Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM
A11 - TB, SF, Gotham
Welcome to “Anthony’s Eleven,” your source for anything and everything leading up to Kentucky Derby 144 on May 5th at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. In the coming weeks, Anthony Stabile, best known for picking 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide at odds of over 12-1, will break down the top contenders for this years’ Run for the Roses on VegasInsider.com, culminating on Friday, May 4th with an extensive analysis of every runner that steps into the gate for the most exciting two minutes in sports. On both May 4th and May 5th, Kentucky Oaks and Derby Day, you’ll be able to purchase Stabile’s Pick Packs, full of selections and plays for two of racings’ most exciting days of the year.
Anthony's Eleven (3/10/18)
|Anthony's Eleven (3/10/18)|
Three 50-point Kentucky Derby preps will be run in about the span of 30 minutes between approximately 5:15 and 5:45 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon, with the G3 Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs set to kick off the action at 5:20.
11 runners were entered Wednesday for the 1 1/16 miles highlight of the meet at the Oldsmar, FL oval but both Enticed and Free Drop Billy, who were entered as a Plan B incase their flight to New York was cancelled, will scratch.
Flameaway has done more right than wrong in the first seven starts of his career, winning five of them, including stakes on turf, over muddy and sloppy tracks as well as a fast track, when he went gate-to-wire in the local prep for this, the G3 Sam F Davis last out.
Trained by Mark Casse, Flameaway broke his maiden at first asking on the all-weather Tapeta surface at Woodbine before his six consecutive stakes starts. He may not have been more impressive than he was last out, taking on all challengers including prohibitive favorite Catholic Boy from the far turn to the finish, refusing to let him by under Jose Lezcano, holding on by a half-length. He’ll break from post 5 against eight others who all have two wins or less to date.
Todd Pletcher is hoping Vino Rosso can improve off his third-place Sam F Davis finish and perhaps give him and part-owner St. Elias Stable back-to-back wins in the Kentucky Derby. He’ll equip him with blinkers for the first time in here.
After breaking his maiden in a seven-furlong contest at Aqueduct in his debut, Pletcher stretched Vino Rosso out for his next start and he easily captured an entry level allowance/optional claimer over this course. But in the Davis, Vino Rosso didn’t completely have his mind on his business and appeared to run in spots, including his late rally that left him less than two lengths short of remaining undefeated beneath his rider John Velazquez. He’ll break from post 2.
Untamed Domain tries dirt for the first time for trainer Graham Motion, who trained this colts’ sire Animal Kingdom to win the 2011 Run for the Roses. Untamed Domain won two of his five juvenile starts, including the G2 Summer at Woodbine before closing out the year with a runner-up finish in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. In his lone start this season, he never really threatened as the 6-5 favorite when he finished third in the G3 Dania Beach at Gulfstream. Jose Ortiz rides from post 7.
World of Trouble stretches out around two turns for the first time in just his second start for trainer Jason Servis. Having started his career with a win in a $25K maiden claimer and second place finish in a Florida-bred stakes at Gulfstream, he was purchased privately and laid up for the rest of 2017. In his lone try this year, he won the Pasco locally by almost 14 lengths as the 4-5 favorite. Irad Ortiz, Jr. climbs aboard for the first time from post 6.
Dale Romans sends in Tiz Mischief off of a third-place finish in the G2 Holy Bull at Gulfstream last out, his first start of the year. He closed out last season with a strong rally to finish second in the G2 KJC at Churchill though he was one that managed to avoid some of the troubles a few of his rivals did find. Joe Rosario rides for the first time from post 2.
Quip won the first two starts of his career for Rodolphe Brisset before encountering some traffic trouble when the real running began in the KJC. Florent Geroux rides from post 8.
Grandpa Knows Best comes in off a pair of victories at Churchill when last seen some four months ago. He’ll be making his stakes debut for Ken McPeek from post 4 with Julien Leparoux aboard.
Caloric has won his last pair against claimers at Gulfstream and makes his first start around two turns and in stakes company in his first start off of the claim by Michelle Winters. Alex Gonzalez rides from outside post 9.
Arazi Like Move drew the rail for Aldana Gonzalez with Scott Spieth. He’s winless in four starts, including an off-the-board finish in the Pasco, since breaking his maiden at Delaware Park in a $40 maiden claimer first out last summer.
At 5:30, a field of eight will go 1 1/16 miles in the G2 San Felipe at Santa Anita. It features the return of dual G1 winner Bolt d’Oro.
Many felt Bolt d’Oro should have been named champion Two-Year-Old at the Eclipse Awards back in January after a juvenile campaign that saw him win his first three starts, including the Del Mar Futurity and Front Runner for owner/trainer Mick Ruis. A loss after a terrible trip when wide and eventually third in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile likely cost him his undefeated record, an Eclipse and regular rider Corey Nakatani the mount.
After suffering a minor muscle pull that forced him to miss his intended 2018 return, G2 San Vicente at seven furlongs, Ruis announced that Javier Castellano would ride for the first time in here. They’ll break from post 1.
McKinzie puts his undefeated-with-an-asterisk record on the line for Hall of Famers Bob Baffert and Mike Smith.
After a sensational maiden win, McKinzie got involved in a hellacious stretch battle in the G1 Los Alamito Futurity and after several bumps were exchanged, he was awarded to victory despite being the won to cause the problems in the first place, in the eyes of many.
Baffert removed the blinkers he wore in his first two starts last out when he took the G3 Sham in a cakewalk two months ago. He’ll break from post 4.
Kanthaka thrust himself onto the Derby scene with an eye-catching stretch rally to capture the San Vicente last out after a monumental pace collapse. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, it was the second consecutive win going the distance having broke his maiden on opening day at the Great Race Place. This will be his first start around two turns. Flavien Prat rides from post 8.
The first two finishers from the G3 Robert Lewis, Lombo and Ayacara will look to prove that their last efforts weren’t flukes and that they belong on the SoCal trail to Louisville. Lombo stretched out for the first time for trainer Mike Pender and led the field on a merry chase, parlaying an easy early lead into a two-length tally. Rafael Bejarano replaces Prat from post 2.
Trainer Keith Desormeaux added blinkers for Ayacara’s return to dirt last out after stakes tries over synthetic and turf courses at Golden Gate and Santa Anita, respectively. He made up a ton of ground late under a ground-saving Kent Desormeaux and should get some pace to close into. He’ll break from post 3.
Peace was sent off as the 2-1 second choice in the Lewis when trainer Richard Mandella added blinkers but he could muster just a fifth-place finish, leading Mandella to “burn the blinkers.” They come off, Drayden Van Dyke gets aboard from post 7.
Aquila broke his maiden last out in his third try, all going a distance of ground, for trainer Simon Callaghan with Martin Pedroza aboard in gate-to-wire fashion. He’ll break from post 5.
Calexman is winless in his lone start over conventional dirt for Vladimir Cerin. He broke his maiden on turf in his final start last season at Del Mar and was off the board at Golden Gate last out in his seasonal debut in the El Camino Real Derby on the synthetic track. He’s set to break from post 6 but has been cross entered in a Sunday allowance contest.
Finally, at 5:42, nine three-year-olds are set to go a one-turn mile in the G3 Gotham at Aqueduct, led by G1 Champagne winner Firenze Fire.
As a juvenile, Firenze Fire won three of five starts and but was off the board in the G1 Hopeful and B.C. Juvenile for Jason Servis. This year, he kicked things off with a win at this distance over the course in the Jerome, passing all five of his rivals to win by a half-length on a day where speed was key.
Last out, in just his second try around two turns, he held well to be second to Avery Island in the G3 Withers at nine furlongs. The cutback to what appears to be his favorite distance having won the Champagne at this trip should help him immensely. Manny Franco rides from post 5.
Servis also sends out Dial Operator from the rail with Trevor McCarthy aboard. He’s won both of his starts, sprinting, one last July at Monmouth, the other a month ago at Laurel.
Free Drop Billy ships in for Romans after scratching out of the G2 Fountain of Youth last Saturday at Gulfstream to await this spot for his second start of 2018.
Like Firenze Fire, Free Drop Billy won a G1 last year, the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland, before an off-the-board try in the Juvenile.
This year, he ran into the buzz-saw that was Audible in the G2 Holy Bull going two turns at Gulfstream. The cutback to a one-turn mile is a curious one but he did just miss in the Hopeful, a race you could argue he was best in. Dylan Davis rides from post 6.
Romans other entrant, Cove Blue, broke his maiden two starts back in his seasonal bow before tiring in a two-turn allowance contest most recently, both at Gulfstream. Chris Landeros comes in to ride from post 2.
Enticed ships up from Gulfstream for Kiaran McLaughlin off of a disappointing 2018 debut in the Holy Bull where he finished a well-beaten fourth as the 9-5 favorite.
Last season, Enticed broke his maiden at first asking, was a solid third in the Champagne and closed out his season with a gutsy victory in the KJC. Last out, he failed to fire from his rail draw and put in a dull effort. Junior Alvarado, who was aboard for the three starts last year back in here from post 9.
Whereshetoldmetogo romped as the 8-5 favorite going seven furlongs in a minor stakes at Gulfstream last out in his first try with blinkers for Anthony Pecoraro. A three-time winner from eight starts, he was second and fourth respectively in his prior two starts going this distance. Joe Rocco, Jr. rides from post 4.
Beautiful Shot ships in for Desormeaux for his first start in nearly four months. Last season, he won his first two starts in SoCal, including the Speakeasy at Santa Anita, before finishing third in the G3 Bob Hope at Del Mar, the site of his debut tally. Angel Arroyo rides from post 3.
Old Time Revival ships up from Laurel off of a near-miss after setting the pace in the Miracle Wood in his first start at this distance. Steve Hamilton rides for Ken Decker from post 7.
Nine Route has won three in a row against New York-breds for trainer Jeremiah Englehart and Bill Parcells’ August Dawn Farm, They’ve all been won on or close to the lead, including a front-running score in the Gander most recently. Kendrick Carmouche rides from post 8.
Prep Play of the Day
I have opinions in all three preps but Bolt d’Oro will likely be too short of a price for me at Santa Anita. So, lets bet $40 win on Untamed Domain at Tampa and $100 to win on Enticed at Aqueduct. Total is $140. Good luck!!!!
Anthony “the Big A” Stabile can be heard regularly on the Horse Racing Radio Network from 3:00-6:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday and 3:00-7:00 p.m. ET Thursday and Friday. Tune in on Sirius 219, XM 206 or streaming live at horseracingradio.net. He also is a contributor on NYRA-TV as a guest on Talking Horses. Follow him on Twitter @thebigastabile