Derby Trail – 3/20/17

With every passing weekend the first Saturday in May comes into view. – I have to admit the picture is still a little fuzzy but it is starting to take shape. I’m still leaning toward a long-shot payoff, but that’s why they run the races. There are only 47 days left till post time, and you’ll want to be dialed in right here to Winning Ponies. We’ll have blogs, stories, updates and the Winning Ponies Internet Show with John Engelhardt bringing you the best names in racing. – As always you’ll want to keep your Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms handy as they have over $1,838,065 in exotic payouts. And if you’re still on the bubble. Go back and check the results page as you’ll see Winning Ponies had the winner of the (G-2) Rebel Stakes as their TOP tier selection. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !


Oaklawn Park


The G-2 $900,000 Rebel Stakes – 1 1/16

Coming into the race was the (2-1) morning line favorite American Anthem for the Bob Baffert barn. Baffert has owned this race the past number of years and with Mike Smith in the saddle made the son of Bodemeister look double-tough. The race appeared to have boatloads of speed and plenty of late running three-year-olds.


Malagacy was super impressive just laying off the speed and pouncing when asked. 3/3 with wins is this nice son of Shackleford and I’m really scratching my head. Will distance be a problem, or were his first two efforts sprinting just taking it slow and allowing him to develop. Far be it from this handicapper to question Todd Pletcher and his works have been very nice at Palm Meadows in Florida. – I have to admit I overlooked him, but the E-Z Win Forms had him nailed all the way. Maybe there is a “push-button” runner right here and we better not question anything about the colt.

Untrapped ran a winner’s race around the 5/16th’s pole and I would have doubled my wager. But he went a smidgen wide and looked to lose interest. I am really impressed with this son of Trappe Shot and Steve Asmussen must be respected at every turn. Pay close attention to where he broke his maiden impressively. I’m sure many others are aware of his big effort breaking from the 11 post drawing off with authority.

Silver Dust didn’t run his race this day and ran into a little trouble. – If you’re looking for a solid closer look no further than this son of Tapit who loves to mow them down late. He’ll need to find a spot to rebound for some needed Derby points if he’s going to be a contender and time is of the essence. Another runner who broke his maiden under the Twin Spires and going a mile that day looked to be easy work as he split horses and inhaled the field.

Lookin At Lee is about to make my “looks good and just doesn’t have the tools” list for runners. I won’t count him out and if the pace is hot he can come rolling from the clouds. This son of Lookin at Lucky is solid and Mr. Asmussen will find him a perfect spot to strut his stuff.


After the dust cleared and the official sign was posted. The questions are still mounting and the Derby picture is not clear. It is starting to show some nice runners but will they be there on the first Saturday in May ? – Time will tell and be sure and keep your eyes posted on who comes out of the preps in good order. McCracken is settled in the peaceful surroundings of Keeneland and Classic Empire finally worked at Ocala after having second thoughts about not doing his morning jog. – I love Tapwrit and how he looked over the cuppy surface at Tampa which is famous for “legging” up runners and having them ready to fire. – Still plenty of time and you’ll want to really pay attention. This upcoming Saturday you’ll see the (G-3) Spiral at Turfway Park as well as the (G-3) Bourbonette Oaks. On April 1, you’ll see the (G-1) Florida Derby and the (G-2) Louisiana Derby. – There is plenty on the horizon and you’ll need to be right on top of your game. You’re in the right place, so just stay tuned and let Winning Ponies get you ready to make your way to the winner’s circle. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !