We are down to the final five races of the Derby Prep portion of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series, with three of those contests taking place this weekend. The Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita, the Sam F. Davis Stakes in Tampa Bay, and the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct highlight a big weekend of racing.
The Robert B. Lewis Stakes is the race that launched the beginning of a terrific run by I’ll Have Another, who went on to win both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2012. This year’s race has only four entrants, but one of those is He’s Had Enough, a colt that is owned, trained, and jockeyed by the same group that took I’ll Have Another to glory last year. Paul Reddam and Doug O’Neill bring He’s Had Enough into the race without a graded stakes victory to this point in his short career. Little Jerry is trained by Richard Baltas and most recently finished well out of the money in the Cash Call Futurity. The other two colts entered are trained by Bob Baffert. Baffert’s Den’s Legacy was a second place finisher to Goldencents in the Sham Stakes and could emerge from the gate the favorite. The other Baffert entry is Flashback, who will be making his second career start after taking his maiden race back in December, and is ranked 5th on the Horse Racing Nation list of Kentucky Derby contenders.
The Sam F. Davis and Withers Stakes do not boast any of the early big names in the three-year-old class, but the winners of these races will almost immediately get thrust into the spotlight and will draw the attention of Derby fans that start handicapping early. In the Withers, veteran trainer Kiaran McLaughlin brings in a pair of thoroughbreds, Valid and Long River, that have two maiden race wins in six starts between them. Todd Pletcher has entered Revolutionary in the Withers, a colt that is coming off his fourth start and first win in a maiden race on December 28th. Mark Casse brings the colt that could be the favorite in the Sam F. Davis to Tampa Bay Downs in Dynamic Sky. Dynamic Sky has five career starts with two wins (Pasco, Simcoe) and a strong second in the Breeder’s Futurity at Keeneland.
Be sure to check back with DerbyDeals.com next week as we’ll have a breakdown of these three races.