Uncle Mo, Brethren, and Jaycito Highlight Derby Preps
Uncle Mo Returns in Timely Writer Friday at Gulfstream
Champion juvenile Uncle Mo, atop nearly everyone's list of Kentucky Derby candidates, will make his much-anticipated three-year-old debut in Saturday's $80,000 Timely Writer Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. The son of Indian Charlie has been sensational in each of his three starts, romping at Saratoga at first asking, and then plucking the G1 Champagne Stakes and G1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, all by open lengths. John Velazquez will retain the mount atop the favorite.
What looks like could be the lone obstacle standing in front of Uncle Mo is Nacho Business, who was a troubled second in a sharp allowance try at Gulfstream last out. The Kelly Breen-trained son of Rahy should not be taken too lightly and could be the one if the likely odds-on choice falters.
First post at Gulfstream on Saturday is set for 12:55pm ET/9:55am PT.
BRETHREN AIMS TO STAY PERFECT IN TAMPA BAY DERBY
Unbeaten Brethren, a half-brother to 2010 Derby winner Super Saver, is unbeaten in three career tries and romped last out in the G3 Sam F. Davis Stakes in preparation of this race for Todd Pletcher. The WinStar homebred has improved with each lifetime start and is clearly the one to beat as he tries to extend his mark to four without a loss.
Among his likely foes are the second, third, and fourth-place finishers from the Davis, Too Experience, Watch Me Go and Beamer. Richard Violette's Economic Summit, fifth in the G2 Remsen Stakes most recently, could kick off his campaign here. Free Entry has been very impressive from two runs at Gulfstream Park and is an up and coming sophomore for Chad Brown.
First post at Tampa on Saturday is set for 12:25pm ET/9:25am PT
JAYCITO MAKES SOPHOMORE DEBUT IN SAN FELIPE
G1 Norfolk Stakes winner Jaycito might be the most logical Kentucky Derby contenders in the Bob Baffert barn, and the son of Victory Gallop gets his sophomore campaign kicked off in Saturday's G2 $250,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. The long-striding chestnut faces a top field, though, and he'll need to be close to his best to win this.
G2 Robert Lewis second Riveting Reason, G2 San Vicente third Premier Pegasus, Grade 1 hero Comma to the Top, G3 El Camino Real runner-up Jakesam, allowance star Awesome Patriot, and impressive maiden winners Albergatti and Runflatout, are among the viable candidates in this loaded event.
The G2 $300,000 Santa Margarita Stakes will also be contested on Saturday. A superb cast is likely, led by champion Blind Luck from the shedrow of Jerry Hollendorfer. The standout daughter of Pollard's Vision has been stuck behind some dawdling paces as of late and could get a better scenario to work with in this affair.
Dual Grade 1 queen Switch is arguably the top filly in training out west and will get her stiffest test to date for John Sadler. The daughter of Quiet American seems capable of doing anything, though. G2 La Canada Stakes heroine Always A Princess has been in top form for Bob Baffert and will look to pick up her third stakes win in succession. Classy St. Trinians and recent G2 Santa Maria victress Vision in Gold also should be big factors in this fine affair.