Week of February 28, 2011
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder

This weekend saw assumptions felled as Soldat proved he could run on a fast main track, Travelin Man proved a flashy Beyer Speed Figure is not a necessarily an indicator of another great performance and Evening Jewel proved that it’s entirely possible to get in traffic trouble in a small field.

On the Kentucky Derby prep front Flashpoint added more interest to the sprinter/miler 3-year-old division in the Hutcheson by annihilating Travelin Man, the overwhelming favorite. Like The Factor, his connections are interested in seeing how far Flashpoint can stretch out in distance so the 1 1/8 mile Florida Derby on April 3 seems to be a possibility.

The fifth time was a charm for both Fusa Code and trainer Steve Asmussen in the Borderland Derby at Sunland Park (replay). Fusa Code was still a maiden after four starts going into the race but emerged victorious giving Asmussen his fifth win in the Borderland Derby.

Alan Garcia used a time honored technique in the Fountain of Youth to wire field, “I just went to the lead and tried to slow it down as much as possible.” Second choice Soldat proved that he could run on a fast dirt track while the favorite, To Honor and Serve, proved that he need a race. Last out in the end of November in the Remsen (replay), trainer Bill Mott was pleased with the effort despite the fact that To Honor and Serve flattened out at the quarter pole. Mott told the Daily Racing that jockey John Velazquez noted, “He said he did everything he asked until he got to the quarter pole and then he said he got a little flat.” Soldat and To Honor and Serve both also look pointed toward the April 3 Florida Derby while second place finisher Gourmet Dinner is being considered either the Florida Derby or the Santa Anita Derby on April 9.

On the Kentucky Oaks trail R Heat Lightening finally struck after running second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (replay) and the Frizette (replay). She made her seasonal debut in the Forward Gal (replay) where she came in a lackluster fourth to Pomeroys Pistol and Dancinginherdreams. Dancinginherdreams got the best of Pomeroys Pistol this time around, but they were 7 1/4 lengths behind the winner!

Evening Jewel tried to make it two in a row in Valentine Dancer at Santa Anita (replay) but managed to get in traffic trouble in four horse field. This time it was Ultra Blend, who finished third behind her in the Sunshine Millions Distaff (replay) who took the honors. In the Canadian Turf Stakes Little Mike wired the field as the favorite, Society’s Chairman, rallied for second (replay).

This week at the site we’ll take a look at the Santa Anita Handicap, or the Big Cap as it’s sometime referred to, in Ten Things You Should About. And if you haven’t already, please join our Road to the Roses League! We’ll line-up some prizes for our first three finishers, but in the meantime join here and don’t forget to activate your horses!

League Identifier: 3337801406
Activation Code: 2066491149

And as always, keep up with all the 2011 Kentucky Derby and 2011 Kentucky Oaks commentary at Raceday 360 Wire!

Last Week’s Races

2011 Davona Dale Stakes Replay
R Heat Lightening pulled a minor upset, running away from the field.

2011 Hutcheson Stakes Replay
Flashpoint makes it two for two with an impressive romp.

2011 Fountain of Youth Stakes Replay
Soldat proved that he can run on anything while To Honor and Serve proved that he’ll need a race.

Upcoming Graded Stakes Races

Check probable starters at Horse Racing Nation’s Stakes Tracker

See you at the track!

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