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Blue Panis Invades for Oak Tree Derby

French invader Blue Panis, winner of the Prix de Tourgeville at Deauville in August, arrived in the Leonard Powell stable at Hollywood Park Sunday after clearing quarantine for the $150,000 Oak Tree Derby Saturday.. The Grade II test is at 1 1/8 miles on turf.


Joe Talamo will ride the colt for trainer Fabrice Chappet, who is expected to arrive Tuesday. The colt will be transferred to Powell after the race.


French-bred Blue Panis, by the Miswaki stallion Panis out of the Bering mare Rhapsody in Blue, has won three of 14 starts and earned $174,666.       


Other probable starters include Fantastic Pick, Haimish Hy (Alonso Quinonez), Jairzihno, Kid Edward (David Flores), Lions Story (Martin Garcia), Make Music for Me, Royal F J and Sebastian Flyte (Corey Nakatani).


Make Music for Me, fourth in the Kentucky Derby, will make his first start since a 10th-place finish in the Belmont Stakes on June 5.


“He lost a shoe in the race and popped a splint,” explained trainer Alexis Barba of the layoff. “I think we’re ready. He worked a good seven furlongs Thursday (in 1:25.20) and galloped out a mile in 1:38 and change.”


Make Music for Me, placed twice in Grade I and once in Grade II competition behind champion Lookin at Lucky last year, broke his maiden in his only grass start--in the Pasadena Stakes at Santa Anita in March.


“Let’s hope he’s two-for-two on turf,” said Barba.


Trainer Jim Cassidy, who won the Oak Tree Derby last year with The Usual Q.T., hopes to win the race again with Kid Edward. Jockey Flores won with Muny in 2008.


English-breds Fantastic Pick and Sebastian Flyte each worked five furlongs on grass: the former in 1:01.20 for trainer Jamie Lloyd, the latter in 1:02 for conditioner Ben Cecil.


“He looks like a different horse now,” said Cecil of Sebastian Flyte, who won his United States debut in an optional claimer on the Del Mar turf September 4. “It took a long time to get him acclimatized. He was only 70 or 80 per cent at Del Mar. He’s filled out since then.”


Jack Carava, trainer of Royal F J, thought the consistent gelding deserved a shot in the race. “He’s always on the board,” said Carava of Royal F J, in the money in 11 of 12 starts and third in the Del Mar Derby in his last outing.


“It’s nice not to see any of the Candy horses nominated,” said Carava of the daunting duo of Sidney’s Candy and Twirling Candy, who combined to sweep the three graded stakes for 3-year-olds on the Del Mar turf.


Trainer John Sadler elected to run Twirling Candy against older horses in the Goodwood Stakes October 2 and entered Sidney’s Candy in the Oak Tree Mile October 9 before he was scratched pending a sale to an undisclosed owner.

 

 

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