At Laurel Park on Saturday, the one mile $70,000 Private Terms Stakes is a local (MD) 3 year old tune-up before the Kentucky Derby. Nationally, the only other Derby prep race is a big one, the $750,000 Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream.
The Private Terms Stakes, race 9, Post Time at 5:15pm features 6-5 Morning Line favorite, #6 – Dont Blame The Cat winner of the Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel Park in his last start. This Richard Dutrow, Jr. trainees primary challengers will be #4 – Plantation (3-1), a WV-bred whose 3 for 3 lifetime, #7 – Regal Warrior (5-1), surprise 47-1 runner-up in the Miracle Wood and #3 – Our Commander (6-1) fresh off a $40k Optional Claimer 2nd place finish. Outsiders rounding out the field of 7 are #1- Proud Of Midway (10-1), #2 – Reckless Runner (15-1) and #5 – Target Practice (8-1).
Go with the favorite #6 – Dont Blame The Cat to WIN and put #3 – Our Commander, #7 – Regal Warrior and #4 – Plantation with him in the exotics.
The only major Derby prep race this weekend is the $750,000 Gr.1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream run at 1 1/8 mile, the 11th race on the card, Post Time scheduled for 6:20pm. The field of eleven (11) features Todd Pletcher trained Rule (#7; 5-2), winner of the Sam F. Davis at Tampa Downs in February. His 10 foes are a combination of first-time stakes starters and non-placed stakes runners making a last ditch effort to determine if they are Kentucky Derby worthy. The highest profile runner is Barbaro’s full-brother, #2 – Lentenor (6-1), who makes his stakes and natural dirt surface debut.
The field is speed heavy which should compromise Rule’s chances to go gate-to-wire. #3 – Pulsion (12-1) stands to benefit the most from a fast pace, but he was been a major disappointment in his 2010 debut in finishing 6th, 12 lengths behind Eskendereya in the Fountain Of Youth (FOY). Trainer Nick Zito brings in a duel threat in #8 – Ice Box (15-1), 5th in the FOY and #9 – Miner’s Reserve (6-1) who impressively broke his maiden recording a triple digit Speed Figure. Richard Dutrow, Jr. has #11 – Radiohead (3-1) who won his 2010 debut in open allowance company after ending his 2009 campaign finishing 7th in the Breeders Cup Juvenile.
Go with #11 – Radiohead has he should being lying off the fast pace and be able to make a winning move in the stretch. Complete your exotics with #3 – Pulsion, #1 – Soaring Empire, #5 – Game On Dude and #7 - Rule.
Finally, congratulations to Ramon Dominquez who rode his 4,000th career winner on Friday (March 19th) at Aqueduct aboard FortyNineGeorgeSt.
Enjoy a great day of thoroughbred horse racing. Share the fun with a friend.