$75,000 Twilight Derby Returns After 2 Year Break
Category : News
Fri 19/12/2014 - 04:26 EST
After a two year hiatus, the Tropical Park Derby returns to Gulfstream Park Saturday, December 20 with a full field of 14 plus two on the also eligible list set to go the mile and one sixteenth journey on the grass.
Smooth Daddy is the 7/2 morning line favorite for trainer Thomas Albertrani, and will be making his first start since a third place effort in the grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont on October 4. Prior to that effort, Smooth Daddy ran second in the grade 3 Saranac at Saratoga. The son of Scat Daddy has recorded two wins in twelve career starts on the turf, and could be viewed as a vulnerable favorite given his tendency to settle for minor awards. Albertrani connects at just 11% with runners returning from similar layoffs.
Other Cheek should be tough
Other Cheek (4/1 ML) looks to be finding his best form after recording a career-best 92 Beyer Speed Figure in his last start while earning a runner-up finish in the grade 3 Commonwealth Turf at Churchill Downs November 14 behind the highly regarded Heart to Heart. In six career starts – all on turf – Other Cheek has two wins, two seconds and a third place finish. The Arnaud Delacour trainee has plenty of early speed and should use his inside post to work out a favorable trip.
Outside posts could be live
Wallyanna (15/1) and Bashart (10/1) drew the 13th and 14th post positions respectively, but both are capable of winning at fat prices if they are able to work out ground-saving trips.
One of the most historic - and controversial - editions of the Kentucky Derby is in the books and the next leg of the US Triple Crown moves to Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course for the running of the Preakness Stakes. The 1 3/16 test over the Pimlico dirt track is drawing a wide-open field of three-year-old thoroughbreds gunning for the $1.5 million purse.
Led to the gate by pre-race morning line favorite Omaha Beach, a full field of 20 are set to line up for the 145th Kentucky Derby on late Saturday afternoon. They're running for a total purse of $3 million on the 1 1/4 mile Churchill dirt course and making their bid to follow 2018 winner Justify as Triple Crown champions.
The $100,000 Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes July 2 at Churchill Downs features a field of nine up-and-coming two year olds in a race that may be as confusing as it is competitive.
With the Grade 1, $500,000 Stephen Foster the centerpiece of a stellar Downs After Dark racing card June 18 at Churchill Downs, the expected field of seven older runners presents an interesting handicapping puzzle.