|Graded Stakes Winner El Gato Malo
Heads Full Field of 13 in Saturday's Grade 3 Lone Star Derby
(May 8, 2008) - Saturday's 12th running of the $400,000
Lone Star Derby (Gr. III), for 3-year-olds, to be run at one-and-one-sixteenth
of a mile, features West Point Thoroughbreds' El Gato Malo, trained
by Craig Dollase. A winner of three of five starts for earnings
of $215,200, El Gato Malo was last seen finishing fifth in the Santa
Anita Derby (Gr. I). Rafael Bejarano ships in from California for
"He's been training in blinkers since his fifth-place finish
in the Santa Anita Derby, and he's been working well. He'll be making
his first start over a dirt surface on Saturday, but we're optimistic
that he'll be up to the challenge," said Dollase.
At 2-1 in the morning line, El Gato Malo is scheduled to face
12 rivals as he bids to give Dollase his second graded stakes winner
at the meeting. He won the Texas Mile (Gr. III) with Monterey Jazz
on April 26.
The morning line favorite Samba Rooster, at 9-5, appears to be
the main threat to El Gato Malo. Sent out by trainer Bob Baffert,
a winner of 13 stakes races at Lone Star Park, and ridden by last
year's Eclipse Award winning jockey Garrett Gomez, Samba Rooster
comes here off of a runner-up finish in the Lexington Stakes (Gr.
III) at Keeneland.
"Garrett looked like he was skiing on him in the Lexington,
so we've been trying to slow him down a bit in his training,"
explained Baffert. "He's a tough one to reign in from the gate,
but he seems to be a little more focused wearing blinkers."
Others worth noting in this competitive renewal of the Lone Star
Derby are the Todd Pletcher-trained Texas Wildcatter, who finished
second in the Gotham Stakes (Gr. III) at Aqueduct Racetrack in New
York, and the Vladimir Cerin-conditioned Leonides, a Grade 1 tested
colt who finished second by a nose in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship
(Gr. III) as a two-year-old.
The field from the rail out, with jockey and morning line odds
listed in parenthesis, consists of: Limestone Edge (Corey Lanerie,
9-5); El Gato Malo (Rafael Bejarano, 2-1); Golden Yank (Cliff Berry,
20-1); Poni Colada (Quincy Hamilton, 15-1); King's Silver Son (Luis
Quinonez, 15-1); Texas Wildcatter (Robby Albarado, 8-1); Ide Like
a Double (Kerwin Clark, 15-1); Isabull (Tim Doocy, 30-1); Samba
Rooster (Garrett Gomez, 9-5); Leonides (Richard Migliore, 10-1);
My Pal Charlie (Jamie Theriot, 12-1); Fort Apache (Eddie Martin,
30-1); and Real Appeal (James Graham, 30-1).