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Juvenile colt champion Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) was entered in Saturday's $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) as a precaution in case the Timely Writer S. at Gulfstream Park failed to draw sufficient entries, but it now appears Uncle Mo will be staying closer to his South Florida base while stablemate BRETHREN (Distorted Humor) will fly the flag for the Todd Pletcher barn in the 1 1/16-mile test at Tampa Bay Downs.
Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 Looks Like a 'Pick 'Em': 'All Others' Narrow Choice Over Uncle Mo
With the 2011 debut of Repole Stable’s Uncle Mo, the unbeaten 2010 2-year-old champion, set for this weekend, a strong effort by the champion could push the Todd Pletcher-trained son of Indian Charlie into the position of overall favorite in the second betting of three betting pools in Churchill Downs’ 2011 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”), which opens its three-day run at noon (all times Eastern) on Friday, March 11.
The connections of Santa Anita Oaks (G1) winner TURBULENT DESCENT (Congrats) have all but ruled out a bid at the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (G1) and will instead point the filly toward shorter races, trainer Mike Puype told Daily Racing Form on Tuesday.
Turbulent Descent captured the Santa Anita Oaks last Saturday by a neck over Zazu (Tapit), a rival that beat her two starts back in the Las Virgenes S. (G1).
Trainer Bob Baffert told Daily Racing Form that THE FACTOR (War Front) is now likely to ship to Oaklawn Park for the March 19 Rebel S. (G2). The 1 1/16-mile test would mark his two-turn debut.
"If he works well next week, and I'm happy with him, we'll go to the Rebel," Baffert said Sunday.
"If I'm not happy, we'll go to the next one. That's my plan."
A track record-setting winner of a six-furlong maiden at Santa Anita on December 26, The Factor captured the seven-furlong San Vicente S. (G2) last time out on February 20.
At Oaklawn Park on Sunday, a quartet of three-year-olds posted works in preparation for the March 19 Rebel S. (G2) -- ARCHARCHARCH (Arch), winner of the February 21 Southwest S. (G3); ELITE ALEX (Afleet Alex), a wide-trip third in the Southwest; CALEB'S POSSE (Posse), winner of the January 17 Smarty Jones S.; and ALTERNATION (Distorted Humor), a two-time allowance winner this meet.
Archarcharch turned in what trainer Jinks Fires described as the colt's best workout since arriving in Arkansas with a six-furlong breeze in 1:13 2/5 under regular jockey Jon Court.
Unbeaten, untested and unsung. All apply to the the undefeated California-bred BENCH POINTS (Benchmark), who will show whether or not he's Triple Crown material when he seeks his fifth victory next Saturday in the San Felipe S. (G2) going 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita. The race is an important steppingstone to the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 9.
To help fill the 1 1/8-mile allowance prep that he wanted for Dialed In (Mineshaft) in advance of the April 3 Florida Derby (G1), trainer Nick Zito entered another runner, the four-year-old EQUESTRIO (Elusive Quality). In an ironic turn of events, it was that second-stringer Equestrio who handed Dialed In his first career loss in Sunday's 4TH race at Gulfstream Park.
Gotham S. (G3) hero STAY THIRSTY (Bernardini), Tom Fool H. (G3) victor CALIBRACHOA (Southern Image) and Fred "Cappy" Capossela S. winner SENSATIONAL SLAM (Grand Slam) all came out of Saturday's stakes wins in great shape, assistant Jonathan Thomas reported from trainer Todd Pletcher's barn.
POSITIVE RESPONSE (Pomeroy) left no doubt as to who was best in Saturday evening's $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial S. at Turfway Park. Sent right to the front by jockey Julien Couton, Positive Response led the field going into the first turn and left them behind coming out of the second, drawing off to win by seven lengths over Taptowne (Tapit).
The winner clocked splits of :24 1/5, :48 1/5, 1:12 4/5 and 1:38 2/5 before finishing the 1 1/16-mile race over Polytrack in 1:45.