Kentucky Derby Preps Top Saturday's Racing Action
Three Kentucky Derby preps highlight a superb Saturday of racing action, which includes eight graded stakes races and 12 stakes total. All of these races can be watched and wagered on with TVG.
Five of those stakes are at Gulfstream Park, including the $250,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) for horses making their first start along the Kentucky Derby trail. All eyes will be on comebacking Tiz the Law, a son of Constitution who won the Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park in October. He was third as the favorite in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs November 30 in the slop for trainer Barclay Tagg, and hasn’t run since. Ete Indien is coming off a win over a mile here by 2 ½ lengths for trainer Patrick Biancone. Chad Brown will start Toledo, a maiden winner at Aqueduct two back who lost to Ete Indien here last out.
The $250,000 Withers Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct has a field of eight. Local standout Shotski, who took the Remsen (G2) here over this same 1 1/8-mile trip in his last start is favored. The son of Blame has won two of four starts and will have Luis Saez back aboard. Jeremiah O’Dwyer trains. Max Player comes in off an impressive maiden win at Parx for trainer Linda Rice, who will also start 8-1 shot Prince of Pharoahs, by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Todd Pletcher’s Portos has finally put it all together with a 10 ¾-length win over this trip December 31.
The $100,000 Robert B. Lewis (G3) drew a talented field of six. Trainer Bob Baffert will start two, including Thousand Words, a grade 2 winner of the Los Alamitos Futurity last out over stablemate High Velocity, who ran third. They are both back for this 1 1/16-mile race, which also drew recent maiden winner Tizamagician, trained by Richard Mandella and coming in off a similar early career as standout Omaha Beach. Encoder is coming off a win in the grassy Eddie Logan Stakes December 29.
All three races are worth 10 Kentucky Derby points to the winner. Next weekend’s race is the Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs, followed by the El Camino Real Derby and Risen Star on February 15.
By Emily Shields for TVG