Within an hour Saturday, three more Kentucky Derby hopefuls were on the Kentucky Derby points board and well on their way to the Churchill Downs starting gate on the first Saturday in May. The new points system replaces the graded earnings system and determines which horses get into the Kentucky Derby. The points payout for horses finishing first through fourth in Saturday's races was 10-4-2-1, respectively.
First, Revolutionary took down a field of eight to win the Grade III Withers Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack in Jamaica, NY. As the odds-on favorite, the Todd Pletcher runner was content to trail the field until the final furlongs. As early leaders Siete de Oros and Escapefromreality dueled yards from the finish, Revolutionary, having made his way up the track along the rail, burst in-between the pair and stole victory by a neck over Escapefromreality.
Although the race was his first attempt beyond the maiden ranks, Revolutionary's performance showed a maturity and heart some of his rivals are still trying to achieve. Check out the replay of the race at the bottom of this article.
Revolutionary returned $3.50, $3.00, and $2.10. Escapefromreality paid $10.20 and $7.00 and completed the $2 exacta for $30. Siete de Oros paid $5.10 and completed the $2 trifecta for $115. There was no superfecta wagering. The final time for the 1 1/16 mile race over the fast track was 1:44:32.
About 40 minutes after Revolutionary's victory landed him on the Kentucky Derby points board with 10 points, Bob Baffert's maiden winner, Flashback, proved that he was the real deal with a seemingly effortless wire-to-wire win over three rivals in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Cal.
He’s Had Enough kept pace with Flashback throughout much of the race and tried to challenge just before the 3/8 pole, but couldn’t get close enough. Flashback powered home when asked by jockey Julien Leparoux and cleared the field by 6 ¼ lengths.
Flashback returned $3.00 and $2.40. Den’s Legacy paid $2.40 and completed the $1 exacta for $2.40. He’s Had Enough finished third and completed the $1 trifecta for $3.36. There was no show or superfecta wagering on this race. The final time for the 1 1/16 mile race over the fast dirt was 1:42:95.
At the conclusion of the hour, Falling Sky won the Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in Tampa, Fla. in wire-to-wire fashion. Sent off as the fourth choice in the field of nine, trainer John Terranova’s Lion Heart colt took the lead early and set a moderate pace. Near the quarter pole, Speak Logistics began to make his move on the leader, but checked badly when Falling Sky drifted out. A claim of foul was issued by Angel Serpa, the jockey on Speak Logistics, but was disallowed by the stewards.
Dynamic Sky had sat mid-pack through much of the race before challenging Falling Sky into the stretch. Falling Sky held on to prevail by a neck. The post-time favorite, My Name Is Michael, closed from sixth near the top of the stretch and finished another three lengths back in third.
Falling Sky returned $17.80, $6.60, and $3.80. Dynamic Sky paid $3.20 and $2.40 and completed the $2 exacta for $59.60. My Name Is Michael paid $2.60 and completed the $2 trifecta for $153.80. Speak Logistics completed the $1 superfecta for $286.20. The final time for the 1 1/16 mile race over the fast dirt was 1:44.79.
Photo: Courtesy NYRA.com/Adam Coglianese