Out of Bounds
At Hollywood Park on Mar. 5 during his final work out ahead of the San Felipe (Grade II), Out of Bounds suffered a condylar fracture of the left front cannon bone, which will sideline him for at least three months and force him off the Derby trail. After breaking his maiden at Hollywood Park in December, Out of Bounds captured his stakes debut by closing from off the pace to win the Sham Stakes (Grade III) by 3/4 of a length on Jan. 7 at Santa Anita.
Probable next start - Off Derby trail
He battled bravely to finish second beaten just a nose to Drill in the San Vicente Stakes (Grade II) on Feb. 19, but tired to finish 7th after setting the early pace in the San Felipe Stakes (Grade II) on Mar. 10. Previously, he broke his maiden in wire-to-wire fashion defeating the debuting Bodemiester by two lengths. American Act gives Jack Carava a rare shot at having a contender on the Derby trails.
Probable next start - Undetermined
Off a pair of wins sprinting over Santa Anita's main track including the San Pedro Stakes, Midnight Transfer stretched out for the first time for trainer Carla Gaines and impressed with a third-place finish in the San Felipe Stakes (Grade II) on Mar. 10. The only female trainer to win the Santa Anita Derby is Jenine Sahadi, who did it in 2000 with The Deputy.
Probable next start - 4/7 - $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (Grade I) - Santa Anita
Named after Bob Baffert's son Bode (pronounced Bo-Dee), he burst onto the scene by breaking his maiden by over nine lengths in his second career start at Santa Anita on Feb. 11 and followed that up by running second in the San Felipe Stakes (Grade II) on Mar. 10. Bodemiester earned $60,000 in graded stakes money with that effort and will need additional cash to secure his spot in the starting gate at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May.
After closing from far back to win the California Derby and Gold Rush Stakes, Russian Greek settled for a fifth-place finish in the El Camino Real Derby (Grade III) on Feb. 18 and then was no factor while finishing eighth in the Spiral Stakes (Grade III) at Turfway Park on Mar. 24. He broke his maiden on the dirt at Santa Rosa last July.
Probable next start - 4/14 - $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I) - Keeneland
Bob and John
Despite a perfect ground-saving trip behind the leaders in the San Felipe Stakes (Grade II) on Mar. 10, Groovin' Solo faded to last in the field of ten as a 22-to-1 long shot. His previous two tries in graded stakes were adventurous to say the least after his reign broke in the Cash Call Futurity (Grade I) and he was disqualified from third to last in the Robert B. Lewis (Grade II).
Bob Baffert announced on Twitter on Feb. 25 that Sky Kingdom was off the Derby trail due to injury and would need 60 days off before going back into training. He won under wraps by 4 1/2-lengths in an allowance race at Santa Anita on Jan. 12, but tired to finish seventh as the 7-to-2 third choice in the Robert B. Lewis (Grade II) three weeks later.
The $1 million son of Smart Strike was left in the wake of both Bodemiester and Consulado in runner-up maiden efforts to start his career. Welter Weight has not posted a workout since his defeat on Feb. 11 and is likely out of contention for the Santa Anita Derby.
The big gray son of Giant's Causeway built upon a third-place finish in the San Vicente Stakes (Grade II) in his 2012 debut by solidifying himself as the top 3-year-old in California with a win in the San Felipe Stakes (Grade II) on Mar. 10. He has now won three graded stakes after having captured the Norfolk Stakes (Grade I) at Santa Anita and the Best Pal Stakes (Grade II) at Del Mar in 2011. Creative Cause concluded a banner 2-year-old season that saw him earn over $500,000 with a third-place effort in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Grade I) at Churchill Downs in November.
A trio of Grade II efforts to start his 3-year-old campaign has resulted in a third-place finish in the Robert B. Lewis on Feb. 4, splitting the ten-horse field in the San Felipe Stakes on Mar. 10, and running on for third in the Louisiana Derby on Apr. 1. The best Cal-bred hope had previously stepped out of restricted state-bred races after winning the Cal Cup Juvenile to finish as the runner-up less than a length behind Liaison in both the Cash Call Futurity (Grade I) and Real Quiet Stakes.
Probable next start - 5/5 - $2 million Kentucky Derby (Grade I) - Churchill Downs
Secret Circle shipped east to Oaklawn to capture the 2nd division of the Southwest Stakes (Grade III) on Feb. 20 along with the Rebel Stakes (Grade II) on Mar. 17. He began his 3-year-old season in second behind Out of Bounds when trying two turns for the first time in the Sham Stakes (Grade III) after capping a perfect 2-year-old campaign by winning the inaugural Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint at Churchill Downs. His sire, Eddington, skipped the Kentucky Derby, but ran third in the Preakness Stakes and fourth in the Belmont Stakes in 2004.
Probable next start - 4/14 - $1 million Arkansas Derby (Grade I) - Oaklawn
Brother Francis made his 3-year-old debut on turf on Mar. 10 and is still a maiden after only being able to muster a third-place finish. He is multiple graded stakes-placed with a third-place finish in the Cash Call Futurity (Grade I) on the heels of a runner-up effort in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes (Grade III). In his lone try on dirt, Brother Francis finished a fast-closing second after finding himself at the back of a 12-horse field and going five-wide when he debuted at Santa Anita in a maiden race last November.
Purchased privately after breaking his maiden and finishing second in the Generous Stakes (Grade III), both on turf, Handsome Mike disappointed in a pair of main track tries in the Cash Call Futurity (Grade I) and Sham Stakes (Grade III). He added blinkers for the first time, but got no breather on the lead while digging in to hang on for third in the El Camino Real Derby (Grade III) on Feb. 18 and then was dead last early in the Spiral Stakes (Grade III) on Mar. 24 before running on to finish fourth.
Holy Candy was finally able to break his maiden in his fourth career start on Mar. 23 after three runner-up finishes in maiden races behind Empire Way, Castaway and Stirred Up. Holy Candy is the lone hope from the usually loaded barn of John Sadler.
He faded to last after showing brief speed in the El Camino Real Derby (Grade III) on Feb. 19 and then was beaten over ten lengths in fourth in a short allowance optional claiming field three weeks later. It took Cahill Chrome five tries to break his maiden in claiming company at Golden Gate Fields, but he added a pair of wins after and ran the best race of his career to finished second at 29-to-1 in the California Derby on Jan. 14.
He concluded his 2-year-old season with a 5 1/4-length maiden victory at Churchill Downs in November, but disappointed to finish last in a field of five in the Sham Stakes (Grade III) to start his 2012 campaign. Hierro dipped into allowance optional claiming company on Mar. 16, but had to settle for a fourth-place finish after encountering trouble out of the starting gate and in the home stretch.
After suffering what was believed to be a minor setback that was announced on Mar. 7, Fed Biz skipped the San Felipe (Grade II) on Mar. 10 and then was declared off the Derby trail by Bob Baffert on Mar. 12. Purchased for $950,000 at auction, the son of Giant's Causeway notched both career wins at the current Santa Anita meet including a resounding 5 3/4length score in allowance optional claiming company on Feb. 9, after which jockey Rafael Bejarano proclaimed, "This is my Derby horse, buddy."
After completing the long shot exacta at 11-to-1 behind I'll Have Another in the Robert B. Lewis (Grade II), Empire Way disappointed to finish 9th in the San Felipe Stakes (Grade II) on Mar. 10 and was subsequently taken out of Derby consideration by trainer Mike Harrington. He's a full brother to last year's Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (Grade I) champion Royal Delta.
Sent off as the 7-to-5 favorite in the Robert B. Lewis (Grade II) after winning both the Cash Call Futurity (Grade I) and Real Quiet Stakes, Liaison didn't cross the finish line after a bumpy trip ended with him dumping Rafael Bejarano in the stretch. Martin Garcia took over for the first time in the San Felipe Stakes (Grade II) on Mar. 10 and with blinkers coming off the son of Indian Charlie redeemed himself with a solid fourth-place effort.
Unraced since breaking his maiden by 2 1/2-lenths at Churchill Downs on October 30, Wharton was training steadily at Santa Anita for Steve Asmussen until something went awry on Feb. 6 and he hasn't hit the track since. In his maiden victory, the Ohio-bred defeated stable mate Z Dager, who since has a runner-up effort in the LeComte Stakes (Grade III) at Fair Grounds to his credit.
The early juvenile front-runner in California after winning the Del Mar Futurity (Grade I) last summer, Drill rebounded from a five-race losing streak to win the San Vicente Stakes (Grade II) by a nose on Feb. 19.
Probable next start - 4/17 - $250,000 Bay Shore Stakes (Grade III) - Aqueduct
No morning drills since Jan. 16 indicate this Doug O'Neill trainee is far from making his 3-year-old debut. The son of Borrego, who finished 10th in the 2004 Kentucky Derby, has finished off the board in a trio of Grade I tries, but did run second in the $1 million Delta Jackpot (Grade III) to give him the graded stakes earnings needed for a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.
Daddy Nose Best
Daddy Nose Best gave Steve Asmussen consecutive El Camino Real Derby (Grade III) wins by getting his nose down ahead of Lucky Chappy on Feb. 18 and then transferred his form to dirt to win the Sunland Park Derby (Grade III) on Mar. 25. His previous six starts had come on turf and included a pair of wins, but he did run second in his career debut on the dirt at Churchill Downs last June. Daddy Nose Best was graded stakes placed as a 2-year-old after running third in the Summer Stakes (Grade III) at Woodbine and finished sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (Grade I).
After bouncing back from getting pulled up in the Generous Stakes (Grade III) to finish third in the California Derby, Senor Rain disappointed with a ninth-place finish in the El Camino Real Derby (Grade III) on Feb. 18. He returned to post an upset victory at 21-to-1 in an allowance optional claiming race on Mar. 16, which made him a perfect 2-for-2 over Santa Anita's main track.
I'll Have Another
Making his 3-year-old debut five months after a disappointing effort in the slop at Saratoga in the Hopeful (Grade I), I'll Have Another stretched out for the first time and scored a massive upset as the longest shot in the field at 43-to-1 in the Robert B. Lewis (Grade II) on Feb. 4 at Santa Anita. He was previously the runner-up to Creative Cause in the Best Pal Stakes (Grade II) at Del Mar.
He still only has a maiden win on turf to his credit after beginning his 3-year-old campaign with a sixth-place finish in the San Felipe Stakes (Grade II) on Mar. 10. Blingo closed with a rush in the Cash Call Futurity (Grade I) to also finish sixth despite a miserable start that had him far back early. Trainer John Shirreffs saddled the last Kentucky Derby winner to come from California with 50-to-1 long shot Giacomo in 2005.
A multiple stakes winner on the Northern California Fair Circuit, Longview Drive ran third in a pair of Grade III's in both the $1 million Delta Jackpot and Sham Stakes, but disappointed in another Grade III when he ran sixth as the tepid 3-to-1 favorite in the 1st division of the Southwest Stakes on Feb. 20. A full brother to 2008 Kentucky Derby participant Pyro (8th place), he's shown the versatility to run well from far off the pace and on the lead.
After breaking his maiden nicely at Santa Anita on Jan. 29, getting the upper hand on Bob Baffert's Stirred Up by 1-1/2 lengths, he shipped to Sunland Park on Feb. 25 for his stakes debut in the Borderland Derby and closed to finish second as the even-money favorite. Zackn'mat had previously faced Fed Biz in consecutive runner-up efforts, finishing ahead of him on Nov. 27 at Hollywood Park and nearly two lengths behind at Santa Anita on Dec. 30.
Another of the Baffert brigade and still only a maiden winner, Night Tide's 3-year-old debut was put on hold when he was scratched from an allowance optional claiming race on Mar. 16. After finishing third in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (Grade III), something went awry when he was beaten over ten lengths in the Best Pal Stakes (Grade II) at Del Mar.
Lemon Drop Kid
After a late start to his career, Stirred Up broke his maiden on Mar. 3 in his third race when he held off Holy Candy by a neck and then debuted in a stake with a third-place finish in the Sunland Park Derby (Grade III) on Mar. 25. If he doesn't make an impact in the Santa Anita or Kentucky Derby, the son of Lemon Drop Kid could be one to keep an eye on for the second two legs of the Triple Crown.
It took six starts for Castaway to break his maiden, but he did so resoundingly in wire-to-wire fashion at Santa Anita on Dec. 30 and then shipped to Oaklawn to win his stakes debut in the 1st division of the Southwest Stakes (Grade III) on Feb. 20. The son of 2007 Kentucky Derby champion Street Sense faltered after an early speed duel to finish seventh as the 8-to-5 favorite in the Sunland Park Derby (Grade III) on Mar. 25.
His ship west and first try on a synthetic main track resulted in a near-miss runner-up finish beaten just a nose to Daddy Nose Best in the El Camino Real Derby (Grade III) on Feb. 18 at Golden Gate and then he shipped half way around the world to run 7th in the UAE Derby (Group II) in Dubai on Mar. 31. All six of Lucky Chappy's previous career starts had come on turf, with a trio of defeats in the U.S. after a pair of clear wins in Italy.