TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders

TDN Derby Top 12 for February 27

This week’s GI Kentucky Derby Top 12 prognostications represent a calm stretch of water in a sea of uncertainty, but the journey only figures to become more turbulent over the next two weekends. The top end of this list has been dominated since January by contenders that have not raced since the Breeders’ Cup, and although there have been several solid efforts, we have yet to see a scintillating performance in 2018 by any Derby candidate. We have to presume that such major breakthrough races are in the pipeline though, and no highly hyped horses should consider their lofty rankings safe as we approach the nine-week mark to the first leg of the Triple Crown.

1) GOOD MAGIC (c, CurlinGlinda the Good, by Hard Spun)

O-e Five Thoroughbreds & Stonestreet Stables. B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings (KY). T-Chad Brown. Sales History: $1,000,000 yrl KEESEP ’16. Lifetime Record: GISW, 3-1-2-0, $1,216,600.

Feb. 21 TDN Top 12 Rank: 1

Last Start: 1st, GI Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, SA, Nov. 4.

Accomplishments Include: 2nd, GI Champagne S., BEL, Oct. 7.

Next Start: GII Fountain of Youth S., GP, Mar. 3

Equineline PPs.

KY Derby Points: 24

This will be the final week that the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and Eclipse Award 2-year-old champ retains the kingpin status on the Top 12 list based solely on his juvenile form. If he runs a strong race in Saturday’s GII Fountain of Youth S., Good Magic will assert himself atop the division based on fresh, forward-looking evidence that he’s lived up to his offseason hype. And if he unleashes a dominant, “Wow!” performance, the chasm between him and the rest of the sophomore class will widen appreciably. When you watch videos of his Palm Meadows workouts this winter in succession, you begin to get a sense of why trainer Chad Brown is exuding quiet confidence that his million-dollar KEESEP Curlin colt is progressing toward a peak effort with only two planned prep races prior to the Derby. On Saturday, Good Magic breezed a solo half mile in :48.30 (5/56). It’s worth noting that his previous two works had been in company with 5-year-old Economic Model (Flatter), who returned off an October layoff Saturday to beat a solid field of older milers in Gulfstream’s GIII Hal’s Hope S. A subplot of the Fountain of Youth (which will be drawn Wednesday and looks challenging based on probables) will be Good Magic’s tactical placement within the race. The champ has already displayed ample stalking speed, but his lifetime body of work (just three races, only one win) isn’t deep enough to zero in on what his preferred in-race placement is. It also remains an open question as to how keyed up he’ll be off the four-month layoff, and how that temperament might play over a racing surface that often favors speedsters.

2) MCKINZIE (c, Street SenseRunway Model, by Petionville)

‘TDN Rising Star’ O-Karl Watson, Michael Pegram & Paul Weitman. B-Summer Wind Farm (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $170,000 yrl KEESEP ’16. Lifetime Record: GISW,

3-3-0-0, $270,000.

Feb. 21 TDN Top 12 Rank: 2

Last Start: 1st, GIII Sham S., SA, Jan. 6

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GI Los Alamitos Futurity, LRC, Dec. 9

Next Start: Possible for either GII San Felipe S., SA, Mar. 10 or GII Rebel S., OP, Mar. 17

Equineline PPs. Caulfield on McKinzie.

KY Derby Points: 20

Not only is the trend of giving Derby hopefuls fewer preps here to stay, but the era of trainers holding off on disclosing their next target races seems to be cycling into vogue as well. I can’t say that I blame someone like Bob Baffert for not wanting to commit too early considering all the training variables and A-list sophomores he has to juggle in his deep rotation–why wouldn’t you want to wait as long as you can to make the most informed decision possible? At least for ‘TDN Rising Star’ McKinzie, Baffert for weeks now has narrowed his next-race placement down to two spots–either the GII San Felipe S. at Santa Anita Mar. 10 or the GII Rebel S. at Oaklawn Park Mar. 17. In the meantime, this $170,000 KEESEP Street Sense colt is progressing week by week in morning training since posting a primed-to-pounce 3 1/2-length victory going a mile in the GIII Sham S. Jan. 6. Prior to that, McKinzie earned a hard-fought win via DQ in the GI Los Alamitos Futurity after a prolonged stretch tussle with uncoupled stablemate Solomini (Curlin) and eventual next-out graded stakes winner Instilled Regard (Arch), both of whom are ranked within the Top 12. On Saturday McKinzie worked seven furlongs in 1:25.40 (3/3) at Santa Anita. On Sunday the colt officially turned three based on his Feb. 25 foaling date.

3) BOLT D’ORO (c, Medaglia d’OroGlobe Trot, by A.P. Indy)

O-Ruis Racing. B-WinStar Farm (KY). T-Mick Ruis. Sales History: $630,000 yrl FTSAUG ’16. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 4-3-0-1, $576,000.

Feb. 21 TDN Top 12 Rank: 3

Last Start: 3rd, GI Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, SA, Nov. 4

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GI Del Mar Futurity, DMR, Sept. 4; 1st GI FrontRunner S., SA, Sept. 30.

Next Start: GII San Felipe S., SA, Mar. 10

Equineline PPs. Caulfield on Bolt d’Oro.

KY Derby Points: 14

In what was the most anticipated workout of the year so far for a Derby contender, Bolt d’Oro drilled six furlongs out of the gate Monday morning at Santa Anita in 1:12 (1/8) and was given gallop-out times for seven furlongs in 1:25 flat and a mile in 1:39.80 by the Santa Anita clocking crew. The move was notable because jockey Javier Castellano had flown cross-country specifically to get acquainted with his new equine partner in preparation for their date in the Mar. 10 San Felipe S., but it also featured an early tactical hiccup in that this $630,000 son of Medaglia d’Oro broke a stutter-step slow before getting into gear. Parked behind a maiden workmate, “Bolt” gradually reeled him in, opening up by some 10 lengths at the wire before being vigorously ridden out to the seven furlong pole. “He breezed good, I really like the way he finished,” Castellano said after the move. “He got some dirt in his face and it didn’t bother him. I asked him little by little to pick it up around the turn and he did it very easy. I rode him the way they asked me and it was a good, solid work.” Owner/trainer Mick Ruis added “He went a little quick early, but he finished really good. I think we’re where we need to be. He’s a very smart horse and he can get very relaxed behind the gate. I’m really glad we worked out of the gate today, because he’ll be much sharper next time.”

4) AVERY ISLAND (c, Street Sense-Kinda Spicy, by A.P. Indy)

O-Godolphin Racing. B-Godolphin (KY). T-Kiaran McLaughlin. Lifetime Record: GSW, 5-3-1-0, $365,332.

Feb. 21 TDN Top 12 Rank: 4

Last Start: 1st, GIII Withers S., AQU, Feb. 3.

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GII Nashua S., AQU, Nov. 5.

Next Start: Uncommitted

Equineline PPs.

KY Derby Points: 14

Avery Island’s next-prep plans have crystallized since last week’s Top 12 listings. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin now has the GIII Withers S. winner on target for the Mar. 24 GII Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, with the GII Blue Grass S. at Keeneland and the GII Wood Memorial at Aqueduct as backup plans (both are Apr. 7). The Louisiana Derby timing works out to seven weeks since the Withers and then six weeks out to the Kentucky Derby, and it eliminates the need for the strapping Godolphin-owned-and-bred son of Street Sense to have to cut back in distance in one of the earlier preps on the calendar. The 1,346-foot Fair Grounds stretch should also play to the colt’s stamina-oriented style. If you toss out Avery Island’s career debut of seventh when sprinting at Saratoga last summer, he owns three convincing wins by comfortable margins (two of them stakes) and a lone second when the beaten favorite in last December’s GII Remsen S. Avery Island has already demonstrated (most specifically in the Withers) that he can stalk close to the early pace yet remain unfazed when more keyed-up speedsters want to zoom by him in the early stages of his races, which is important because some of his sophomore peers have yet to grasp that important lesson. The deeper he goes into the prep season as a viable threat, the better his chances look or wearing a blanket of roses on the first Saturday in May.

5) CATHOLIC BOY (c, More Than ReadySong of Bernadette, by Bernardini)

O-Robert V. LaPenta & Madaket Stable. B-Fred W. Hertrich III & John D. Fielding (KY). T-Jonathan Thomas. Sales History: $170,000 PS yrl KEEJAN ’16. Lifetime Record: MGSW, 5-3-1-0, $354,000.

Feb. 21 TDN Top 12 Rank: 5

Last Start: 2nd, GIII Sam F. Davis S., TAM, Feb. 10

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GII Remsen S., AQU, Dec. 2.; 1st, GIII With Anticipation S., SAR, Aug. 30.

Next Start: Uncommitted

Equineline PPs.

KY Derby Points: 14

Catholic Boy stands a solid shot to have his stock rise in these rankings by the time the nine-furlong preps roll around. “Right now the two logical spots for us are the Louisiana Derby and the [GI] Florida Derby,” trainer Jonathan Thomas said in a Sunday phone interview. “We’re kind of keeping both options in play. He’s back at Bridlewood Farm and he’s going to breeze on either Friday or Saturday, weather dependent.” As for his mildly disappointing (because expectations were so high) second as the 7-10 favorite behind Flameaway (Scat Daddy) in the GIII Davis S. at Tampa, Thomas said, “Once the dust settled and we had time to digest and make sure he came out of the race with no [physical] excuses, we felt it was a strongly run race. The winner is a good horse, and we were giving him a touch of weight. We obviously gave up a lot of ground [three wide on both turns], and I felt a lot better once the [Ragozin] sheets came back and they gave him a six when the winner got a nine. Although we were hoping to win, I think he got a pretty good fitness test out of it. Certainly not blaming the rider, but it was a little bit of a different setup than we had hoped for. We were hoping to save some ground and follow horses around, but we ended up getting parked wide. But listen: They’re preps, and I think we learned something about him. I’d like to get him buried and just take him off the pace a bit more and let him come with a big, extended run.”

6) SOLOMINI (c, Curlin-Surf Song, by Storm Cat)

O-Zayat Stables LLC. B-Glenna R. Salyer (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales history: $270,000 KEESEP yrl. Lifetime Record: MGISP, 4-1-2-1, $472,000

Feb. 21 TDN Top 12 Rank: 6

Last Start: 3rd, GI Los Alamitos Futurity, LRC, Dec.9.

Accomplishments Include: 2nd, GI Frontrunner S., SA, Sept. 30; 2nd, GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, DMR, Nov. 4

Next Start: Possible for either GII San Felipe S., SA, Mar. 10 or GII Rebel S., OP, Mar. 17

Equineline PPs.

KY Derby Points: 14

Within the Baffert barn, Solomini and McKinzie right now are sharing a “one or the other” next-race commitment, with one colt staying home for the Mar. 10 San Felipe S. at Santa Anita and the other tabbed for the Rebel S. at Oaklawn Park one week later. If Solomini ends up being the one who makes the trek to Hot Springs, it will set him up as the final horse within the current Top 12 not to have raced yet in 2018, representing a gap of 99 days between starts since his Dec. 9 DQ from winning the GI Los Alamitos Futurity (and then spiking a temperature that set him back a bit in January). Using history as a guide, being fashionably late should be no problem for a Baffert-trained, Zayat-owned colt, because a brand-new statue of American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) at Oaklawn attests to how well that strategy worked in 2015 (Pharoah’s gap was 5 1/2 months between races when he won the Rebel). Raw ability and talent have not been obstacles to progression for this $270,000 KEESEP Curlin colt, but his ability to focus and a touch of greenness were what kept him from achieving more during his juvenile campaign. Those traits can often be smoothed over with the progression of time, so it will be interesting to see how well Solomini’s mental assuredness has caught up with his physicality and grind-away style of running. On Saturday, Solomini worked seven furlongs in company in 1:24.80 (1/3) under regular jockey Flavien Prat, overtaking fellow Baffert sophomore Restoring Hope (Giant’s Causeway), who was timed in 1:25 (2/3).

7) AUDIBLE (c, Into MischiefBlue Devil Bel, by Gilded Time)

O-WinStar, China Horse Club & SF Racing. B-Oak Bluff Stables LLC (NY). T-Todd Pletcher. Sales history: $175,000 FTNSAR yrl; $500,000 FTFMAR 2yo. Lifetime Record: 4-3-0-1, $287,720

Feb. 21 TDN Top 12 Rank: 7

Last Start: 1st, GII Holy Bull S., GP, Feb. 3.

Next Start: GI Florida Derby, GP, Mar. 31

Equineline PPs.

KY Derby Points: 10

It’s too early to stamp Audible as the favorite for the GI Florida Derby. But he has a firm grip on being a leading contender until we see what happens in this weekend’s GII Fountain of Youth S., which trainer Todd Pletcher has elected to pass with this $500,000 FTFMAR New York-bred son of Into Mischief. Pletcher has trained four previous Florida Derby winners, and each of their running styles–like Audible’s–was to either lead or be forwardly placed. This is no surprise, since many dirt races at Gulfstream are won in that fashion, and a good number of Pletcher’s trainees are speed-oriented. But one thing that will differ with Audible’s preparation for the Florida Derby is his spacing between races: Pletcher’s previous Florida Derby winners came into their respective races with 22, 28 (twice), and 35 days off since their last starts. Audible will attempt a gap of 56 days. Too big a chasm considering that will be his only planned start leading into the Kentucky Derby? Pletcher doesn’t believe so. One of the things he has cited in this colt’s favor is how professionally Audible handled the paddock, post parade, gate, etc…in the Holy Bull S. “All those little intangibles that really help with horses that are pointing for big days,” Pletcher said.

8) FREE DROP BILLY (c, Union RagsTrensa, by Giant’s Causeway)

O-Albaugh Family Stables LLC. B-Helen K. Groves Revokable Trust (KY). T-Dale Romans. Sales history: $200,000 KEESEP yrl. Lifetime Record: GISW, 6-2-3-0, $495,220.

Feb. 21 TDN Top 12 Rank: 8

Last Start: 2nd, GII Holy Bull S., GP, Feb. 3.

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GI Breeders’ Futurity, KEE, Oct.7; 2nd, GI Hopeful S. Sept. 4.

Next Start: Aiming for GII Fountain of Youth S., GP, Mar. 3

Equineline PPs.

KY Derby Points: 14

Free Drop Billy breezed five furlongs in 1:01.55 (16/39) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday and appears poised to be entered in Saturday’s GII Fountain of Youth S. His second-place try in the Holy Bull S. was decent but probably not indicative of this $200,000 KEESEP colt’s best work, meaning there is room for improvement for the Dale Romans-trained son of Union Rags (Dixie Union). He broke his maiden way back on June 15 at Churchill Downs (impressive considering he is a May 3 foal) and must now prove he’s capable of parlaying that early precocity into sophomore-season staying power over Classics distances. The only real aberration in his past-performance cut is a glaring 29-length drubbing behind Good Magic in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but every other start has resulted in a win or a second. Jockey Robby Albarado, who rode “Billy” exclusively in 2017, just moved his tack to Gulfstream last week, and it’s possible the two could partner again in the Fountain of Youth because Romans (one of his main clients) has three probables nominated to Saturday’s race.

9) INSTILLED REGARD (c, Arch--Enhancing, by Foresty)

O-OXO Equine LLC. B-KatieRich Farms (KY). T-Jerry Hollendorfer. Sales history: $110,000 RNA yrl KEESEP ’16, $1,050,000 2yo OBSMAR ’17. Lifetime Record: GSW & GISP, 6-2-2-1, $244,000.

Feb. 21 TDN Top 12 Rank: 9

Last Start: 4th, GII Risen Star S., FG, Feb. 17

Accomplishments: 1st, GIII LeComte S., FG, Jan. 13; 2nd, GI Los Alamitos Futurity, LRC, Dec. 9

Next Start: Uncommitted

Equineline PPs. Caulfield on Instilled Regard.

KY Derby Points: 19

Like it or not, Instilled Regard is the horse who has inherited “enigma” status on this list. His failed-to-fire fourth as the 7-5 favorite in the GII Risen Star S. wasn’t promising enough to keep him ranked with the upper crust of the Top 12, but a colt with this much perceived promise and talent coming from the barn of a Hall-of-Fame conditioner doesn’t deserve to get voted off the Derby island on the basis of one poor outing, either. “He came back great. We’ll try to figure out a route [to the Kentucky Derby] for him,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said via phone last week prior to the $1.05 million OBSMAR Arch (Kris S.) colt breezing a half mile in :49.80 on Sunday (53/74) at Santa Anita. “I think everything is in play,” Hollendorfer added when specifically asked about the possibility of again shipping away from Santa Anita (like the colt has done twice already this year). On a who-beat-whom basis, you have to like the Dec. 9 Los Alamitos Futurity stretch fight Instilled Regard put up as a 17-1 outsider just exiting the maiden ranks, because he hung in admirably to finish only three-quarters of a length behind McKinzie and Solomini. And from a “visually impressive” standpoint, that first run he got on the GIII Lecomte S. leaders before effortlessly meshing into an extra gear rates as one of the more authoritative stakes finishes on the Derby trail so far. Which version of Instilled Regard will we see in his next race? Like I said, it’s an enigma.

10) FIRENZE FIRE (c, Poseidon’s Warrior–My Every Wish, by Langfuhr)

O/B-Mr. Amore Stables (FL). T-Jason Servis. Lifetime Record: GISW, 7-4-1-0, $589,100.

Feb. 21 TDN Top 12 Rank: 10

Last Start: 2nd, GIII Withers S., AQU, Feb. 3

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GI Champagne S., BEL, Oct. 7; 1st, GIII Sanford S., SAR, July 22; 1st, Jerome S., AQU, Jan. 13.

Next Start: Possible for GIII Gotham S., AQU, Mar. 10

Equineline PPs.

KY Derby Points: 24

Firenze Fire maintains his position in the shallower end of the Top 12 pool but will need a powerhouse performance in the GIII Gotham S. on Mar. 10 to demonstrate he belongs as a viable Derby-distance candidate. Even then, he’d need to follow up with a decent nine-furlong prep to give confidence that he can outrun his sprint-oriented pedigree come the first Saturday in May. He remains ranked within the foremost dozen though, because he displayed a gutsy, admirable knack during his juvenile campaign for slugging it out against the heavier hitters in the division, most notably scoring in the GI Champagne S. last autumn over eventual 2-year-old champ Good Magic. This Poseidon’s Warrior (Speightstown) homebred may own more wins (four) that some ranked horses on this list have starts, but the complexion of the entire Derby scene is about to shift, and Firenze Fire must shift with it to remain in the hunt.

11) FLAMEAWAY (c, Scat DaddyVulcan Rose, by Fusaichi Pegasus)

O-John C. Oxley. B-Phoenix Rising Farms (ON). T-Mark Casse. Sales History: $150,000 yrl KEEJAN ’16; $400,000 yrl FTSAUG ’16. Lifetime Record: MGSW, 7-5-0-0, $434,834.

Feb. 21 TDN Top 12 Rank: 11

Last Start: 1st, GIII Sam F. Davis S., TAM, Feb. 10

Accomplishments Include: 1st, GIII Dixiana Bourbon S., KEE, Oct. 8; 1st, Kitten’s Joy S., GP, Jan. 6

Next Start: GII Tampa Bay Derby, TAM, Mar. 10

Equineline PPs. Caulfield on Flameaway.

KY Derby Points: 10

If the Kentucky Derby were tomorrow, the two long shots I’d be concerned about detonating pari-mutuel pyrotechnics would be the tandem ranked at Nos. 11 and 12 on this week’s list, simply because they have stamped themselves as overachievers who don’t need conventional footing to run their best races. This son of Scat Daddy (Johannesburg) has won two off-the-turfers over two different types of wet tracks (mud at the Spa and sealed slop at Keeneland), but it’s his nervy ability to keep fighting on the lead (especially in his last two starts) that sweetens the deal. Although his GIII Sam F. Davis S. rival Catholic Boy won’t be contesting the Tampa Derby, I have a sneaky feeling that 1 1/16 miles Mar. 10 prep is going to come up hefty in terms of qualified entrants, largely because A) Some of the Fountain of Youth probables are likely to veer away from that race at the last minute, and B) There are some “On the Bubble” lurkers listed below that could be due for major wakeup calls. But proven comfort over the sandy Tampa surface is a big plus in Flameaway’s favor, and this $400,000 FTSAUG colt certainly has license to keep improving.

12) MY BOY JACK (c, Creative CauseGold N Shaft, by Mineshaft)

O-Don’t Tell My Wife Stables & Monomoy Stables LLC. B-Brereton C. Jones (KY). T-Keith Desormeaux.

Sales History: $14,000 RNA wlg KEENOV ’15; $20,000 yrl KEESEP ’16. Lifetime Record: GSW, 8-2-3-1, $425,145.

Feb. 21 TDN Top 12 Rank: 12

Last Start: 1st, GIII Southwest S., OP, Feb. 19

Accomplishments Include: 3rd, GIII Sham S., SA, Jan. 6; 1st, Zuma Beach S., SA, Oct. 9

Next Start: Uncommitted

Equineline PPs.

KY Derby Points: 12

He’s already earned overachiever status after registering a $500,000 stakes score as a $20,000 KEESEP purchase. But there’s something about My Boy Jack’s versatility over different surfaces (both firm turf and sticky-type slop) and his propensity for being in the hunt at the wire (six of his eight career races) that gives the impression he could be one of those Derby outliers who continues to deliver more than the public expects of him. Even if you think his 4 1/4-length GIII Southwest S. win was an aberration attributable to other horses not firing over the peanut butter-like Oaklawn quagmire, go back and look at his much-better-than-it-looks seventh in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, when he was beaten by only three lengths by a strong winner after getting fanned five wide through the lane and having the jockey lose the whip at the eighth pole. “He’s back here with us, galloped [Friday] morning, and we’ve got a lot of things to consider, as far as his next race is concerned: Kentucky Derby points, time in between races, all that stuff,” trainer Keith Desormeaux said from Santa Anita last week. “We’re just trying to figure out the best direction right now. It’s still early, so we’ll enjoy the win for a few days and figure it out.”

On the Bubble (in alphabetical order)

Bravazo (Awesome Again): Louisiana Derby “strong” possibility per Lukas for this 21-1 surprise winner of Risen Star S.

Combatant (Scat Daddy): Will remain on OP prep path; heads to Rebel S. off muddy GIII Southwest S. second.

Enticed (Medaglia d’Oro): Godolphin/McLaughlin colt likely to cut back to one-turn mile in Mar. 10 Gotham after fourth as beaten Holy Bull fave.

Exclamation Point (Concord Point): Two turns at OP likely next for debut-winning half to Classic Empire; half interest sale in colt announced last week.

Hollywood Star (Malibu Moon): ‘Rising Star’ breezed a bullet five-eighths at Gulfstream on Sunday; he’s better than that so-so fourth in Davis at Tampa indicates.

Justify (Scat Daddy): ‘Rising Star’ worked Monday at SA for Baffert in anticipation of following big-number debut with a plunge into deeper stakes company next out.

Kanthaka (Jimmy Creed): Per Hollendorfer: “He ran a huge race last time; got a big number we’re looking to take a step up.” Gotham may be next, but “not carved in stone.”

Lombo (Graydar): Gaining momentum with two straight wins but must prove he belongs with solid San Felipe cast next out.

Magnum Moon (Malibu Moon): 2-for-2 ‘Rising Star’ for Pletcher could be poised for breakout stakes try next.

Marconi (Tapit): ‘Rising Star’ craves distance but cuts back from 9f Withers third to try 1 1/16 miles in Saturday’s Fountain of Youth.

Mourinho (Super Saver): Did this ‘Rising Star’ hit a stamina wall when beaten as fave in Southwest, or did the muddy footing derail his chances?

New York Central (Tapit): ‘Rising Star’ possible for GIII Sunland Derby off OP alw score in mud.

Noble Indy (Take Charge Indy): ‘Rising Star’ under consideration for Louisiana Derby off better-than-looks learning effort (third) in Risen Star.

Quip (Distorted Humor): 2-for-3 ‘Rising Star’ fired bullet breeze at Fair Grounds over the weekend.

Reride (Candy Ride {Arg}): Winchell/Asmussen ‘Rising Star’ wore down 2-5 fave in Sunday’s Mine That Bird Derby at Sunland.

Retirement Fund (Eskendereya): ‘Rising Star’ might resurface at FG (where he’s 2-for-2) in Louisiana Derby.

Restoring Hope (Giant’s Causeway): Recent MSW worked 7f in company with Solomini for Baffert on Saturday; stakes start likely, but where?

Snapper Sinclair (City Zip): Mar. 24 Louisiana Derby next for 41-1 Risen Star runner-up, dubbed by Asmussen a “total professional.”

Sporting Chance (Tiznow): GI Hopeful S. winning-‘TDN Rising Star’ was troubled third in Southwest S. off six-month layoff; Lukas vows colt will be “much tighter” for Rebel at OP.

Storm Runner (Get Stormy): One of three Romans probables nominated to Fountain of Youth.

Strike Power (Speightstown): ‘Rising Star’ is 2-for-2 at GP sprinting, winning by a combined 10 3/4 lengths.

Sumahama (Jpn) (Neo Universe {Jpn}): Three-race win streak earned enough Japanese series points for berth into Derby, but is not Triple Crown nominated.

Tiz Mischief (Into Mischief): Anything close to his strong Kentucky Jockey Club second in Nov. vaults him back into the Top 12.

Untamed Domain (Animal Kingdom): West Point ‘Rising Star’ turfer breezed over Tampa dirt on Friday ahead of Tampa Derby start.

Vino Rosso (Curlin): 2-for-3 Pletcher colt gives impression that he’s on the verge of a breakout race. Will he go in Tampa Derby?

Zing Zang (Tapit): Will possibly target Rebel S.; mud not his thing when fifth in Southwest.