By Dick Downey
Updated Feb. 23, 2012 @ 11:40 a.m. ET
Anyone can put the better-known horses in their Road to the Roses stable, and that might work out for you, but if you're looking for some lesser lights to avoid a crowded house, here are some horses "Worth Watching".
On Feb. 14, we focused on horses, "Just In Case" they make some noise on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. That article can be reviewed here.
Some of these guys are going to do great things. Others, not so much. The fun of it is that right now, we just don't completely know.
Adirondack King, third in the faster-run division of the Grade III Southwest on Saturday, looks to improve as distances increase. No mystery about where he'll pop up next -- he's staying put at Oaklawn Park with trainer John Servis.
American Act showed tenacity losing to Drill by a nose in the Grade II San Vicente. A little speed-biased in his dosage profile, American Act might be able to carry that speed two turns on a zippy Santa Anita track.
Atigun skipped the Southwest, so the Rebel would presumptively be next unless he's slipped into an allowance race first. But be sure to check and see if he works soon. His last breeze was Feb. 15.
Bodemeister ran his Feb. 11 maiden win a little faster than Fed Biz's allowance. “I’ll have to give extra time and run him back in March somewhere,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “I’ll have to find a spot.” Only time will tell how much extra time is needed.
In his career debut on Feb. 3, Bourbon Courage ran six furlongs in 1:09.28. But it wasn't at Santa Anita, it was at Fair Grounds. He's one fast cookie but may have distance limitations, being out of a Carson City mare.
You never know how jockey selections will work out. Casual Trick will be part of the most-anticipated race to date on the Derby Trail, the Grade II Fountain of Youth on Sunday. Before Casual Trick's last race, John Velazquez picked him over El Padrino and then got drubbed 30 lengths. Now Javier Castellano is back on El Padrino in the Grade II Risen Star on Saturday. But maybe all is not lost for Johnny V. He's picked up Discreet Dancer in the Fountain of Youth.
Surely Consortium is not as bad as he looked in the Holy Bull? They said we'll find out in the Grade III Gotham. But as of this writing, Consortium hasn't put in a recorded workout since Feb. 9. The Holy Bull was on Jan. 29.
Consulado is speedy, but he lost to Fed Biz in an allowance race by 5 3/4 lengths. However, Consulado beat the next horse by 6 1/2 lengths.
Cozzetti has run on three different surfaces, is training well in South Florida and is bred to run all day. He's looking for an effective running style.
Before they got out of the second turn of the Southwest, Channing Hill was giving it pretty hard to Cyber Secret. He finished fifth as the second choice for the owner of the track.
Dan and Sheila missed a breeze on Feb. 12 but got back on track a week later. Pointed to the Grade III Gotham. One for the New York division of your stable?
El Padrino probably ought to be on our Looking Good page, and it's likely he'll be there this time next week. Like a good basketball team in March, trainer Todd Pletcher said he's maturing at the right time.
Empire Way made up ground in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis -- no easy feat at Santa Anita these days -- and he worked out 14 days later. All appears to be well. Trainer Mike Harrington has pretty much said he won't run Empire Way against Creative Cause.
Ender Knievel has New Mexico connections, so he could be a part of your Sunland Park division.
Just when I was beginning to wonder if he had gone lame, Ever So Lucky breezed Tuesday at Gulfstream Park. His trainer is on record saying Ever So Lucky is a "high-class miler".
Exothermic looks like he could turn out to be a turf star, and with Kentucky synthetic track races on the Road to the Roses schedule -- but not the Grade III Palm Beach -- he could be a sleeper in your stable.
Fort Loudon would have to step up a significant level from an established set of past performances.
Groovin' Solo is the horse that tripped Liaison in the Bob Lewis and is the only Myung Kwon Cho we have heard about that isn't by Fusaichi Pegasus. By Bob and John, he's out of a Summer Squall mare. He beat Southwest winner Castaway in a maiden race on Dec. 30. Neat name, isn't it?
Howe Great is a stable mate to Lucky Chappy. The latter is nominated to the Group 2 U.A.E. Derby -- which isn't on the Road to the Roses lineup -- but Howe Great is not. A candidate for those synthetic track races later on, after the Palm Beach?
Lucky Chappy. What we just said -- if he doesn't go to the U.A.E. Derby -- but we may not know for a little while.
Maan is a Malibu Moon trained by Eddie Kenneally, who also has Battle Hardened, and he could be one of those late bloomers. He's only raced twice, beating Stat in a Feb. 9 allowance at Gulfstream Park.
Good old Motor City, winner of the Grade III Iroquois at Churchill Downs, is still working at Palm Meadows and will make his 2012 debut soon. On Jan. 1, trainer Ian Wilkes said we'd see him at the end of February. Motor City has put in four works since Jan. 31.
My Adonis ran within a half-length of Hansen in the Holy Bull and could be a part of your New York division -- the Gotham is next.
Najjaar is a late-running type, and trainer Danny Peitz wisely recognized that the Southwest isn't won by those types -- so he held Najjjaar out of the Southwest. Part of your Oaklawn division.
Neck 'n Neck didn't run too badly in the Grade III Sam Davis -- he finished fifth -- and he was tenth in the early going and was seven wide in the stretch. Lest we forget, Neck 'n Neck was second to Discreet Dancer in a Jan. 7 allowance.
Night Tide is WAY under the radar. With the Baffert stable, Night Tide has put in 12 workouts since Dec. 11. There was a gate work on Feb. 9. He hasn't raced since the Grade II Best Pal at Del Mar. Night Tide, a son of Malibu Moon, was bought for $150,000 at Keeneland.
People wonder why we don't have the outstanding looking Grade III Sham winner Out of Bounds on the Looking Good list, and the answer is his dosage profile/index of 3-7-4-0-0 (14) 6.00. But that doesn't mean he can't earn you some points along the way.
Prospective is another Malibu Moon, and frankly, we wonder if he might continue to get better as distances increase. Downside is that he finished last in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.
Reckless Jerry could be in your Toby Keith division. I thought he was logical to run well in the Southwest, and he actually did run well, so that's a good sign.
I don't know what it is about Reveron, but I can't warm up to him. Maybe it's the $20,000 purchase price, the same as Junebugred.
Russian Greek looked pretty bad in the Grade III El Camino Real Derby, but it was't all bad. He rallied from tenth to fifth. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer tells his owners that the horse takes you there, you don't take the horse.
Scatman, a son of Scat Daddy, made his first two-turn foray a good one with a second by a nose to Secret Circle in the Southwest, division 2. His time was a full second better than that of Castaway, winner of first division of the Southwest.
Speaking of Secret Circle, the plan has been staying short, like the plan for Drill, who has the same owners and trainer. So maybe one will go in the seven-furlong, Grade III Bay Shore on April 7 and the other in the one-mile, Grade II Jerome on April 21. Meanwhile, the Grade II Swale will be run at Gulfstream Park in March. An update: Baffert says he, the trainer, will be back at Oaklawn
Shared Property is a top contender in the Risen Star but has again drawn wide. With El Padrino there, he's in a little tougher than he was in the Lecomte. Upside potential? Trainer Tom Amoss said before the Lecomte that the screws "may not be completely tight" yet. Another son of Scat Daddy.
If you want to use a horse that has completely fallen off the radar, you might consider Sky Kingdom. “We definitely have Derby hopes for him,” said trainer Baffert on Jan. 13.
Souper Speedy finished second, a head in front of El Padrino, in the Grade II Remsen. From Jan 21 to Feb. 14, he worked five times at Palm Meadows. He did not breeze on Jan. 21, and he's not on the Jan. 22 worktab as of this writing.
Spring Hill Farm is by Smart Strike out of a Pleasant Colony mare, so we should expect him to go longer than his one-mile win on Feb. 11. That was Todd Pletcher's 3,000th win. Johnny V. had that mount, by the way.
Stat is another Pletcher runner, but he lost his 2012 debut on Feb. 9. Maan won at 5-1 odds, while Stat was fourth at 1-5 odds. It would seem that other horses in the Pletcher barn will take priority in the bigger races this Spring.
Stirred Up, a $420,000 Keeneland purchase in the Baffert barn, is a horse that seems to like to make one late run. Maybe he needs a track other than speed-laden Santa Anita -- but he's still a maiden.
Summer Front, winner of the Dania Beach on the Gulfstream turf in December, has a lone work since then. That came on Feb. 14. His worktab should be monitored.
Swag Daddy looks like a New York-bred stakes type, and he did not win in his last start against those -- and he was 3-5 that day.
Take Charge Indy hasn't breezed since El Padrino beat him on Jan. 29. Meanwhile, El Padrino is running in a grade II this weekend. On Feb. 7, trainer Patrick Byrne said the Tampa Bay Derby would be next. But his absence from the worktab is of concern.
Tetradrachm was entered in a Feb. 18 turf allowance at Fair Grounds, but the race was canceled along with about half the card due to heavy rain.
Jack Wolf said yesterday that the plan right now is to keep Thunder Moccasin to one turn, which means that the Swale is next.
Unbridled Minister was second to Spring Hill Farm last time out, so the question is whether he goes in an allowance or jumps up to a stakes race next time out.
The best-laid plans went awry as Unbridled's Note slipped leaving the starting gate and lost all chance in the first division of the Southwest. It's too bad. There's no way to know right now how he came out of that race. He's staying at Oaklawn.
Z Dager is from the always dangerous Asmussen-Zayat combo, and you can't keep Asmussen down long notwithstanding the results for Unbridled's Note and Hierro thus far this year. A surging second in the Lecomte, Z Dager comes back in the Risen Star. Meanwhile, Dan and Sheila, also owned by Zayat, is pointed to the Gotham.
Zackn'mat beat Stirred Up on Jan. 29, breaking his maiden, and is on the worktab since. A $60,000 purchase. He's in the Borderland Derby, a non-scoring race in Road to the Roses, this Saturday.