Algorithms off Trail// Florida Derby possible for Alpha, El Padrino// Creative Cause works// Ever So Lucky injured

As is often the case, the rigors of the Kentucky Derby Trail rear their ugly head early and often. Algorithms is officially off the Trail and will have surgery to remove a fractured splint.  A heartbreaking loss for all connections considering he was a serious contender for the Derby// Ever So Lucky has a bruised foot, however the plan is to still make the Swale Stakes (G2) March 10th// Looks like Southwest (G3) winner Secret Circle will return to Oaklawn to try the Rebel (G2).  Even more revealing was owner Mike Pegram stating he’s not giving up Derby hopes for Drill, winner of the 7-furlong San Vicente but dissapointing in recent two-turn attempts.  Derby Fever already creeping up in February?// Interesting article from DRF on Mark Valeski.  Trainer Larry Jones thought the colt looked “fat” before the Risen Star and hopes the tough stretch duel will help tighten him up.  He also said he won’t train the colt too hard leading into the Louisiana Derby (G2) based on his history of sore shins// Creative Cause had a perfect 6-furlong work at Hollywood Park in preparation for the San Felipe (G2) according to trainer Mike Harrington.  He could face his stablemate Empire Way, but the latter may ship to Oaklawn for the Rebel (G2) instead// Theoretically the Florida Derby (G1) could offer an enticing Derby preview featuring not only Kentucky Derby favorite Union Rags, but possibly other top contenders Alpha and El Padrino.  Alpha’s trainer Kiaran McLaughlin likes the idea of a small field and ensuring Ramon Dominguez rides the colt, while Dominguez could have a conflict in the Wood Memorial in New York where he would probably opt to ride Hansen instead.  As for El Padrino, it still doesn’t seem the Florida Derby is first choice for his owners or Todd Pletcher, but they’re keeping the option open// A good article on all of Dale Romans’s Derby prospects. Romans doesn’t seem too confident in Finnegan’s Wake switching to dirt in Saturday’s Gotham (G3), but he’ll try nonetheless.  

Gotham Probables: Chief Energy, Consortium, Cop A Tude, Dan and Sheila, Done Talking, Hansen, King and Crusader, Maan, My Adonis, Pretension, Raconteur, Tiger Walk (Source: The Downey Profile)

Secret Circle still in running for Derby (Princeton Daily Clarion)
Don’t sleep on Romans (Bloodhorse Blog)
On the move: Rafael Bejarano (Bloodhorse Blog)

AP Top 10 (Associated Press)

Coalition- BEL- 5F- 1.02:88- B- 11/20
Creative Cause- HOL- 6F- 1.11:80- H-1/1
Longview Drive- HOL- 4F- 48:20- H- 4/24
Hierro- SA- 6F- 1.13:20- H- 1/2
Speightscity- BEL- 5F- 1.02:55- B- 6/15

Speed Figures*
Top 3yo winning BRIS figs last week: Secret Circle & The Lumber Guy-103 Union Rags-102; El Padrino-101; Castaway & Politicallycorrect-97

3yo winning Beyers last week: Secret Circle-102; The Lumber Guy-86 Union Rags-95; El Padrino-98; Castaway-92; Politicallycorrect-83.

*Source: DerbyContenders via Twitter

Notes and bits from web and Twitter:
Baffert says his two San Felipe runners 3-10 at SA will be Fed Biz and Liaison. Bejarano will ride one, other rider TBD- Jay Privman via Twitter

Sabercat could go to 3-17 Rebel for 2012 debut, rather than 3-10 San Felipe, Asmussen says. Nakatani will have mount - Jay Privman via Twitter