Storm Fighter is now ticketed for the Grade I Santa Anita Derby.
The bay son of Stormin Fever is coming off a 5 34-length maiden victory at 1 1/16 mile on March 2 under Gary Stevens.
“We always knew Storm Fighter was going to be a two-turn horse,” said Karen Headley, Bruce Headley's daughter and assistant trainer. “His first two races were sprints, and in his second race he pulled two shoes off. We trained him up to the mile and a sixteenth, and he ran against older horses in that race. I think he was the only 3-year-old to run against 4-year-olds and he won that impressively.
“Golden Eagle felt that it was a good idea, as well as we did, to try him in the Santa Anita Derby. For me, I want to have the horse do well for my dad’s sake and for Golden Eagle. They’ve both accomplished so much.”
Goldencents' Slow Breeze
Goldencents, who usually fires bullets, worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Thursday in 1:16 flat, on the surface an alarmingly slow time, but it was by design, Doug O’Neill said.
“We’ve been trying to work on getting him to slow down a little in the morning,” said O'Neill.
“Jonny (Garcia), his normal exercise rider, got on him and did a great job. He went in 38 and three the first three-eighths and 37 and two the last three-eighths. He galloped out good. I’m very, very happy with him.”
Tiz a Minister Plans
Trainer Paul Aguirre said he is “leaning towards” the Santa Anita Derby with San Felipe third-place finisher Tiz a Minister, but also is considering the Blue Grass Stakes on Keeneland’s Polytrack April 13. Joe Talamo would ride in the Santa Anita Derby. Aguirre has previously said Garrett Gomez could ride in the Blue Grass.
Edited Santa Anita Derby release