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Treasury Bill using San Vicente as stepping stone

Treasury Bill makes his stakes debut for owners Gary and Mary West and trainer Ron Ellis in next Sunday's Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes for three-year-olds at seven furlongs.

Where it leads on the Triple Crown trail for the son of Lemon Drop Kid depends in part on where other prominent three-year-olds owned by the Wests make their next starts in quest of the Kentucky Derby on May 4, first and foremost among them, Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis winner Flashback, one of a plethora of prospects trained by Bob Baffert.

"He's doing well, but (going) seven-eighths of a mile against talented maiden winners, it's just not his ball game," Ellis said of Treasury Bill, who broke his maiden on Santa Anita's wet-fast track at 6 1/2 furlongs on January 27.

"We're just trying to get untracked for some of the bigger Derby preps. This will get another race under his belt, give him a little more experience and we'll move on to two turns."

Where that might lead depends on where the other West sophomores run.

"We could wind up in Arkansas down the road," Ellis said. "It'll be a chess game for a while."

The good news is, Treasury Bill is in sharp form and hopefully only improving.

"We're on an upward trajectory," Ellis said. "We just want to keep him doing that.

"We've still got a few months to go before the big ones. This won't be a big test for him because it's only around one turn, but his next race, when he runs in March, will be."

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