Daily Feed: Zito back in Derby mix?// Next race plans for Vyjack and O’Neill prospects// McLaughlin pointing 2 to Withers// Contender lists from Haskin and more…

Trainer Rudy Rodriguez says the Kentucky Derby is not on his mind just yet for recent Jerome Stakes (G2) winner Vyjcak, but it’s hard to believe him.  The colt will get a little break and re-emerge in the Gotham (G3) at Aqueduct March 2nd.  In the meantime, Rodriguez will try to work on getting Vyjack to relax more// Connections for 2nd place finisher Siete de Oros will target the Withers (G3) on February 2.  Ramon Preciado, the owner/trainer, said the addition of blinkers in the Jerome seemed to have helped// Goldencents will have one or two more races before the Derby.  Trainer Doug O’Neill said the colt came out of the race fine, yet no specific race plans are set.  The Robert Lewis (G2) at Santa Anita on February 2nd is not likely for Goldencents, seeing as O’Neill is pointing Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) runner-up He’s Had Enough to the race.  The trainer also indicated that Avare, winner of the Eddie Logan Stakes, will ship to Oaklawn for the Smarty Jones Stakes January 21st// Kiaran McLaughlin hopes to have two contenders in the Withers, but neither appears to be a threat at this point.  Long River will come off a dissapointing 4th in the Jerome, while Valid, a half brother to Malibu Prayer, broke his maiden at Laurel// Nick Zito is trying to take things slow with recent maiden breakers Eton Blue and Mountain Eagle.  The former is a son of Giant’s Causeway out of the Kentucky Oaks winning mare Bird Town.  Zito mentioned a lot of trainers are waiting to take their best shots later in the Derby season when Derby points are higher// Contender lists and rankings are starting to pop up, including the first from well-respected Steve Haskin of The Bloodhorse.  He has Violence in the top spot, which is not too surprising, but by placing Power Broker at #2 Haskin seems to be instigating a debate more so than making any kind of strong case.  Power Broker’s weak performance in the Breeders’ Cup and long break from training should raise a serious red flag// more…   


Contender lists/Rankings:

Always in a Tiz- GP- 5F- 1.01:90- B- 19/28
Flashback- SA- 5F- 1.00:40- H- 9/53
Super Ninety Nine- SA- 5F- 59:00- H- 1/53