Silver Platter Stakes (GII) Headlines this past weekend Derby and Oaks preparation races with the Wild and Handsome Classic (GIII) and A Stitch In Time Stakes (GIII) as part of the menu.Leading off, Around n'Around from RowdyRacing23 connection continued his incredible form with his fourth win in a row in the main Derby prep race, the Silver Platter Stakes, a $600,000.00 purse, GII race contested at 1 1/8 mile on a fast track. It was also his fourth 123+ RR in a row. His last three races RR include his HRR 130 (in his first start as a 3 year old), 128.55 and the Silver Platter Stakes final RR of 129.45. Around n’Around stalked the early leaders in 8th place. Mounted a charge at the 5/8th pole and made the lead at the 7/8th pole and held his lead to the finish line to prevail by a clear length. Around n’Around is a 3 yr old Bay colt out of Sire Wild Motion and Dam Bonaire's Wise. Justice he was bred by Snowstorm Farm and purchased by RowdyRacing23 in late February. Around n’Around also has 6 wins from 9 starts, finishing 2nd twice and has bankrolled over $693,000.00 with his first graded victory in his first start. He has stamped himself as the clear favorite for the upcoming Derby. However, he will be strongly tested by a strong field of 3 year old in a contentious Derby, as evidenced by the top 15 in the Silver Platter Stakes topping 121+ in RR.
One of the competitor will be 2nd place finisher a length behind, Mustard At War a home bred son from Apocalypse At War out of the dam Mona Mustard from owner March Farm, who established his HRR of 128.40 in this race. He also earned his first graded placing in his second try and has $429,000.00 in earnings with 6 wins and a second from 8 starts.
Another competitor will be fast closing 3rd place finisher Xianfeng another homebred by Finally Farm out of sire Jianfeng and the dam Daddys Lil Wild Child. Xianfeng also established his HRR with his 127.95 in his 1-½ lengths defeat. He also had his first graded showing in 2 tries and has over $431,000.00 in earnings from 5 wins, 4 second and 1 third in 11 starts.
The second prep race of the weekend was the $300,000.00 GIII A Stitch In Time Stakes run at 1 1/8 on a muddy track for 3 year old fillies pointing towards the Derby Oaks. Rowdysan fresh from last season’s triple stable of the year awards, including stable of the year, Desmond Lee2 continued their winning ways by leading every step of way under pressure and holding on to win by a oh so desperate head, in a HRR of 123.85. Rowdysan, bred by RowdyRacing23 and purchased by current owner on the 19th of February won her second graded victory in as many starts. She is the daughter of Fujisan and the dam Angry Brunette and has earnings of $771,050.00 from 7 victories and 1 third in 9 starts. She will certainly be one of the leading candidates for the upcoming Oaks and considering her high turn of foot may prove a tough nut to crack!
Not be overlooked with a fast closing second and missing by only a head was Like A Smuggler a home bred, dark bay brown filly out of Scurvy In The Piano and the dam Social Coma from owner No Lies Just Love Farm. She also established a HRR with 123.70 and has earnings of $310,000.00 with her first graded placing in 2 attempts among her six lifetime starts. Like A Smuggler will be hard pressed to make the Oaks field with only $85,000.00 stakes earnings, but still has 120+ ratings in her corner. If not, she may be pointed to the second leg of the Triple Tiara. We’ll see!
The third place finisher Tribal Beauty hails from Wildcat Racing and is a homebred son of Awesome Austin and the dam Hearts N Atlantis. She battled with the leader all the way around the track before tiring to third a length behind the winner. She also established a HRR of 123.10 and gained her first graded showing in a many attempt, while never finishing off the board in 6 starts while pushing her earnings to $252,000.00. Tribal Beauty does not have the earnings ($58,000.00) to be part of the Oaks field and 1 ¼ mile distance seems to be beyond her the reach of her stamina!
The Final graded prep action of the weekend saw the running of the $300,000.00 GIII Wild and Handsome Classic, for 3 year old, contested at 1 3/16 mile on a sloppy track. In a dazzling display of a strong closing kick, Code Red gave owner Finally Farm the derby fever. He started his explosion at the 5/8th pole advanced steadily towards the dueling pacesetters before blowing by at the one-mile pole and cruising home the last 3/16 to a comfortable 2¼ lengths victory. The grey roan son of Maximum Code MDm and the dam Zenno Green Red Gold was bred by Hazyview Stables and purchased March 11th by Finally Farm. His Final rating of 125.75 established his HRR, was his first graded victory in as may attempt, his 6th win in 9 starts with 3 seconds and pushed his bankroll to $521,000.00. This grey son will have a lot to say about the outcome of the Derby on any surface with his explosive kick. Watch out!
Finishing second was pacesetter Scarred Heart a homebred son of Processing the Moon and the dam Declan's Empress from Rolling River Farm connection. This was Sacred Heart 4th straight 121+ RR and his final RR 123.40 earned him his first graded placing on his only try. It also pushed his overall earnings to $414,500.00 from 11 starts and never finishing worse than 3rd. He should be factor in the Derby Field.
Third place finisher was Flagrante Delicto a homebred out of sire Walking Contradiction and the dam I'm With You from the stable of Rivendell Racers. He was part of the pace and tired late beaten ¾ length for second by the pacesetter in RR 122.74. It was his first graded showing on his second try and increased his earnings to $346,000.00 from 8 starts with 5 victories.