Updated on 09/16/2011 8:06AM

The Judge Sez Who ready for breakout win


Could this be the big one for The Judge Sez Who?

Trainer Milton Wolfson, who had considered running The Judge Sez Who in the Pennsylvania Derby, hopes Sunday's Grade 3, $250,000-added Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park in Oklahoma City on Sunday will be the breakthrough race he has been anticipating.

"Of the races around, this looked like the best spot," Wolfson said. "But they're all tough. They all have runners in them."

That is especially true of the Oklahoma Derby. The 1 1/8-mile race has drawn a deep field of nine, including stakes winners Easyfromthegitgo, Cowboy Stuff, Missme, Premeditation, and Dusty Spike, as well as the promising A.P. Five Hundred.

The Judge Sez Who is based at Calder Race Course, but made his last start at Mountaineer Park in the Grade 3, $600,000 West Viriginia Derby on Aug. 10. After sitting 12 lengths behind the pace and then getting stuck in traffic, he closed with a rush under Jerry Bailey, to be beaten a neck by the front-running Wiseman's Ferry.

It was the sixth time that The Judge Sez Who had finished second or third in a six-figure stakes.

"He ran a super race," said Wolfson.

The Judge Sez Who, whose biggest career win came in the $42,000 Migrating Moon at Calder in July, is a closer and will be ridden Sunday by Cornelio Velasquez. Because of his running style he will be more dependent on pace in the Oklahoma Derby than chief rivals Easyfromthegitgo and Cowboy Stuff.

Easyfromthegitgo used stalking tactics to win the $100,000 Lecomte at Fair Grounds in January, as well as the $245,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows in July. In his most recent start, he closed for fifth - placed fourth because of a disqualification - in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga.

"He's very versatile, very talented," said Steve Asmussen, who trains Easyfromthegitgo.

Easyfromthegitgo, who is the richest member of the field, with earnings of $526,890, gets the services of Corey Lanerie.

Frank Lovato will ride Cowboy Stuff, who is the lone starter in the race with a win at the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Oklahoma Derby.

He achieved that in his last start, when he wired the field in the mud in the $100,000 Round Table at Arlington Park on July 27. It was a career performance for Cowboy Stuff, who is trained by Donnie Von Hemel.

"I thought he ran out of his skin," said rival trainer Niall O'Callaghan.

O'Callaghan is the trainer of A.P. Five Hundred, who finished third in the Round Table, and he will give the lightly raced, developing colt another shot at Cowboy Stuff on Sunday.

"We didn't learn as much as we would have liked [in the Round Table] because of the off track," said O'Callaghan, adding that A.P. Five Hundred "kind of got bogged down a bit" in that race.

Robby Albarado has a return call on A.P. Five Hundred, while Calvin Borel will be aboard Missme, who is shooting for his fourth straight win Sunday.

"He's an overachiever," said trainer Lynn Whiting, who saddled Missme to $60,000 stakes wins in his last two starts. "He's been a tough campaigner. He's shown up and done everything we've asked him to."

The Oklahoma Derby field is completed by allowance winners Wishingitwas and Grey Beard.

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