Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily - Day 83
Heavy favorites did not fare well in yesterday’s two Kentucky Derby preps in California. Nor did the bridge jumpers who pounded their odds way down.
First it was Tapizar in Santa Anita’s Robert Lewis Stakes. Off romping wins in a maiden race at Churchill Downs and the Sham Stakes last month, he was rated as the top sophomore in California and was made an overwhelming favorite yesterday at 3-10. He looked like anything but when the race was run. Unable to be restrained by rider Garrett Gomez, the headstrong colt forced his way to the front in fast fractions of 22.48, 45.64, and then 1:09.92 for six furlongs. As the field turned for home, Tapizar was little more than baked halibut and faded to 5th.
With the heavy favorite laboring, it became a two horse race. Anthony’s Cross who relaxed behind Tapizar early, grabbed the lead at the head of the stretch and was quickly joined by Riveting Reason. The two battled head and head from there in, with Anthony’s Cross prevailing by a nose under jockey Joel Rosario. When 68-1 shot Quail Hill came on to finish third, eyes turned to see the balloons on the tote board. With nearly 90% of the show pool on Tapizar, the payoffs were impressive even with the 2nd and 3rd choices running 1-2. Anthony’s Cross paid $15.60 to show, Riveting Reason paid $15.20 to show, and Quail Hill returned $48.60 to show.
As for the game winner, Anthony’s Cross, a son of Indian Charlie, and trained by Eoin Harty, won for the second time in six starts. The Lewis marked his first effort wearing blinkers. He will likely now be rested until the Santa Anita Derby.
A few hours later and up the California coastline a bit, it was Comma to the Top’s turn to sink the bridge jumpers. After being the toast of Hollywood Park to cap last season, Comma to the Top arrived in San Francisco the hot horse and the even hotter favorite. Sent off as the big 1-2 favorite, he had a little more left in the stretch than Tapizar did, but just barely. Trying to get out much of the race, the favorite floated wide on the far turn and stayed wide as he weakened down the lane to finish fourth.
That left the El Camino Real Derby to be decided by pacesetter Jakesam and Silver Medallion. Despite being carried out by the faltering favorite, Silver Medallion proved strongest when the real running began. Coming off his first stakes win in the grassy Eddie Logan six weeks earlier, the son of Badge of Silver sat rated in fourth early before making steady progress on the turn. Under Russell Baze, Silver Medallion powered to the lead, and won driving to the wire for a 1 ¼ length victory in 1:50.45 for the nine furlongs.
In other Derby doings, Uncle Mo, showing his sharpness as he prepares for next month’s Tampa Bay Derby, worked a brisk four furlongs in :47.45 at Palm Meadows this morning. It was the 5th best of 51 works at the distance. His stablemate, Stay Thirsty joined him for the trip and recorded the same time.
Other works today from Horse Racing Nation’s list of 2011 Kentucky Derby Contenders include the undefeated stablemate of Riveting Reason, Premier Pegasus: