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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Romans Mulls News Pending's Next Start


Trainer Dale Romans is looking for a race that will offer the News Pending the best chance of getting into the Kentucky Derby. That means ruling nothing out at this point.

“We’ll just nominate him to everything out there. The next race will be important to pick up a big chunk of change,” said Romans.“It’s early. We’ll see what things look like, but the Florida Derby is definitely possible.”

News Pending prompted the pace in the Grade II Fountain of Youth and stayed on to finish second while Union Rags inhaled the front-runners to win by four lengths.

The Grade I Florida Derby will be run on March 31 and is expected to attract a small field that would include Union Rags. Should News Pending run in the Florida Derby and finish no worse than second, he would have at leaset $280,000 in graded earnings, normally plenty to make the Big Dance. However, purses for several Derby Trail races are increased to the highest levels ever this year.

News Pending has already won at the Florida Derby’s distance of 1 1/8 mile, although that victory came over the Gulfstream turf course. He followed up that Dec. 22 maiden victory with a runner-up finish in an entry-level allowance on turf on Feb. 5. The Kentucky-bred colt was nosed out of a maiden win over Belmont’s main track last October.

“We’ve always been high on him. The farther he goes, the better. With a horse like him, it takes longer to get him 100 percent fit,” Romans said.

Romans’ other Kentucky Derby hopeful, Dullahan, is being pointed to the Grade III Palm Beach Stakes on turf on March 11. It would be his first start of 2012. Dullahan won the Grade I Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity over Keeneland’s synthetic track, and then finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Churchill Downs’ main track to close out his 2011 campaign.

--Edited Gulfstream Park release

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