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Multiple Grade 2-placed MUCHO MACHO MAN (Macho Uno), who most recently finished fourth in the January 30 Holy Bull S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park, could go on the road to Fair Grounds in search of graded stakes earnings in the February 19 Risen Star S. (G2).
"The thinking is the Risen Star might come up an easier spot," trainer Kathy Ritvo said Thursday. "We'd love to stay and run at Gulfstream (in the February 26 Fountain of Youth [G2]) but we're looking for graded stakes earnings. Also, it will be good for him to learn how to ship. We haven't officially decided anything, though."
Daily Racing Form reports that Hopeful S. (G1) winner BOYS AT TOSCONOVA (Officer) has been taken off the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail.
Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. hadn't been satisfied with the way the colt was training for his intended comeback in the January 30 Holy Bull S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park. Boys at Tosconova ended up skipping the race and underwent a battery of tests.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) champion Awesome Feather (Awesome of Course) is out of Kentucky Oaks (G1) consideration at this point with tendon issues. Her racing future was very much in doubt for a time, but recent news offers hope the talented bay could return to the track.
Nine sophomore fillies have been assembled for Saturday's $75,000 Martha Washington S. at Oaklawn Park, and a couple of top contenders, GRANDACIOUS (Grand Slam) and SUMMER SOIREE (War Front), will be seeking their first stakes victory in the one-mile event.
Having a seasonal debut over the deep, tiring Tampa Bay Downs strip worked out pretty well in the long run for eventual Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Super Saver last year. On Saturday, Super Saver's three-year-old half-brother BRETHREN (Distorted Humor) will take his first step toward potentially emulating his now-retired older sibling when making his sophomore bow in the $225,000 Sam F. Davis S. (G3) at 1 1/16 miles.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al Maktoum's SPLASH POINT (Street Cry [Ire]) couldn't hold off the South African-bred Zanzamar (Fort Wood) in the January 20 Guineas Trial at Meydan, but the Kentucky-bred three-year-old took his vengeance on his older rival in the main event, Thursday's $250,000 U.A.E. Two Thousand Guineas (UAE-G3).
With a smashing 4 1/4-length victory in the January 15 Sham Stakes (G3), TAPIZAR (Tapit) established himself as one of the leading three-year-olds on the West Coast, and the Steve Asmussen trainee will take the next step toward the Kentucky Derby (G1) when he lines up for Saturday's $250,000
Seven sophomores have been entered in Saturday's $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (G3) at Golden Gate Fields, but all eyes will be on CashCall Futurity (G1) hero COMMA TO THE TOP (Bwana Charlie). The Peter Miller trainee makes his return, and three-year-old bow, in the 1 1/8-mile Tapeta test riding a five-race win streak that dates back to when he captured an allowance over the track in October.
Trainer Neil Howard, in the midst of a banner winter season at Fair Grounds where he is batting over .300 in trips to the winner's circle from a modest number of starters, on Monday updated the status of his leading three-year-olds regarding the February 19 Risen Star S. (G2).
Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito has not determined the next objective for the undefeated DIALED IN (Mineshaft), who burst onto the Kentucky Derby (G1) radar screen with an impressive victory in the January 30 Holy Bull S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park.