A.P.’s Secret Horse To Beat In Texas Derby

Trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. will be sending out Wood Memorial (G2) fourth-place finishing A.P.’s Secret as the 5/2 morning line favorite in the $300,000 Texas Derby on Memorial Day at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.

The $150,000 OBS 2-Year-Old In-Training sale purchase by Cupid was on the Kentucky Derby trail in the first part of 2022 with a seventh-place finish in the Fountain Of Youth Stakes (G2).

“We’ve been pointing towards this race with the owners (Gentry Farms) being from this part of the country,” said Joseph. “The colt has had three strong works at Gulfstream since the Wood Memorial (G2), and we believe he is sitting on a good effort. Hopefully he shows it in the Texas Derby.”

Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Sonny Leon is slated to ride Fowler Blue for trainer Doug O’Neill, who sends out a pair of runners in the 8 1/2-furlong event. The other O’Neill runner in the Texas Derby, Win The Day, is coming off of a fifth-place finish in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) in his last out. Win The Day posted an impressive five-length maiden score at Santa Anita in March.

“Win The Day has been training very well since his last out, and we are hoping for him to show us a bit more here in the Texas Derby,” said trainer Doug O’Neill. “He always acted like a two-turn type of horse to us, and we realize that this is a big ‘ask’ of him to ship to Texas and tackle this field on Memorial Day in the Derby. We hope that we see him step up and perform well here in this spot on Monday.”

California-based trainer Richard Baltas ships into the Texas Derby with his promising 3-year-old Mastery colt, Cover Me Up, as the second choice on the morning line at 3/1. Last time out in an allowance-level event on the Kentucky Derby day undercard, Cover Me Up was outdueled to the wire by eventual Preakness Stakes (G1) third-place finisher Creative Minister. Jockey Florent Geroux will ride Cover Me Up.

Florida-based Strike Hard, from the barn of trainer Matthew Williams, makes the trip for the Texas Derby coming off a win in a optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park in which he wore down his rivals in the last sixteenth to come home as the winner. One start earlier, in the Florida Derby (G1), saw the son of Flashback falter to a seventh place finish. Local jockey Jose Alvarez gets the call in the Texas Derby.

Steve Asmussen sends out a pair of runners in the Texas Derby with Presidential at the 8/1 on the morning line after a fifth-place finish in the Lecomte Stakes (G3) at the Fair Grounds three starts back. The Hall of Fame trainer also sends out the highly-touted maiden King Ottoman, who ran an impressive Beyer number of 87 when third last out on Derby day at Churchill Downs.

Rounding out the field is California-invader Got Thunder from the barn of trainer John Sadler with Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza coming into Texas for the mount. At 12/1 on the morning-line, the Arrogate colt hopes to bounce out of his maiden victory last time out at Santa Anita with a victory in the 1 1/16-mile Texas Derby.

The field for the 2022 $300,000-Guaranteed Texas Derby:

  1. STRIKE HARD – Jose Alvarez – Matthew Williams – 4/1
  2. WIN THE DAY – Reylu Gutierrez – Doug O’Neill – 7/2
  3. PRESIDENTIAL – Isaac Castillo – Steve Asmussen – 8/1
  4. KING OTTOMAN – Stewart Elliot – Steve Asmussen – 15/1
  5. FOWLER BLUE – Sonny Leon – Doug O’Neill – 12/1
  6. GOT THUNDER – Victor Espinoza – John Sadler – 12/1
  7. COVER ME UP – Florent Geroux – Richard Baltas – 3/1
  8. A.P.’S SECRET – Edwin Gonzalez – Saffie Joseph, Jr. – 5/2

Scheduled as the seventh-race on the twelve-race card on Memorial Day is the $100,000 Chamberlain Bridge for turf sprinters going five furlongs.

Bret Calhoun trained Excess Magic has been given the role as the morning-line favorite at 6/5 with jockey Reylu Gutierrez having the riding assignment. The 4-year old son of Magician (IRE) is exiting an optional-claiming event at Lone Star Park last time out, and is expected to come from well of the pace in the Memorial Day event.

The field for the 2022 $100,000-Guaranteed Chamberlain Bridge:

  1. TIZ MAGIC – Iram Diego – Karen Jacks – 4/1
  2. SPIRIT ANIMAL – Leandro Goncalves – Eduardo Caramori – 20/1
  3. ARCHIDUST – Stewart Elliot — Steve Asmussen – 5/2
  4. SIGN OF WAR – Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez – Cesar Govea – 5/1
  5. BOB’S BAD BOY – Sonny Leon – Mindy Willis – 12/1
  6. EXCESS MAGIC – Reylu Gutierrez – Bret Calhoun – 6/5
  7. ZIP TIE – Gerber Pivaral – Spencer Leddy – 30/1

The Memorial Day Sprint for fillies and mares going six furlongs on the dirt is scheduled as the eighth race on the Memorial Day Card.

The field for the 2022 $100,000-Guaranteed Memorial Day Sprint:

  1. BECCA’S ROCKET – Lane Luzzi – Jayde Gelner – 4/1
  2. UPANDCOMINGSTAR – Isaac Castillo – Steve Asmussen – 15/1
  3. DISTORTED FLASH – Gerado Mora – Joe Offolter – 20/1
  4. SKINNY DIP – Reylu Gutierrez – Gregory Foley – 5/1
  5. OUR IRIS ROSE – Richard Eramia – Todd Fincher – 5/2
  6. KALYPSO – Stewart Elliot – Steve Asmussen – 7/5
  7. HEAVENLY RHYTHM – Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez – Tina Hurley – 20/1
  8. STORMIEIS BLUE– Jose Alvarez – Michael Whitelaw – 30/1

The inaugural-running of the Speightstown Sprint for colts and geldings going six furlongs on the dirt is scheduled as the ninth race on the Memorial Day Card.

The field for the 2022 $100,000-Guaranteed Speightstown Sprint:

  1. BOLDOR – Stewart Elliot – Steve Asmussen – 15/1
  2. EMPIRE OF GOLD – Richard Eramia – Terry Eoff – 6/1
  3. RED N WILD – Erick Medellin – Terry Eoff – 20/1
  4. MACRON– Isaac Castillo – Steve Asmussen – 7/2
  5. BYBEE – Leandro Goncalves – Eduardo Caramori – 20/1
  6. IT MAKES SENSE – Jose Alvarez – Shawn Davis – 5/1
  7. MR MONEY BAGS– Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez – Jaylan Clary – 3/1
  8. CRAZY LEGS HIRSCH– Jansen Melancon – Sarah N. Davidson – 15/1
  9. PAYNE– Reylu Gutierrez – Caio Caramori – 5/2

The first post for the twelve-race Memorial Day card at Lone Star Park is 1:40PM CT, with a vehicle giveaway of an all-new 2022 Ford Escape, as well as live music on the Courtyard of Champions stage from 1pm to 6pm, featuring Emerald City’s Party Machine.

Kentucky Derby winning jockey Sonny Leon will be taking part in an autograph session between 2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. in the first-floor east lobby nearest the Fred Stone-mural.

The post A.P.’s Secret Horse To Beat In Texas Derby appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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