Texas Red back from in­jur y in Dwyer

Daily Racing Form Saturday Stakes Preview - - FRONT PAGE - – David Gren­ing – Steve An­der­sen

When Texas Red boarded a Tex Sut­ton flight Wed­nes­day bound for New York from South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, he had just a one-way ticket.

The Cal­i­for­nia-based Texas Red, last year’s Breed­ers’ Cup Ju­ve­nile win­ner who missed this year’s Triple Crown se­ries due to a foot in­jury, will call New York home for at least the next two months, trainer Keith De­sormeaux said Wed­nes­day. He’ll at­tempt to jump-start his ca­reer in Satur­day’s Grade 3, $500,000 Dwyer Stakes at Bel­mont Park, with the ul­ti­mate sum­mer ob­jec­tive be­ing the $1.25 mil­lion Travers Stakes on Aug. 29 at Saratoga.

Texas Red drew post 4 in a seven-horse field for the Dwyer, which has been short­ened to a one-turn mile this year af­ter typ­i­cally be­ing run at 1 1/16 miles since 1994.

“It seems like the best way to bring these horses around is to give them some sort of sprint first time back,” said De­sormeaux, ex­plain­ing his ra­tio­nale for choos­ing the Dwyer Stakes. “With our am­bi­tion of get­ting him to the Travers, this seemed like a log­i­cal spot.”

Af­ter his 6 1/2-length vic­tory in last Novem­ber’s Breed­ers’ Cup Ju­ve­nile, Texas Red seemed like a log­i­cal con­tender for the 2015 Ken­tucky Derby and the re­main­der of the Triple Crown races. But fol­low­ing a neck de­feat in the seven-fur­long San Vi­cente at Santa Anita in Fe­bru­ary, Texas Red de­vel­oped a foot ab­scess that didn’t heal in time to make those races. He was given am­ple time to re­cover and to be trained for a sum­mer and fall cam­paign.

“I’m the type of guy that will al­ways say I need a race,” De­sormeaux said. “I just don’t drill a horse in the morn­ing. With that be­ing said, I’ve done a lit­tle bit more with this one. I think he’s fit enough to win off the lay­off.”

Texas Red will face Blofeld and Tommy Macho – both from the Todd Pletcher barn – as well as Speight­ster, Smart Tran­si­tion, Brid­get’s Big Luvy, and Hol­ly­wood An­gel.

Tonal­ist drops blink­ers for Sub­ur­ban

Af­ter watch­ing Tonal­ist lose the Jim Dandy and Travers stakes last sum­mer at Saratoga, trainer Christophe Cle­ment re­moved the blink­ers from the colt’s equip­ment, and Tonal­ist re­sponded with a 1 3/4-length vic­tory in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, a 1 1/4-mile race at Bel­mont Park.

Cle­ment will hope for a sim­i­lar re­sult in Satur­day’s $500,000 Sub­ur­ban Hand­i­cap, in which he again re­moves the blink­ers from Tonal­ist’s equip­ment in a 1 1/4-mile race at Bel­mont.

“The blink­ers were to get him sharper for the Westch­ester and the Met Mile, and now we’re go­ing to go far­ther,” Cle­ment said. “I don’t think we need the blink­ers.”

Tonal­ist drew post 6 in the Sub­ur­ban and will face Brook­lyn win­ner Coach Inge, re­cent al­lowance win­ner My­lute, Ex­cel­sior win­ner Effinex, Street Babe, and Neck ‘n Neck.

Pri­vate Zone in Sprint Cham­pi­onship

Pri­vate Zone, who has won three Grade 1 races in New York, drew post 3 and heads an eight-horse field in Satur­day’s Grade 3, $400,000 Bel­mont Sprint Cham­pi­onship at seven fur­longs.

Pri­vate Zone is com­ing off a third-place fin­ish be­hind Honor Code and Tonal­ist in the Grade 1 Metropoli­tan Hand­i­cap. Two starts back, he won the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes at seven fur­longs. In three pre­vi­ous trips to New York, Pri­vate Zone has won back-to-back run­nings of the Grade 1 Vosburgh at six fur­longs and the Grade 1 Cigar Mile last fall at Aqueduct.

His com­pe­ti­tion Satur­day will in­clude Grade 1 King’s Bishop win­ner The Big Beast, who drew post 2, and Clearly Now, last year’s Bel­mont Sprint Cham­pi­onship win­ner, who will break from post 5.

The rest of the field con­sists of Bay of Plenty, Green Gratto, Stall­walkin’ Dude, C. Zee, and Moon­light Song.

Prom­ise Me Sil­ver, who suf­fered her first de­feat in nine life­time starts when she fin­ished 10th in the Grade 1 Acorn last month, will break from the rail in a field of six en­tered for Satur­day’s Grade 3, $150,000 Vic­tory Ride Stakes for 3-year-old fil­lies at 6 1/2 fur­longs.

Prom­ise Me Sil­ver had won seven stakes, in­clud­ing the Grade 3 Eight Belles, be­fore get­ting used up in a pace bat­tle in the Acorn. She will be re­united with Robby Al­barado, aboard for three of her pre­vi­ous vic­to­ries.

Out­side of Prom­ise Me Sil­ver will be En­chant­ing Lady, Su­per Saks, Kath­ballu, Ir­ish Jasper, and Miss Ella.

Los Alami­tos Derby: Gimme Da Lute re­turns

Gimme Da Lute, who won the Grade 3 Af­firmed Stakes at Santa Anita on June 7, will try to give trainer Bob Baf­fert another good pay­day Satur­day in the Grade 2, $350,000 Los Alami­tos Derby.

The Los Alami­tos Derby will be the first start for Gimme Da Lute at 1 1/8 miles. The colt has won 3 of 6 starts and earned $247,560 for own­ers and breed­ers Mike Pe­gram, Karl Wat­son, and Paul Weit­man.

The Af­firmed Stakes at 1 1/16 miles was Gimme Da Lute’s sec­ond stakes win, pre­ceded by the $200,000 Echo Ed­die Stakes for Cal­i­for­nia-breds at 6 1/2 fur­longs at Santa Anita on April 4. In be­tween, Gimme Da Lute was third in both the Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs on May 2 and the Chick Lang Stakes at six fur­longs at Pim­lico on May 16.

“We’re all in the same boat,” Baf­fert said of the dis­tance test. “There’s only one way to find out. We’ve got a fast horse.”

The Los Alami­tos Derby field is led by Ken­tuck­ian, who won the Grade 3 Lazaro Barrera Stakes at Santa Anita on May 10, and Prospect Park, sec­ond to Gimme Da Lute in the Af­firmed.

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