I'll be watching three key races this weekend. The top finishers from each will have renewed buzz and become properly positioned on the Derby trail as we're 12 weeks away from Kentucky Derby 137.
Robert B. Lewis Stakes: This Grade II race at Santa Anita, CA is run at a distance of 9 furlongs (which is 1 1/8 mile). Kentucky Derby contender Tapizar, winner of the Sham Stakes on January 15, 2011 is the clear cut favorite going in. All indications point to a win for Tapizar and anything less would be a disappointment. I'm curious to see how Riveting Reason runs against Tapizar.
El Camino Real Derby: A Grade III race at Golden Gate Fields, CA being run at 9 furlongs. All signs point to Comma to the Top being the overall favoirte here and, just like Tapizar in the Robert B Lewis, anything less than a win would be a let down. Now, if Comma comes up short there's no real damage to his Derby hopes, but it may add for higher odds when looking for a good horse versus betting value come the first Saturday in May.
Sam F. Davis Stakes: A Grade III race being held at Tampa Bay Downs, FL. This 8.5 furlong race (1 1/16 mile) doesn't have such a clear cut favorite, but offers a glimpse at several Derby hopefuls. One of which is Brethren. A half brother to Kentucky Derby 136 Champion Super Saver, Brethren has a lot of potential. Others I'm watching with interest in this race: Monzon, Washington's Rules and Beamer. I wouldn't be shocked if Brethren finishes 2nd or 3rd.