressive winning the Honeybee on March 16.
With Ravel and (apparently) Adore the Gold off the Derby trail, here’s a brief summary of the status of other promising contenders:
• Circular Quay is being withheld from the Wood Memorial, and will train up to the Derby; Any Given Saturday will run in the Wood instead of the Blue Grass Stakes, and Cowtown Cat may still run in the Illinois Derby, but could be moved to the Blue Grass. Got that? [drf]
• Sedgefield, who finished just behind Hard Spun in the Lane’s End, has $120,000 in graded stakes earnings which may or may not be enough to get him into the Derby, so rather than take on the “big boys” in one of the more traditional preps his trainer Darrin Miller has elected to enter him in Friday’s G3 $150,000 Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland…a mile turf race [drf]. The winner’s share of $93,000 would go far in getting him into the Derby.
• Chelokee looks highly unlikely to make the Derby field. Trainer Michael Matz says, "Right now we're probably on the bubble, but making another start before the Derby to get additional earnings is out of the question. If we don't get into the Derby then maybe we'll try the Preakness." [dtf]
• “Tired” Stormello returned to the West Coast today, and a decision will be made soon about whether he will be continuing on the Derby trail. Let me say, I love this horse’s speed, but as impressive as his performances have been in distance races, I truly believe his greatest achievements will be as a sprinter or miler. That said, I would love to see him come back and put on a show in the Derby.
• Imawildandcrazyguy is definitely off the trail, according to his trainer Bill Kaplan, “I'll probably bring him back in the Unbridled Stakes at Calder [April 28] and then point him for the Belmont, because he's the kind of horse who needs more distance.” [dtf]
• What worthy contenders are in need of graded stakes earnings? Personally, I am most concerned about Any Given Saturday ($102,969) and Summer Doldrums ($21,334), the latter of whom has been recording bulleted workouts at Aqueduct, including breezing 5 furlongs in 59.83. (Plus, I put
money on them in the pre-Derby wagers; since my other pick Ravel is already out, I don't want to see these two out as well :)