Creative Cause & Empire Way to stay separated// Longview Drive ready for Southwest// No rushing Sir Bond

Trainer Mike Harrington discusses some possible chess moves with his two top Kentucky Derby Contenders.  After Sunday’s San Vicente (G2), Creative Cause is likely to ship to Arkansas for the Rebel (G2) in order to stay away from Empire Way and his quest to accumulate Graded Earnings in the San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita.  First things first however, Harrington is hoping Creative Cause shows some progression from his juvenile campaign in the San Vicente.  He reiterated that the horse does not necessarily have to win, especially considering he has enough in Graded Earnings for the Derby// With possibly 21 interests in the Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn, it’s not surprising that workouts have occurred all throughout the week, even on the Friday before Monday’s race.  Longview Drive, 3rd in both the Sham (G3) and Delta Jackpot (G3), lit up the track with a 4-furlong move in 48:20.  Najjaar also worked at Oaklawn in what appears on paper to be a good move, but trainer Danny Peitz decided he’ll skip the Southwest and look for a longer race seeing as the son of Jazil likes to drop far back in the early going.  Apprehender, a quick maiden winner at Oaklawn who earned a 98 Beyer speed figure, could be on the outside looking in if the Southwest does not split into two divisions.  He sits towards the bottom of contender earnings and will have to await the draw Saturday. If he does race, it will be without blinkers, which he wore in his debut// Further south and east, Sam F. Davis (G3) winner Battle Hardened worked a modest 4-panels at Palm Meadows.  He is still likely for the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on March 10// Some good fact-finding by Dick Downey reveals Irish trainer Aiden O’Brien is unlikely to point Wrote, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) and #4 on the Graded Earnings list, to the Kentucky Derby// Yet another impressive maiden winner made himself known Thursday.  Sir Bond dominated in his fourth career start at the Fair Grounds, where he covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1.45:12  to earn a 91 Beyer figure. Trainer Neil Howard said he would like to move ahead slowly with the colt and look for an allowance for his next race.

For complete coverage on Saturday’s El Camino Real Derby and Sunday’s San Vicente check out the race page here

Najjaar declared out of Southwest (The Downey Profile)
Baffert back in the mix (Bloodhorse Blog)
Write him off [Wrote] (The Downey Profile)
Kentucky Derby bubble at $120,000 (The Brock Talk Blog)
The long and winding road (Courier Journal Hansen Blog)



Battle Hardened- PMM- 4F- 49:80- B- 11/14
Howe Great- PMM- 5F- 1.06:05- B- 10/11
Longview Drive- OP- 4F- 48:20- B- 2/57
Najjaar- OP- 5F- 1.01:60- B- 2/58
Exfactor FG- 4F- 50:00- B- 33/64

Notes and bits from web and Twitter:
“Dullahan is back on the track at GP after fighting a cough that effected many on the backside ~ caught the eye jogging this AM - he grew up!”- Grade1Racing via Twitter

“John Shirreffs told me last night that he is serious considering the San Felipe for Blingo...John seems to have a lot of confidence in him”- Larry Zapeye via Twitter

“Ken McPeek told us that Atigun will likely scratch from the Southwest; has a foot issue. 90% out this AM, but we'll see how it develops”- TVGResearch via Twitter