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Goldencents Targets Santa Anita Derby

Goldencents with Kevin Krigger aboard wins the 2013 running of the Sham Stakes at at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California on January 5, 2013.

Doug O’Neill reports that Sham Stakes winner Goldencents came out of his fourth-place finish in last Saturday’s San Felipe Stakes in good order and it’s on to the April 6 Santa Anita Derby and a rematch with San Felipe runner-up Flashback and new jockey Garrett Gomez.

“He came out great,” O’Neill said of Goldencents, who weakened late to be beaten 2 ½ lengths in the San Felipe. “He looked fantastic. I’ve got to do a little better job training him. I will, and we’ll be tough in the Santa Anita Derby.”

Tiz a Minister, who rallied from another county under Gomez to finish third by a length in the San Felipe, is being considered for the Grade I Blue Grass Stakes on Keeneland’s Polytrack on April 13.

“He came out of the San Felipe fine, and I haven’t worked him back yet,” trainer Paul Aguirre said of the late-running California-bred son of Ministers Wild Cat. “I don’t have a jockey for him right now if we run in the Santa Anita Derby, but if we go in the Blue Grass, Gomez would be available to ride him back.”

A less-accomplished O’Neill 3-year-old, Mudflats, who worked six furlongs Thursday in a bullet 1:12.80, is ticketed for the Grade III, $800,000 Sunland Park Derby on March 24. “He worked great,” O’Neill said. “We were just looking for a good stretch and a good finish and he did just that, so we’re excited. He came out of it good and he flies out next week to New Mexico with a couple other horses.”

Edwin Maldonado, whose two wins Thursday moved him into second place in Santa Anita’s standings with 40, rides Mudflats in the Sunland Park Derby.



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