Baffert duo heads Lone Star Derby
Trainer Bob Baffert figures to be represented by the top two betting choices when he sends out MYTHICAL POWER (Congaree) and MAYOR MARV (Distorted Humor) in Saturday's $400,000 Lone Star Derby (G3). A total of seven horses will contest the 1 1/16-mile event over the Grand Prairie, Texas, oval.
A maiden winner two starts back at Santa Anita, Mythical Power exits a rallying second in his stakes debut, the Sunland Derby. The fourth-place finisher that afternoon, Mine That Bird (Birdstone), went on to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) in his following start, and Mine That Bird's connections were pointing the gelding toward the Lone Star Derby before altering course to Churchill Downs. Victor Espinoza will regain the mount on Mythical Power, who will race uncoupled with his stablemate. The Peachtree Stable colorbearer will break from the far outside post.
Mayor Marv, a wire-to-wire winner of the Turf Paradise Derby two starts back, looks like the speed in the Lone Star Derby. The Mike Pegram homebred did not sustain his run in the Sunland Derby last time after getting embroiled in a pace duel, but the chestnut colt is eligible to bounce back with an improved showing for his Hall of Fame conditioner. No other confirmed front runners are present, and jockey David Flores, who missed the Sunland Derby after guiding Mayor Marv at Turf Paradise, will attempt to nurture his mount's speed the entire way.
Risen Star S. (G3) third-placer UNO MAS (Macho Uno) merits respect. Last seen finishing second in the Northern Spur S. at Oaklawn Park, the Steve Asmussen trainee will pick up the services of Cliff Berry. GALLOPING GULCH (Gulch) and RED LEAD (Red Bullet), the respective one-two finishers in a recent Lone Star allowance, are also entered, and CAPE TRUTH (Cape Town) will invade from Hollywood Park for conditioner Doug O'Neill off a victory over allowance/optional claiming rivals. DUMAR (Maria's Mon), who will attempt to snap a string of unplaced finishes versus stakes opponents, rounds out the field.
Lone Star Park will offer a pair of $125,000 Texas Stallion S. on the Lone Star Derby undercard. Twelve sophomore will square off in the Stymie division, and multiple stakes victor VALID STRIPES (Valid Expectations) is the top draw. Other contenders include LITTLE TALK (Touch Tone) and SUPREME SECRET (Supreme Cat). In the Got Koko division, three-time stakes heroine TIFFANY ROYAL (Seneca Jones) highlights a cast of 13. Her main challengers include SEVEN SEVENTYTHREE (Littleexpectations) and THE CAT WHO (Magic Cat). Both races will be held at 1 1/16 miles.
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