As February arrives so too does the concentration of major Derby preps. February 7th welcomes the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds and the Robert S. Lewis Stakes (formerly run as Santa Catalina Stakes) at Santa Anita, where highly regarded Pioneerof the Nile will be favored. Two other top 10 sophomores will square off in the Risen Star in Giant Oak and Friesan Fire. My own due diligence begins on President's Day at Oaklawn Park for the Southwest Stakes mile, where Remsen winner Old Fashioned appears to be the chalk after the defection of Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up Square Eddie. The Grade II San Vicente from Santa Anita will also be run on February 16th
Speaking of the Derby Trail, I have also mapped out my travel schedule which will include stops at Oaklawn Park (Southwest & AR Derby), Fair Grounds (LA Derby) and Gulfstream Park (FL Derby) in 2009. Now that we have some racing to talk about, I'll resume bi-weekly updates leading up to the week of The Kentucky Derby (May 2).
Good luck at the windows!