04/27/2005 11:00PM

Company points out Vicarage


NEW YORK - With just one week to go until Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday's national stakes schedule finds an eclectic mix of races, including the $300,000 Texas Mile at Lone Star Park, the $150,000 Hollywood Wildcat Breeders' Cup Handicap at Calder, and the $100,000 Derby Trial at Churchill.

Derby Trial

With the same owner's Greeley's Galaxy still on the outside looking in when it comes to a berth in next week's Kentucky Derby, Don't Get Mad, as everyone knows, is in this race to prove he merits a start in the Derby in place of Greeley's Galaxy should that one be excluded come entry time Wednesday. The whole racing world will also notice Don't Get Mad's two wins over the Churchill track last fall, one over the type of wet track he will likely encounter Saturday. All of this means that the odds on Don't Get Mad are going to be low. But as a colt who was found wanting against seemingly sub-par competition in California, and one who is still slow in terms of speed figures, Don't Get Mad is a horse to take a stand against.

I like Vicarage. If the belief is true that the 3-year-olds in the East - specifically Florida - were better than the ones in Southern California during prep season, then Vicarage has kept much tougher company than Don't Get Mad has, or anyone else in this field, for that matter. Vicarage chased Proud Accolade and High Limit in his first two stakes starts this year, and has been pointed to this race ever since his disappointing effort in the Florida Derby behind High Fly and Noble Causeway.

Another reason to like Vicarage is that he comes out of two two-turn races, which means he'll have the bottom to be formidable in the late stages of this one turn mile. Don't Get Mad is doing the same, but Vicarage will be the better price, and has more early speed, which is always an asset when cutting back in distance.

Hollywood Wildcat

Wend is 3 for 3 since moving to turf, and may well be the monster she looked like winning her last two. But in races with established form, it is not good policy to take a short price on a filly making her first start in a stakes race, which is what Wend is doing. So I'm going to try and beat her with Hymn of Love.

Hymn of Love was the beaten favorite in her last start, but moved prematurely, running her second and third quarter-miles in a combined 46 seconds. She also may have been short, as it was her first race in 3 1/2 months. Two starts back, however, Hymn of Love won big at the distance over the course, earning a Beyer Speed Figure that puts her right there, if, that is, Wend proves to be merely equine. Moreover, Hymn of Love trips out well, projecting to sit well in the pocket off a contested pace.

Texas Mile

Yessirgeneralsir couldn't make a clear lead stick in this race last year, but in his second start back off a seven-month absence, he looks primed to take this field wire-to-wire.

Yessirgeneralsir finished third in last year's Texas Mile behind Kela and Supah Blitz, but only lost the place late to Supah Blitz after Kela blew by him in upper stretch. And, that took place over the kind of wet track that Yessirgeneralsir may not be at his best over. Supah Blitz is also back this time, and is in good form off a solid win at Santa Anita. But there is no one in this field as imposing as Kela was, and there is also no one in this field to deny Yessirgeneralsir from being the controlling speed.


Calder : Hollywood Wildcat B.C. Handicap
Fillies and mares, 3 and up, 1 1/16 miles, turf

Approximate post: Eastern-5:28 p.m., Central-4:28 p.m., Mountain-3:28 p.m., Pacific-2:28 p.m.; Miami, Fl., forecast: Breezy, 85 degrees

1Stormy Kitty42807430-1
2Hymn Of Love7590874-1
4Joyful Ballad85868010-1
9R Obsession8382846-1
10Dansetta Light83778330-1
11Minge Cove89756610-1
Also eligible:
13Unbridled Skip80728330-1
15Pampered Princess9596982-1
16Grab Bag74888430-1

DRF odds

Lone Star Park: Texas Mile
3 and up, 1 mile

Approximate post: E-6:19 p.m., C-5:19 p.m., M-4:19 p.m., P-3:19 p.m.; Grand Prairie, Tx., forecast: Sunny, 71 degrees

3Supah Blitz10281988-5
5High Strike Zone961011026-1
6Twilight Road10284967-2

Track morning line odds

Churchill Downs: Derby Trial
3-year-olds, 1 mile

Approximate post: E-6:40 p.m., C-5:40 p.m., M-4:40 p.m., P-3:40 p.m.; Louisville, Ky., forecast: Chance of rain, 62 degrees

1Big Top Cat9373766-1
2Miracle Man8490595-1
5Santana Strings9983904-1
7Crimson Stag74628115-1
8Don't Get Mad8392895-2

DRF odds