With one horse developed in Camden, Upstart, already being pointed toward a start in the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby, another Thoroughbred with local connections can help cement his starting spot in the May 2 race in Louisville this weekend.
On Saturday, Prospect Park is expected to be sent off as the second-favorite in Saturday 78th edition of the $1 million Santa Anita Derby. The 3-year-old Tapit colt was developed at the stables of Mickey Preger Jr., located at the Camden Training Center, before being shipped to trainer Cliff Sise Jr. last spring.
The Santa Anita Derby will have 170 qualifying points --- 100 to the winner, 40 to second, 20 to third and 10 to the fourth-place finisher --- for horses with dreams of a start at Churchill Downs.
Prospect Park is coming off a second place finish in the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes (Gr. 2) at Santa Anita Park on March 7. On that afternoon, he and jockey Kent Desormeaux finish 1 ¼-lengths behind unbeaten Dortmund, which is also entered into the Santa Anita Derby, is expected to go into the starting gate as the favorite of the bettors.
Prospect Park, out of the Bertrando mare, Quiet Romance, earned a career-best 102 Beyer Speed figure in the San Felipe and left many observers feeling there could be even better things to come in the Santa Anita Derby.
Last Saturday, according to a Santa Anita press release, Prospect Park, with rider Alonso Quinonez aboard, went five furlongs in 1:01.20.
"I had him in 1:01 flat," Sise said following the workout at San Luis Rey Downs. "I got splits of 13 and one, 12 and one, and 11 and four; he came home in 23 and two and galloped out three quarters in (one) 13 and four.
"It was a perfect work. I couldn’t have written it any better (that) morning."
Sise said he believes the added sixteenth of a mile in the 1 1/8-mile Santa Anita Derby, from the San Felipe, will benefit Prospect Park which broke his maiden on his fourth start with a win at Santa Anita on Dec. 27, 2014. He followed that with an impressive 5 ¼-length victory in a one-mile allowance race at Santa Anita Park on Jan. 30.
Trained by Bob Baffert who will give a leg up to Martin Garcia, Dortmund was installed as the 3-5 morning line favorite when entries for the six-horse field. Prospect Park was next, listed at odds of 5-2.
The Santa Anita Derby will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) as part of its Saturday telecast which begins at 5 p.m. Two other major Derby prep races, the Blue Grass Stakes from Keeneland and the Wood Memorial from Aqueduct, will also be part of the network’s Saturday racing coverage.
Should Upstart, which was developed by Frank and Daphne Wooten at Frank Wooten Stables in Camden and/or Prospect Park start in the 20-horse Kentucky Derby field at Churchill Downs, it will be the first time a horse developed in Camden will start in the Run for the Roses since Action This Day finished sixth in the 2004 edition of the race.
Developed in Camden at Frank Wooten Stables on Carter Street in Camden, Action This Day won the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and was voted that year’s Eclipse Award winner for 2-year-old colt.