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Nine will line-up on Saturday for the $125,000 Honeybee S. (G3) at Oaklawn Park, the final local prep for that track's April 10 Fantasy S. (G2), and the 1 1/16-mile test features the return of Demoiselle S. (G2) heroine DIXIE CITY (Dixie Union) and Frizette S. (G1) third JOYFUL VICTORY (Tapit).
Todd Pletcher understands that expectations for Uncle Mo far exceed an anticipated victory in Saturday's $100,000 Timely Writer at Gulfstream Park. With 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta retired and confirmed in foal to Bernardini, his undefeated three-year-old colt is widely viewed as Thoroughbred racing's Next Big Thing -- a rare specimen with the talent and charisma to capture the imagination of the American public.
STAY THIRSTY (Bernardini) wasn't spectacular in Saturday's Gotham S. (G3), but he won going away and looked good doing it. Trainer Todd Pletcher got what he wanted with a positive performance to build upon for the Kentucky Derby (G1).
DIALED IN (Mineshaft) faltered Sunday in an allowance at Gulfstream Park, sustaining his first loss with a non-threatening second, but trainer Nick Zito was able to find a silver lining: the 1 1/8-mile event had no pace and the lightly-raced Dialed In needed a two-turn race for foundation. The late runner is eligible to improve off the setback.
John Asher, Churchill Downs' vice president of racing communications and noted Kentucky Derby (G1) historian, will be the featured guest on Friday night's "Kentucky Derby Trail" live chat between 7-9 p.m. (ET). Moderated by five-time National Handicapping Championship qualifier Tim Holland, the question-and-answer chat will discuss this weekend's Kentucky Derby and Oaks future wagers, and much more.
Catesby W. Clay's Bourbon S. (G3) hero ROGUE ROMANCE (Smarty Jones) has sustained a slight heel bruise and will miss his scheduled workout this weekend as well as his intended start in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) on March 26, his connections announced on Thursday.
Trainer Ken McPeek reported that the colt, bred by Clay in partnership with the Clay family's Runnymede Farm, is walking sound but is somewhat sensitive on the problem foot.
Undefeated champion UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie) will make his highly anticipated three-year-old debut on Saturday against only five rivals in the $100,000 Timely Writer S., a one-turn mile at Gulfstream Park. Originally scheduled to return in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), the colt's connections -- owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher -- changed course in February and began building up a Timely Writer bid instead.
A visually impressive winner of the Norfolk S. (G1) last October when overcoming a wide trip, Zayat Stables' JAYCITO (Victory Gallop) took a step backward in the November 6 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Churchill Downs, finishing a distant seventh after losing considerable ground early and bolting. Moved from trainer Mike Mitchell to Bob Baffert over the winter, the big colt will make his belated seasonal debut for that outfit in Saturday's $250,000 San Felipe S. (G2) at Santa Anita.