Posts Tagged ‘Robert Lewis Stakes 2012’

Grading the Kentucky Derby 2012 Preps: Robert Lewis, Sam Davis

The road to Kentucky Derby 2012 made stops in Florida and Southern California on Feb 4 and the G3 Sam Davis and G2 Robert Lewis Stakes both produced surprising results.

G3 Sam F. Davis (2-4-12): 81 BSF (Battle Hardened)

Kentucky Derby 2012 logo

Saturday’s Sam Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs did not look strong on paper and eventual winner Battle Hardened was a maiden coming in and got the job done in slow time.  He is out of strong route sire Giant’s Causeway and trainer Eddie Kenneally is back on the Triple Crown trail after catching Derby fever with Santiva in 2011.

Three noses were on the wire for runner-up honors with Prospective edging out Reveron and Ravelo’s Boy. Prospective won the G3 Grey at Woodbine as a juvenile and Reveron was last seen capturing the Gulfstream Park Derby.

State of Play set the pace and faded to 7th for Team Valor and Graham Motion. Look for him to return to the sod in the near future.

Sam Davis Stakes Grade: D

I'll Have Another

I'll Have Another goes next in SA Derby - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

I’ll Have Another made the most of his first start in five months at Santa Anita on Saturday, posting a surprising $88.60 upset in a strange renewal of the Lewis.

G2 Robert Lewis Stakes (2-4-12): 96 BSF (I’ll Have Another)

Sprinter Isn’t He Clever set the pace with I’ll Have Another tracking him intently. The early leader faded after six panels and the eventual winner inherited the lead and was never seriously threatened in a relatively easy 2-3/4 length tally.

Liaison was the solid favorite for Bob Baffert but was never traveling comfortably and fell in the stretch after clipping heels with Groovin’ Solo, who crossed the line in 3rd but was place last via disqualification.

Royal Delta’s brother Empire Way was up to finish a clear 2nd and Rousing Sermon was elevated to 3rd.

It was double disappointment for Baffert as Sky Kingdom failed to get involved. Chips All In failed to lift a hoof.

The number from the Lewis came back solid enough but the race was dominated by longshots and did not look strong from a visual standpoint. I’ll Have Another is expected to go next in the G1 Santa Anita Derby on April 7.

Robert Lewis Stakes Grade: C

Robert Lewis Stakes 2012 Preview: Four-bagger for Liaison?

The Kentucky Derby 2012 trail heats up in Southern California on Saturday with the G2 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park and morning line favorite Liaison seeks his fourth straight win for Bob Baffert.

Liaison

Is Liaison beatable on Saturday? - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

#2 Liaison (9-5) landed the show in his flat mile bow and Del Mar and it has been all smiles ever since. He graduated in a seven panel event at Santa Anita Park, and proceeded to win back-t0-back stakes races in the Real Quiet and G1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park. The hard knocking Baffert trainee owns fine tactical speed and is training well for this. This is a starting point to his sophomore campaign and he is already sitting pretty on the graded earnings list so he does not have to win this at low odds.

Liaison’s stablemate #5 Sky Kingdom (6-1) was my top choice in the aforementioned CashCall Futurity and he was hardly disgraced in a 4th place finish. He exits a facile allowance route win at the Great Race Place and appears poised to make a splash in the graded ranks.

#6 Rousing Sermon (5-2) finished 2nd to Liaison in the Real Quiet and CashCall in his last pair. He won the CalCup Juvenile at Santa Anita and will be finishing under Talamo. He needs a fair racetrack and some pace help.

#8 Chips All In (6-1) has a nose for the wire and should sit a decent outer tactical trip if he can avoid getting hung out to dry. The Mullins runner gets tested for class.

#7 Empire Way (6-1) is slowly improving for Mike Harrington. Royal Delta’s brother tries conventional dirt for the first time and will try to get involved late under Rosario.

#3 Groovin’ Solo (12-1) took to the local oval like a duck to water in his recent flat mile graduation run Dec 30. He sports two local bullets for this and is getting better but class is a cloud.

#1 Isn’t He Clever (6-1) is a New Mexico shipper with a hint of ability. The gelded son of Smarty Jones will probably flash speed from the rail under Nakatani. He will get a distance and class challenge.

#4 I’ll Have Another (12-1) would appreciate a speed favoring oval. He ran well in a pair of synthetic sprints last summer and has not been seen since struggling in the Saratoga slop last September.

The Plays:

$20 to win #5
$8 to win #8
$1 Trifecta 5-8/2-5-6-8/2-5-6-8 ($12)