Weekend Lineup: Derby Prep Duo Leads 14 Graded Stakes - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Weekend Lineup: Derby Prep Duo Leads 14 Graded Stakes

Cyclone Mischief

A pair of prep races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby remain on offer this weekend, following the cancellation of Friday and Saturday's cards at Aqueduct Racetrack due to freezing temperatures and high winds. Aqueduct had scheduled the Grade 3, $250,000 Withers, offering 20-8-6-4-2 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-five finishers; the Derby prep will be brought back on Saturday, Feb. 11.

The remaining Derby preps are the G3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita and the G3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park.

Embattled trainer Bob Baffert has won ten previous editions of the G3 Lewis and will add an eleventh to his resume with all four entrants in the race including Newgate, a multiple graded stakes placed colt who will be ridden by Franke Dettori.

There are eight entrants in the G3 Holy Bull, led by Dale Romans-trained allowance winner Cyclone Mischief. Trainer Bill Mott and jockey Junior Alvarado, the pair that teamed up to win the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1), will reunite with Rocket Cam, a son of Into Mischief making his stakes debut.

Gulfstream's Holy Bull undercard includes four other graded stakes races, while Santa Anita's Saturday card includes three additional graded stakes races.

Other significant stakes action around the country on Saturday includes the G3 Bayakoa at Oaklawn, a pair of graded stakes on the turf at Tampa Bay Downs, and Louisiana Premier Day at Delta Downs. Sunday's action is topped by a pair of Grade 3 stakes at Santa Anita.


4:00 p.m. – G3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park

A close second in his most recent start, Newgate heads a field of four Bob Baffert trainees going 1 1/16 miles in Saturday's $200,000 Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita.

Off at 5-1 in the Sham Stakes (G3) at one mile on Jan. 8 at Santa Anita, Newgate, last early in a compact field of five, rallied gallantly through the lane but couldn't get on terms with stablemate Reincarnate, losing by a neck under Frankie Dettori, who rides him back on Saturday.

Odds-on in all three of his starts, Arabian Lion, who flopped at 2-5 while beaten 12 lengths in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) Dec. 17, will hope to run back to a big second-place finish going seven furlongs in a first condition allowance at Keeneland Nov. 4, a race in which he finished second by three quarters of a length at 3-5.

Lewis Entries

5:43 p.m. – G3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park

Trainer Dale Romans won't be lacking in confidence when he saddles Cyclone Mischief for a start in Saturday's $250,000 Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park. Cyclone Mischief is coming off an eye-catching Jan. 8 optional claiming allowance victory at Gulfstream. The son of Into Mischief, who was purchased for $450,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September yearling sale, saved ground while stalking the early pace before making a three-wide sweep to take the lead on the turn into the homestretch and drawing off to win by 5 ¾ lengths.

Legacy Island would have been bringing an undefeated record into the Holy Bull had he not been disqualified from first in the Jan. 1 Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream. The son of Shackleford graduated by five lengths at 6 ½ furlongs before taking a mile optional claiming allowance by three lengths. Legacy Island prevailed in the Mucho Macho Man by a half-length but was disqualified and placed second for drifting out late into Dreaming of Kona, who was awarded the victory.

Hall of Fame Bill Mott, who saddled Art Collector for a victory in Saturday's Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), has entered two 3-year-olds in the Holy Bull – Rocket Can and Shadow Dragon.

Rocket Can, also a son of Into Mischief, broke his maiden at third asking in his first try around two turns, graduating by two lengths Oct. 30 at Churchill Downs. The $245,000 purchase from breeder Woodford Thoroughbreds at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale came back to finish second, beaten by a half-length, is an optional claiming allowance in his juvenile finale at Churchill Downs.

Shadow Dragon, a New York-bred son of Army Mule, won at first asking at Aqueduct Sept. 29 before finishing off the board in the mile Sleepy Hollow of state-breds.

Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. is also represented by a pair of colts in the Holy Bull field: Lord Miles and West Coast Cowboy.

Lord Miles made an auspicious debut Nov. 19 at Gulfstream, overcoming early bumping to win by 5 ¾ lengths going away. The homebred son of Curlin dropped well off the early pace in the Mucho Macho Man before surging late to finish third, less than a length behind Legacy Isle.

West Coast Cowboy won at first asking at Gulfstream Sept. 18 with a front-running narrow victory at a mile. The son of West Coast raced evenly in his return to finish fourth behind Legacy Isle in a Nov. 27 optional claiming allowance.

Holy Bull Entries

7:00 p.m. – G2 Santa Monica Stakes at Santa Anita Park 

California-bred Fun to Dream, fresh off the biggest win of her life at Santa Anita on Dec. 26, heads a field of six older fillies and mares going seven furlongs in Saturday's $200,000 Santa Monica Stakes (G2). An impressive three-quarter length winner of the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at the same distance on opening day, Fun to Dream, unbeaten in three starts at seven panels, seeks her fourth win in a row and her sixth from seven lifetime starts in the Santa Monica.

Second by three-quarters of a length to Fun to Dream in the La Brea, Doug O'Neill's Awake At Midnyte, second three starts back in the Zenyatta Stakes (G2) at 1 1/16 miles on Oct. 2, is five times graded stakes-placed and will try to turn the tables on the top selection in what will be her 11th career start.

Santa Monica Entries

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