(Please forgive the time since the last post. I have been dealing with some personal issues that has made hard to blog at all.)
- I'll Have Another came off a five month layoff to spurt away from the field in the Grade 2 Robert B Lewis S. back on Feb. 4th. He tracked the pacesetter, made his move turning for home and drew off. His pedigree says that ten furlongs shouldn't be a problem, but the fact that his next race will be the Santa Anita Derby is off-putting. Two non-consecutive preps leading up to the Kentucky Derby is serious uncharted territory . He came back to work on 2/23, going four furlongs in 48.60 over at Hollywood Park.
- The runner-up in the Lewis was Empire Way. This full brother to champion 3yo filly Royal Delta closed from last to get second, picking off the rest of the field without being a threat to the winner. Another horse without distance limitations, he should only get better as the year continues (based on his sister's campaign). He has worked twice since the last race, most recently on 2/25 at Hollywood Park, going six furlongs in 1:14. He is pointing to the San Felipe Stakes.
- As for the other runners from the Lewis, Sky Kingdom was subsequently hurt and is off the Derby trail. Liaison bounced off his subpar effort (he was going nowhere when he fell in the stretch) with two works since the race, the latest being on 2/22 at one mile in 1:43 at Santa Anita. His rival Rousing Sermon came back from his 4th-place finish (moved up to 3rd via DQ) with three works, the latest on 2/27 going six furlongs in 1:13.20 at Hollywood Park. Groovin' Solo, who was placed last via DQ after originally finishing third, came back from the race to post on 2/26 a bullet five furlong work in 58.80 at Santa Anita.
- The Grade 2 San Vicente on President's Day weekend marked the 2012 debut of Creative Cause. The winner of the G1 Norfolk and 3rd in the BC Juvenile, he was the heavy favorite in what turned out to be a four-horse field. He was a little flat and ended up third in the race. His trainer Mike Harrington (who also trains Empire Way) said that he will be headed to Oaklawn Park for the Rebel Stakes for his next start. His nemesis Drill was looking to right the ship after a disastrous last few races, and today was his day, as he ground his way past the pacesetter American Act in the stretch. Drill's trainer Bob Baffert said that he will be kept around one turn for foreseeable future. Maybe a possible start in the Met Mile?
- In other races at Santa Anita, Bodemeister dusted a maiden special weight on 2/11. Named for Baffert's son Bode, his stylish win has his trainer putting him into stakes competition next time out. He worked on 2/26 going six furlongs in 1:14 at Santa Anita. Fed Biz (another Baffert trainee) won a first-level allowance race on 2/9. He is headed for the G2 San Felipe in his next start. He worked on 2/22 six furlongs in 1:16 at Santa Anita.
- On President's Day at Oaklawn Park, the Bob Baffert show continued, as he won both divisions of the Southwest Stakes. In the first division, Castaway attended a soft pace and kicked away to win. In the second division. Secret Circle sat right on the pace and ground his way to a win. Their trainer said he would be back with a runner for the Rebel Stakes, but no guarantee it would be either of his entrants.
- Other workers of note are Sabercat, Delta Jackpot winner, who worked on 2/26 five furlongs in 1:00.80 at Santa Anita; Midnight Transfer, San Pedro Stakes winner, who worked on 2/26 seven furlongs in 1:24.80 at Santa Anita. Both of them are being pointed to the San Felipe Stakes