Probable fields and news for Florida Derby, Wood, Spiral, UAE Derby, Sunland Derby// Dominguez hopes to be back for Wood// Thoughts on Secret Circle

Monday’s Kentucky Derby related news was enough to make your head spin, and it’s still only mid-March// The Florida Derby (G1) looks to have a modest size field of 7, led by Union Rags and El Padrino.  Their presence makes the prep the most eagerly anticipated yet// Bob Baffert confirmed yesterday Rebel (G2) and Southwest (G3) winner Secret Circle will go for the Arkansas sweep in the Arkansas Derby (G1) April 14th.  Baffert is sending his other Southwest Stakes winner Castaway to New Mexico for the Sunland Derby (G3) along with stablemate and recent maiden winner Stirred Up.  They’ll face Todd Pletcher’s maiden winner Ender Knievel among others// Todd Pletcher also confirmed Grade 2 winner Gemologist will try the Wood Memorial (G1).  He needs cash to make the Derby gate, but will have to face champion Hansen and possibly Alpha in a tough spot up in the Big Apple// The Vinery Spiral Stakes (G3) will be a crowded gate, with up to 14 possible.  That cast will be led by John Battaglia Memorial Stakes winner State of Play.  Trainer Mark Casse thinks Stealcase can improve in the Spiral off a dull effort in the Gotham (G3), which he attributed to a bad start and speed favoring track// 14 are also possible for the U.A.E Derby (G2) in Dubai. Only six in the probable field are nominated for the Triple Crown, including Derby winning connections Team Valor and Graham Motion’s Lucky Chappy// Ramon Dominguez was the victim of an unfortunate spill on Sunday at Aqueduct. He has a separated collarbone, but hopes to be back in time to ride Hansen in the Wood Memorial.  He is also the regular rider for Alpha, but may end up losing that mount anyway if Alpha goes in the Wood// Souper Speedy was declared off the Triple Crown Trail.  According to trainer Tom Albertrani there is nothing physically wrong with the Remsen (G2) runner-up, but they are still backing off due to how he was not progressing in morning works// Updated future odds were released by Wynn Las Vegas.  Union Rags is still the favorite at 4-1, while Gemologist dropped to a staggering 14-1.

Belated thoughts on the Rebel Stakes (G2)- The fallout from Saturday’s Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn seems to be a mixed bag.  While Secret Circle impressed his trainer Bob Baffert, entered into several new Derby rankings, and received accolades for a somewhat new running style; many skeptics point to the slow overall time and low speed figures.  Secret Circle earned a 92 Beyer Speed figure, which was 10 points less than his last effort in the Southwest (G3).  Although that may suggest a regression, it could also be a welcome blip on the radar.  The Rebel is a mid-March prep and Secret Circle may have bounced at an opportune time.  The Arkansas Derby should provide a better read on his trajectory, however his new ability to sit off the pace only helps his chances in a likely 20 horse field for the Kentucky Derby. 

Just let the gray horse roll! (Zipse at the Track Blog)
14 probable for U.A.E Derby (The Downey Profile)
Secret Circle wins by learning (Princeton Daily Clarion)

Future Odds
Wynn Las Vegas 3/19 (Courier Journal)

AP Top 10 (AP)

Rousing Sermon HOL- 5F- 1.00:40- H- 5/18
Stoney Fleece SA- 5F- 59:80- H- 2/10
Discreet Dancer PMM- 5F- 1.01:01- B- 2/27
Ender Knievel PMM- 5F- 1.01:01- B- 2/27
Neck n’ Neck PMM- 5F- 1.01:02- B- 4/27
Shared Property FG- 5F- 59:60- B- 1/21
Z Dager FG- 6F- 1.13:00- B- 1/7