By Emily Shields
13 runners have drawn for the 1 1/8-mile race, which has recently produced Kentucky Derby winners such as Barbaro, Orb, Nyquist, and Always Dreaming. Rogue Element is on the outside looking in as the thirteenth horse, an also eligible.
Ete Indien drew the 12 hole, which has historically been difficult to win from. The son of Summer Front was a smashing 8 ½ length winner of the Fountain of Youth (G2), defeating several of the runners in here under Florent Geroux. Patrick Biancone trains the three-time winner, who was second in the Holy Bull behind current Derby favorite Tiz the Law.
Tiz the Law himself has not run since taking the Holy Bull by three lengths. Barclay Tagg trains the son of Constitution, who was an impressive four-length winner of the Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park last fall to earn plenty of hype for the Breeders’ Cup. Tiz the Law didn’t run, then finished third, beaten less than a length, in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs. The Holy Bull on February 1 was his first start since November 30. He has had five solid workouts since.
Another son of Constitution is Independence Hall. He won the Nashua Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct last November before running New Year’s Day and taking the Jerome Stakes around a mile by four lengths. The Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs was his first start further than eight furlongs, and he finished second as the heavy favorite. Joel Rosario takes over the mount for trainer Michael Trombetta.
Candy Tycoon was second in the Fountain of Youth. Todd Pletcher trains the son of Twirling Candy, who broke his maiden over this track on January 25. Javier Castellano will ride for the first time.
Third in that race was As Seen On Tv, a son of Lookin at Lucky. Kelly Breen trains the colt, who missed by a head in the Mucho Macho Man on January 4. Before that he was a stakes winner sprinting across town at Gulfstream Park West.
Another horse who has shown a ton of promise is yet another son of Constitution, Gouverneur Morris. The $600,000 purchase is also trained by Pletcher, and broke his maiden by nine lengths at Saratoga last year. He was Grade 1 placed before taking a Tampa Bay allowance in his 2020 debut. John Velazquez will ride.
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