KENTUCKY DERBY RECAP
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas indicated from Churchill Downs this morning that his top three Kentucky Derby finishers -- Grindstone, Prince of Thieves and Editor's Note -- and perhaps Dr. Caton will ship to Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 18.
Lukas added that Victory Speech might resurface in the Belmont Stakes and said Honour and Glory will probably be scaled back into a sprinter.
Grindstone, who nailed Santa Anita Derby winner Cavonnier at the wire to win the 122nd Run for the Roses, began the season at Santa Anita with a second-place finish to Budroyale in a $46,000 allowance race on Feb. 16.
Here's a brief rundown of plans for other Southern California-based horses:
Cavonnier (2nd) and Semoran (14th): Trainer Bob Baffert said Cavonnier will ship to the Preakness and 14th-place finish Semoran will return to California and run in shorter races.
Halo Sunshine (4th): Trainer Richard Cross and owner Henry Pabst have decided to ship the Halo colt home and perhaps run in the $500,000 Swaps Stakes (Gr. II) here on July 21.
Alyrob (8th): Trainer Wally Dollase planned to return Alyrob to California and said he wanted to try the Alysheba colt on turf.
Corker (11th): Hall of Famer Charlie Whittingham said the Preakness is out, but said there's a chance Corker will run in the Belmont Stakes.
Matty G (17th): Ron McAnally said Matty G will return home and will not run in the Preakness and the Belmont.
THE BEDOUIN GALLOPS TO MAIDEN VICTORY, WILL ROGERS IS NEXT
It isn't often you can work a horse six furlongs in 1:10 1/5, collect a check for $10,000 and get a $25.80 win mutuel to boot.
According to trainer Barry Abrams, that's exactly what happened in Saturday's 11th race with The Bedouin. The son of 1983 Kentucky Derby runner-up Desert Wine blew past favored Dream Hunter for a two-length victory in the maiden claimer for Cal-breds. Matt Gacia was aboard for Martin and Lois Gellman.
The Bedouin won't have much time to rest on his laurels, however. Abrams, who clicks at a high percentage but will never be compared to Charlie Whittingham or Neil Drysdale in terms of patience, said he plans to wheel The Bedouin right back in Saturday's $100,000-added Will Rogers Handicap (Gr. III) for 3-year-olds at one mile on the turf course.
The Bedouin has neither routed nor raced on grass, and thus figures to be a rank outsider in the Grade III event.
"That's okay with me," Abrams said. "He's bred to do both, and yesterday's race was nothing more than a six-furlong workout; Matt (Garcia) barely had to touch him. I think he fits in the race."
Desert Wine, who defeated the great John Henry in the 1 1/4-mile Hollywood Gold Cup, certainly could get a route. And True or Do, dam of the Bedouin, is a half-sister of Answer Do, who twice won the Hollywood Turf Express and obviously could handle grass.
Early probables for the 56th running of the Will Rogers Handicap: Benton Creek, Alex Solis; Jamboree John, Corey Nakatani; Let Bob Do It, Kent Desormeaux; Men's Exclusive, Laffit Pincay Jr.; Nightcapper, Rene Douglas; Sandtrap, Eddie Delahoussaye; The Bedouin, Matt Garcia, and Zanferrier, Chris McCarron.
Possible: Hectic, no rider, and Hesabull, no rider.
COLLEGE TOWN LOOKS FOR PASSING GRADE IN INGLEWOOD
If College Town was on an athletic scholarship, it might be in danger of being revoked. The 5-year-old Cal-bred gelding has lost 10 straight races and hit a new low on April 20 when he stumbled badly at the start of the Bates Motel Handicap and unseated jockey Alex Solis. Fortunately, neither Solis nor College Town were seriously injured. In fact, College Town has come back with two screaming workouts, including a six-furlong move in 1:11 2/5 Saturday at Hollywood Park. Perhaps the son of Snow Chief is ready to run a big one in next Sunday's $125,000-added Inglewood handicap (Gr. III).
It isn't as if College Town doesn't have talent. He turned in a stunner to defeat Kingdom Found in the 1994 California Cup Classic -- returning a juicy $68.80. And in the 1995 Arcadia Handicap at Santa Anita, he unleashed an almost unbeleivable stretch run to nail heavily-favored Romarin at the wire.
"He's one of those horses that has ability, and sometimes when you're not expecting it he finds a way to get it done," said trainer Mel Stute.
If College Town does fire, perhaps the gelding's owner -- Dr. David N. Brown of Claremont -- will be one of the lucky backers. Brown is no slouch at the windows, as proven by a recent second-place finish in Santa Anita's $50,000 Players' Championship handicapping tournament.
Probables for the 56th running of the Grade III Inglewood Handicap, to be run at 1 1/16 miles on turf: College Town, no rider; Dernier Empereur, Eddie Delahoussaye; Fastness, no rider; Helmsman, Chris McCarron; Lord Shirldor, Brice Blanc; Tychonic, no rider, and College Town, no rider.
COMEDIAN ALAN RAY ON SATURDAY'S KENTUCKY DERBY . . .
"Champion thoroughbreds possess the same traits as other professional athletes. They make a lot of money, behave like 3-year-olds, and can't read or write."
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