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Pair of Grade 3’s feature 3YO second stringers

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 4/26/2012 10:17:26 AM
Derby Trial oddsTheir connections decided they weren’t ready for the best of their generation going two turns, so Plan B is now in place.

This Ones for Phil was taken off the Kentucky Derby trail when he faltered in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream. He came back with a bang-up race in The Swale, losing by a half-length to Big Drama, but being placed first when that rival was DQ’d.

Derby Trial: This Ones for Phil favored at Aqueduct

  • WHO: This Ones for Phil, Supreme Summit, Silver City, Hull
  • WHAT: The Withers, The Derby Trial
  • WHERE: Aqueduct, Churchill Downs
  • WHEN: Saturday, April 25

This Ones for Phil will be favored in Saturday’s Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct. Silver City couldn’t win going two turns at Oaklawn Park vs. Old Fashioned, Win Willy, and others, but he’ll be well-backed going 7 ½ furlongs in Saturday’s Derby Trial at Churchill Downs. Let’s break down those races.

Their connections decided they weren’t ready for the best of their generation going two turns, so Plan B is now in place. This Ones for Phil was taken off the Kentucky Derby trail when he faltered in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream. He came back with a bang-up race in The Swale, losing by a half-length to Big Drama, but being placed first when that rival was DQ’d.

He’ll go favored in Saturday’s Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct. Silver City couldn’t win going two turns at Oaklawn Park vs. Old Fashioned, Win Willy and others, but he’ll be well-backed going 7 ½ furlongs in Saturday’s Derby Trial at Churchill Downs.

This Ones for Phil should be tough to beat in The Withers, but he’s no lock at underlaid morning-line odds of 8-5. His top Beyer Speed Figures (115, 107) tower over those of his competition, and he’s in the highly capable hands of trainer Rick Dutrow and jockey Ramon Dominguez. However, this is the colt’s first start at The Big “A”, and the rail post can be tricky going a one-turn mile. Also, ’Phil will be spotting between 5-7 pounds to his rivals.

#2-Gone Astray just cleared his entry-level allowance condition at Aqueduct with authority, and the Phipps homebred has plenty of upside. #7-Just a Coincidence ran a very creditable third in The Wood Memorial and was 2-for-2 at this distance at Gulfstream Park earlier this year.

I’m intrigued by #4-Supreme Summit, who ships in from Santa Anita for trainer Doug O’Neill. O’Neill is very high on this colt, who won his first two starts impressively. If he takes to dirt, this guy could be very tough from just off the pace. I’ll bet him to win at odds of 3-1 or better.

Silver City figures to be the luke-warm favorite (morning-line odds of 5-2) in the Derby Trial, and like This Ones for Phil, he’ll be breaking from the rail. There’s plenty of speed in here, so it appears likely that he’ll be under pressure the entire way.

Coincidentally, Nick Zito also has a colt entered here (#5-Santana Six) with two wins going a mile at Gulfstream Park. That colt’s only loss was a second-place finish to the highly-regarded Dunkirk. #7-Hull is 2-for-2 lifetime and was scratched from the Lexington Stakes last weekend due to an extremely wide post. That will be advantage in this race, however, because he’ll have plenty of time to eyeball the speed to his inside before making his move. This colt was sold after his winning debut for a reported seven-figure sum, so there’s little doubt about his talent.

Sometimes when you bet on horse racing you have to project how a horse will handle his most difficult assignment to date. I’ll take a shot with Hull at odds of 3-1 or better because I believe he’s capable of handling the step-up in class.

Bet on the Derby Trial this weekend in the betonline.com Racebook.

Pete Mitchell has been handicapping horses since his teenage years. He has been a professional horse player for many years, and came to betonline.com’s attention through multiple referrals from industry insiders/sportsbook owners. Pete is revered for his horse handicapping opinion and industry experts acknowledge his impressive career winning record. Thoughts or questions?

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