The TP Derby, which drew a field of nine, will be run at 1 1/16 miles and will go as the 7th race. The Az Oaks, attracting a field of 10, will be run at one mile and will go as the 5th race on the 8-race card.
The TP Derby
Each of the nine entrants has broken their maiden and five of the nine have got their second win under their belts.
A former Bob Baffert trainee, Nightly News, will get attention simply because he comes from the barn of a Triple Crown trainer, although he’s now under the care of local trainer Dan McFarlane. Nightly News, a son of Misremembered, has three in the money placings, including a win from four lifetime starts, all at the one mile distance. He has two out of three bullet works in preparation for the TP Derby.
Arizona Moon impressed when winning the Lost in the Fog stakes as a Juvenile and then came back to finish a game second in the Chuck N Luck stakes in his first start as a sophomore. Trained by Stacy Campo, the son of Macho Uno , a $55,000 Keeneland purchase, has won two of four starts.
Leading trainer Robertino Diodoro will send forth Gunfire, a son of Tapit, who recently broke his maiden Jan. 30 here locally.
The Arizona Oaks
Protective Shield is a standout among the ten sophomore fillies. Although the daughter of Lookin At Lucky has only two lifetime starts – both victories – she was visually impressive, winning her maiden debut by three lengths and then followed that with a seven-length romp in the Arizona Juvenile Fillies Stakes. Regular rider Martin Bourdieu will be aboard again for trainer Robert Lawrence and owner Tom Grether.
Joan of Arch is working on three-in-a-row after recently winning the Valid Leader stakes at 7 ½ furlongs on the turf. Trained by Molly Pearson, Joan of Arch broke her maiden at one mile at Santa Anita and is undefeated in two starts locally.
A sleeper horse in here may be the Diodoro-trained Hymn’s Girl who broke her maiden Feb. 3 by 4 ½ lengths at 7 ½ furlongs on the turf. The added distance should play well to her breeding.