One of three Derby prep races scheduled for Saturday is Santa Anita’s $250,000, Grade 2, Robert B. Lewis Stakes with the most notable entries being Comma to the Top, who’s won his last five races; Steve Asmussen-trained Tapizar, already the winner of one Derby prep; and trainer Doug O’Neill’s Thirtyfirststreet, who’s starting to show some promise.
Comma to the Top has been entered in the El Camino Real Derby that will also been run this Saturday and would be the one to beat in either race. The talk is that his connections will opt to go there instead of the Robert B. Lewis Stakes. So that puts the focus on the others.
Thirtyfirststreet is a California-bred colt who won Santa Anita’s California Breeder’s Champion Stakes in December over favored Arresting Officer. However, that was a race restricted to California-bred colts and Saturday’s stakes will be his first race against horses bred outside of the Golden State. He turned in a nice workout last week going 5/8 of a mile in one minute, so that shows he’s training well.
Tapizar made a name for himself when he won Santa Anita’s Grade 3, Sham Stakes (another Derby prep race) in January. He rated a Beyer speed figure of 98, which is worth noting. Most young three-year-olds don’t get that close to the 100 mark this early into the year.
Also worthy of a mention is Bob Baffert trainee, Wegner, who celebrated his first win last month in his first race over a dirt surface. With Bob Baffert as his trainer, it may not matter what he was doing before last month and matter more what he’s going to do in the coming months.
Completing the field are Anthony’s Cross, Ten Devils, Riveting Reason, and Quail Hill.
The race is the 6th on Santa Anita’s Saturday card and can be seen on TVG or HRTV, both available to satellite and cable viewers, or check back here next week for the recap.
Photo: Courtesy Kentucky Derby