Dialed In Leads Four From Florida Derby Moving On To Kentucky Derby
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Dialed In’s stunning last-to-first rally to win the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) last Sunday sent Pool Three Kentucky Derby Future wagering fans to the windows shortly before they closed that evening and made him the 5-to-1 second choice behind Repole Stable’s Uncle Mo at 3-to-1 with The Field third choice.
In addition to Dialed In the probable/possible field of the maximum allowable field of 20 pointing for the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs on Sat., May 7 will include three others that ran in the Florida Derby.
Expected to join Dialed In for the 137th Kentucky Derby from the Florida Derby are Shackleford (2nd), Soldat (5th) and Stay Thirsty (7th), and the number of 3-year-olds that ran at Gulfstream during the 2011 season appears likely to swell to 10 or more as the final Derby previews across the nation are run over the next two weekends.
Uncle Mo, imposing winner of thje $100,000 Timely Writer Stakes at Gulfstream on Mar. 12, will be the odds-on favorite in Saturday $1 million Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct and other potential Derby candidates will be in action in the $300,000 Illinois Derby (G2) Saturday and the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) and $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland the following Sat., Apr. 16.
In addition to Uncle Mo with a Gulfstream race on his past performances entered in the Wood is Sherry Parboo’s Starship Caesar, winner of a starter/allowance here on Feb. 4 for trainer Bisnath Parboo, who claimed the son of Repent for $25,000 from his previous start at Calder on Jan. 3.
The field for the Illinois Derby includes two 3-year-olds that ran at Gulfstream earlier this season – Zayat Stable’s Joe Vann, seventh in a one-mile maiden special test here on Jan. 8, and Tom and Matt Conway’s Ed Grayling, eased last out in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) on Feb. 26 following a good third-place try behind Shackleford in an allowance race on Feb. 5.
Four of the last five Kentucky Derby winners spent the winter in South Florida training at Gulfstream’s Palm Meadows Training Center, two winning the Florida Derby on the way to victory at Churchill Downs – Barbaro (2006) and Big Brown (2008). Street Sense (2007) and Super Saver (2010) trained throughout the winter at Palm Meadows but began their campaigns at Tampa Bay Downs.
The early favorites for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) to be run at Churchill May 6 also came out of a winter campaign at Gulfstream, led by E. Paul Robsham Stable’s R Heat Lightning, impressive winner of the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) last Saturday.
Several other leading Oaks prospects that raced at Gulfstream will be in action Saturday at Keeneland in the $400,000 Ashland Stakes (G1) as Five D Thoroughbred and Wind River Stable’s Kathmanblu is the favorite with John Oxley’s Dancinginherdreams the second choice.
Kathmanblu won the Sweetest Chant Stakes on turf at Gulfstream on Jan. 22 in her season debut for trainer Ken McPeek in her first start since romping home n 8 ½ lengths winner of the Golden Rod Stakes (G2) at Churchill in late November. The daughter of Bluegrass Cat shipped to New Orleans to score in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G3) at Fair Grounds last out on Feb. 19.
Dancinginherdreams won the Pocahontas Stakes (G3) at Churchill by 5 ½ lengths in late October for trainer John Ward after a five-length debut victory at Keeneland. The roan/gray daughter of Tapit ran twice at Gulfstream, finishing second in both the Forward Gal Stakes (G2) and Davona Dale Stakes (G2) as the favorite in both, the latter won by R Heat Lightning.
South Beach Closes Out Gulfstream 2011 Stakes Schedule
The Gulfstream Park racing season runs through Sun., Apr. 24 with the final stakes event on the calendar the $60,000 South Beach Stakes for fillies and mares to be run on Sat., Apr. 16 at 7 ½ furlongs on turf. Farnsworth Stable’s Cherokee Queen and Waterville Lake Stable’s Strike It Rich are prominent among the nominees.
Cherokee Queen is a 6-year-old daughter of Cherokee Run trained by Marty Wolfson and won the Suwannee River Stakes (G3) by two lengths over the course in early February after a productive season in 2010 that included a close-up fourth-place trip in the Just a Game Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park in early June when beaten 1 ¾ lengths for it all with trouble in the race.
Strike It Rich tired to fifth in her lone start this season for trainer Christophe Clement in a Feb. 11 allowance, but it was her first outing since late July at Saratoga. The roan/gray daughter of Unbridled’s Song won three straight last summer, including the Little Silver Stakes and Boiling Springs Stakes (G3), both at Monmouth Park.