09/17/2010 3:38PM

First Dude, Golden Moka uncertain for Super Derby

Barbara D. Livingston
First Dude is the likely favorite for Saturday's Sunshine Millions Classic.

The Super Derby status of First Dude and Golden Moka, who are among the top nominees to the Grade 2, $500,000 race that will be run next Saturday at Louisiana Downs, will come into focus over the weekend. Both are set for workouts, and are among the six to eight horses under serious Super Derby consideration in a field that was fluid on Friday.

The Super Derby, at 1 1/8 miles, is the richest race of the meet. It will be the centerpiece of a program of eight stakes worth more than $1 million next Saturday.

First Dude could start as the Super Derby favorite if he goes, after running second or third in five consecutive Grade 1 races between April and August. In his most recent start, he was third in the Travers at Saratoga on Aug. 28. First Dude also remains under consideration for the Grade 2, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby the same day as the Super Derby, or the Grade 2, $500,000 Indiana Derby on Oct. 2.

“He’ll show up in one of them as it stands right now,” said Dale Romans, who trains the Kentucky-based First Dude for Donald Dizney. “We’re going to make a decision after he works.”

Golden Moka is undefeated in four races, and in his most recent out he captured the $500,000 Prince of Wales at Fort Erie on July 25. He is based at Woodbine.

“We’re going to work him and make a decision whether we go to the Pennsylvania Derby or the Super Derby,” said Brian Lynch, who trains Golden Moka for Good Friends Stable.

Apart, who won the local Super Derby prep, the $100,000 Prelude on Aug. 28, is among the probables for next Saturday, according to Louisiana Downs racing secretary David Heitzmann. Among those Heitzmann considers possible are Distorted Economy, who in his last start was third in the $100,000 El Cajon at Del Mar; Grade 2 Lexington winner Exhi or Monmouth allowance winner Monsignor, both from the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher; and Grade 3 Derby Trial winner Hurricane Ike.

Wando Redd, who in his last start was second to Breeders’ Cup Sprint candidate Atta Boy Roy in the $200,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup, is possible for the Super Derby, said his trainer, Jorge Lara. He said the horse could also remain sprinting, and target either the Grade 3, $175,000 Phoenix Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 8, or the $250,000 Gallant Bob at Parx Racing on Oct. 9.

“We haven’t decided which way we’re going,” said Lara, who is based at Louisiana Downs. “We’re going to breeze him, see how he works. We haven’t ruled out running him two turns again. He’s bred to go long, and we still feel he deserves another try. We’ll wait and see how he works.”

Wando Redd has made one two-turn start, and was fourth to Game On Dude in the Grade 3 Lone Star Derby in May. Lara said aside from the weekend work, he is also monitoring to see how much speed is going in the Super Derby.

Ricky Tick, an allowance runner-up Aug. 1, is another local nominated to the Super Derby.

“He’ll work the first part of the week and we’ll make a decision,” said his trainer, Rick Jackson.

The long range forecast for Super Derby Day is sunny and a high of 89 degrees, according to weather.com. Heitzmann plans to card 13 races, with a special first post of noon. Central.

“We’re looking forward to a big day,” said Heitzmann.

Other stakes on the card will include the $100,000 Sunday Silence, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 2-year-olds that could produce starters for the Grade 2, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.