By Dick Downey
Updated 9:57 a.m.: Oxbow, Rydilluc
Here are next-race plans for over 70 horses on the Kentucky Derby trail. We'll start off with some of the more prominent names.
Todd Pletcher's Delhomme remains set for the Grade II Rebel Stakes on March 16. Pending one more workout, he'll come into the race with eight breezes under his belt since Jan. 20.
Falling Sky, trained by John Terranova II, will go next in the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby and will face the formidable Verrazano, trained by Pletcher. Both of them have been working at Palm Meadows. Falling Sky will defend his victory in the Grade III Sam F. Davis.
Bob Baffert's Flashback will try to put together back-to-back Derby prep wins at Santa Anita in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes on Saturday. He won the Grade II Robert B Lewis on Feb. 2. He’ll have to beat Goldencents, from the barn of Doug O'Neill, and several others, to do it.
Eddie Plesa Jr.’s Itsmyluckyday has put in two breezes since winning the Grade III Holy Bull. He remains set to face Pletcher’s Shanghai Bobby, who’s put in three breezes since the Holy Bull, in the Grade I Florida Derby on March 30.
Ive Struck A Nerve, shocking winner of the Grade II Risen Star, will contest the Grade II Louisiana Derby in his backyard on March 30. We should see a a full field in that one. Keith Desormeaux trains.
After running fifth in the Risen Star, Chad Brown’s Normandy Invasion will contest the Grade I Wood Memorial on April 6.
We're still waiting to hear from Shug McGaughey about the decision for Orb. Florida Derby or Wood Memorial?
Meanwhile, Pletcher said on Monday that Revolutionary will contest the Louisiana Derby.
Grade III Southwest Stakes winner Super Ninety Nine is doing so well – he worked in 46 and change on Monday – that he may be sent on back to the Rebel. But Baffert will keep his options open.
Uncaptured has now put in three breezes at Ocala Training Center, all of them bullets. We should soon see where he pops up next on the worktab, but the last we heard from trainer Mark Case, his next race will be the Grade III Spiral Stakes on March 23.
Vyjack, impressive winner of the Grade III Gotham on Saturday for trainer Rudy Rodriguez, will stay put in New York and point to the Wood Memorial.
Always in a Tiz breezed last Friday and is still being pointed to the Rebel. Trainer Dominick Schettino said the colt is over his lung infection.
Brown's Balance the Books has the Spiral on his 2013 debut schedule. He was back on the worktab Sunday after missing a breeze the weekend before due to a fever -- causing him to miss the Grade III Palm Beach. Brown said that Noble Tune will debut this year, ideally, at a distance less than nine furlongs. That’s why he wasn't entered in the Palm Beach.
Capo Bastone he looks probable for the Rebel for Pletcher.
It wouldn’t be shocking if Pletcher put Charming Kitten, second to Rydilluc in the Palm Beach, in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass, but nothing is official yet. As for Rydilluc, trainer Gary Contessa initially said he'd go in the Spiral if the colt is kicking the barn door down; otherwise, he would wait for the Blue Grass. A Tuesday morning tweet says the Spiral is the next target.
Clearly Now, winner of the Grade III Swale for Brian Lynch, is being considered for the Florida Derby.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Code West showed up in the Louisiana Derby for Baffert after he was beaten by a nose in the Risen Star. Also of interest is that Title Contender is at Fair Grounds now.
Still waiting to see where Crop Report will go next for Graham Motion. He was a fast-closing third in a turf allowance at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 23. Since the same connections used the Spiral as a steppingstone for Animal Kingdom, an appearance there would it be no surprise.
Baffert's Curly Top is an unknown. He took 20 days off the worktab before putting in a three-furlong move on Feb. 26.
John Sadler’s Demonic is finally back galloping after reportedly getting over a foot bruise. Originally scheduled for the San Felipe, Sadler said on Friday that he would have to chart a new course.
Baffert reportedly said on Monday that Den's Legacy will go to the Rebel Stakes next.
Al Stall, Jr. has perhaps the two most interesting horses not nominated to the Triple Crown: Departing and Sunbean. The latter one is being pointed to the Louisiana Derby. Departing, who was impressive winning the Texas Heritage Stakes on Saturday, could also go to the Louisiana Derby, but the Sunland Park Derby isn’t off the table, and the Rebel is also reportedly being considered.
Dice Flavor, winner of the El Camino Real Derby, also wasn’t early-nominated to the Triple Crown. We’re waiting to see what’s next from Paddy Gallagher. The deadline for late nominations is March 23.
Dynamic Sky, a closing second in the Sam F Davis, will come back for a third consecutive start at the track in the Tampa Bay Derby for Mark Casse.
Elnaawi, who had a rough start in the Gotham but still managed to finish third, will stay in New York and point to the Wood Memorial for Kiaran McLaughlin.
Eton Blue, trained by Nick Zito, is headed to the Tampa Bay Derby. It’ll be the second time he's faced Verrazano and the first time at two turns for both of them.
Mike Maker’s Fear the Kitten is at Turfway now and warmed up for the Spiral on Sunday with a bullet workout.
Fortify has cleared final declarations for Saturday’s 1 3/16-mile Al Bastakiya at Meydan in Dubai. He may or may not like the Tapeta surface, but he should like the extra distance after finishing sixth in the one-mile, Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas. Mahmoud Al Zarooni trains him. Of 11 entries, Fortify is the only one nominated to the Triple Crown.
Frac Daddy returned to the worktab on March 2 after three weeks away from it. Kenny McPeek will try to get him to the Spiral.
No word yet from the connections of Gunderman, who defeated Doherty in a nine-furlong allowance at Gulfstream Park on Saturday -- but connections are excited about his possibilities.
He's Had Enough has already been committed to run in the Group 2 UAE Derby on March 30 for O'Neill.
Eddie Kenneally’s Honorable Dillon will go two turns for the first time in Saturday's Tampa Bay Derby. So will Jane Cibelli’s Purple Egg.
Malibu High has returned to the Derby prep scene with a closing, third-place finish in the Gazebo Stakes. Let's see what Cecil Borel does with him next. Wayne Lukas finished second in the Gazebo with Titletown Five, and it will be interesting to see where the Coach goes with him.
Omega Star, a California-bred in the barn of John Shireffs, will run in the San Felipe on Saturday.
Expect to see some speculation about the next venue for Overanalyze. Will he be returned to New York where his owner resides, or will connections decide he needs to try another track after a so-so performance in the Gotham?
It looks like Lukas will send Oxbow to the Rebel in a quick turnaround after he was a close fourth in the Risen Star.
No word yet on Palace Malice, third in the Risen Star for Pletcher.
Pletcher’s Park City will compete in the Rebel Stakes on March 16.
Baffert's Power Broker must be nearing his 2013 debut after putting in his fourth work since Feb. 14 on Sunday. He went six furlongs.
River Rocks, trained by Wayne Catalano, is being pointed toward a two-turn allowance at Gulfstream Park on March 17.
Shakin It Up has breezed once since he took the Grade II San Vicente. Not sure what his next start will be.
Still waiting to hear what will be next for Speak Logistics, third in the Fountain of Youth for Eddie Plesa, Jr., but facing stable mate Itsmyluckyday in the Florida Derby would seem unlikely.
Tiz a Minister, a Cal-bred trained by Paul Aguirre, will try to make one run to win the San Felipe on Saturday.
Tiz the Truth, impressive maiden winner for Baffert on Feb. 2, was off the worktab due to a quarter crack. He's back in training, and time will tell where he lands next.
Treasury Bill breezed Monday in preparation for the Rebel. Ron Ellis trains.
War Academy worked in company with Super Ninety on Monday, but we don't know where he’ll wind up next.
West Hills Giant, surprise runner-up in the Gotham, will stay in New York for the Wood Memorial.
It looks like Lukas’ Will Take Charge will be back in the Rebel after running sixth in the Southwest. They are hoping for a fast track this time.
Appealing Tale hasn’t been on the worktab since Feb. 18.
Bern Identity hasn’t worked since the holy Bull on Jan. 26.
Big Lute, seventh in the Southwest, is being pointed to the Rebel.
It would not be a huge surprise to see Carve in the Rebel.
Carving is said to be probable for the San Felipe for Baffert.
Channel Isle may go to the Spiral, but he’s also nominated to the UAE Derby a week later.
Clawback, who skipped the Gotham, will run in the Cappy Capossela this Saturday.
Dewey Square, who had a tough trip on the backstretch during the Palm Beach, would presumably come back in either the Spiral or the Blue Grass.
Dry Summer to the Sunland Derby.
For Greater Glory to the Spiral.
Still no word about Fury Kapcori, who hasn't put in a recorded workout since Jan. 19.
General Election to the Spiral.
Golden Soul to the Louisiana Derby.
Ground Transport to the Louisiana Derby.
Hear the Ghost to the San Felipe.
Heaven’s Runway to the Grade I Arkansas Derby.
Java's War to the Tampa Bay Derby.
Just Win Baby to the Sunland Derby.
Kochees to the San Felipe.
Mac the Man to the Spiral.
Majestic Hussar can obviously sprint, but at last word, the Florida Derby had not been ruled out.
Micromanage finally hit the work tab on Feb. 26, putting in his first breeze of the year, and his owner hopes he’ll be a serious Belmont Stakes contender.
Mylute to the Louisiana Derby. Proud Strike, the same destination.
Offlee Fast to the Tampa Bay Derby.
Salutos Amigos to the San Felipe.
Siete de Oros will go to either the Wood Memorial or the Grade III Illinois Derby. the latter race doesn’t carry any Kentucky Derby qualifying points.
Texas Bling to the Rebel.
Black Gold winner Up With the Birds, who’s pointing to the Queen’s Plate, could go next in the Grade III Transylvania, the Blue Grass or the Grade III Lexington.
Caveat: Not intended to be a survey of every 3-year-old nominated to the Triple Crown.