Sunday’s $200,000 San Vicente (G2) doesn’t serve as a qualifier but could have Kentucky Derby implications due to the presence of Coliseum and Dessman. Bob Baffert will use the seven-furlong race as a possible stepping-stone for the well-regarded three-year-olds.
Nyquist and Exaggerator finished 1-2 in the 2016 San Vicente before filling the same positions in the Kentucky Derby less than three months later.
Coliseum won at first asking by 6 ½ lengths as the 1-2 favorite but broke slowly and failed to settle in January 6 Sham (G3), winding up a disappointing fifth as the odds-on choice. A Godlphin homebred son of Tapit, the well-bred gray colt will cut back to a sprint and add the services of Mike Smith. Coliseum has been installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite among five runners.
Dessman did not disappoint when making his career debut in a January 19 maiden special weight at Santa Anita, rolling to a 7 ½-length decision, and the son of Union Rags will keep Flavien Prat in the saddle. A $750,000 two-year-old in training purchase, the bay colt is listed as the 5-2 second choice.
Restricted stakes victor Sparky Ville last-out allowance winner Savagery are also entered. Maiden scorer Synthesis completes the line-up.
Earlier on the nine-race program, six sophomore fillies will square off down the hill in the $100,000 Sweet Life (G3). English import Thriving, who exits a third in the Blue Norther, is the early 8-5 favorite. Prat will ride for Jeff Mullins.
Ginger Nut, a three-time winner overseas, will make his U.S. debut for Hronis Racing and John Sadler Last-out allowance winner Apache Princess also merits respect in the about 6 ½-furlong turf affair.