Updated on 03/26/2013 10:04AM

Kentucky Derby next stop for Spiral winner Black Onyx

Pat Lang Photography
Black Onyx, with Joe Bravo aboard, received a Beyer Speed Figure of 90 for winning the Spiral Stakes.

FLORENCE, Ky. – Black Onyx, the 15-1 winner of the Grade 3, $550,000 Spiral Stakes on Saturday at Turfway Park, exited the race in fine shape and was scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs on Tuesday or Wednesday to settle in for his next start in the May 4 Kentucky Derby, trainer Kelly Breen said early Sunday.

Black Onyx, with Joe Bravo aboard, dominated the final quarter-mile of the Turfway showcase, drawing clear to prevail by 1 1/2 lengths over Uncaptured, the 3-1 second choice in a field of 12 3-year-olds. The winner earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 90.He previously was not nominated to the Triple Crown but was made eligible by way of a $6,000 late payment by owner Sam Herzberg prior to the Saturday night deadline.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Giant Finish and Taken by the Storm, both longshots, were third and fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Spiral, while disappointing efforts were turned in by the other betting favorites - My Name is Michael (eighth), Capo Bastone (ninth), Balance the Books (11th), and Mac the Man (12th).

Breen reasoned that there is no need for Black Onyx to have another race prior to the 139th Derby, for which the colt almost certainly became a starter by earning 50 points with the Spiral victory in the new eligibility system being used by Churchill.

“There are six weeks between races,” said Breen, who has had three previous Derby starters, none better than ninth. “We’ll see how he does after he gets back to training and firm up our decisions then. He’s won his last two and really has shown me a lot in his training.”

Meanwhile, Uncaptured ran very well in his first start in four months, and trainer Mark Casse said afterward he was “extremely pleased.” Casse said Uncaptured will run back in the Keeneland spring showcase, the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes on April 13.

Giant Finish also was made eligible to the Triple Crown with a $6,000 late payment. Trainer Tony Dutrow said he was unsure what the next race for the colt would be.

Trainer Ken McPeek said Taken by the Storm “ran a super race” in the Spiral and probably will run back in the April 20 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland, although he would not rule out the Blue Grass.

Mac the Man, who was eased after setting the early pace, was diagnosed Sunday morning with “heat in his right front hoof,” said trainer Jeff Greenhill. “I figure we’re dealing with a bruise or impending abscess. There’ll be a lot of Epson salts in his future. We’re rotating hot water and ice.”

Turfway will run two more dates (Friday and Saturday) at the winter-spring meet before the Kentucky circuit goes dark for five days. The Keeneland spring meet starts April 5.

Attendance and handle figures for the track’s biggest day were not available.

Next-race plans for Silsita uncertain

Silsita, the narrow winner of the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks on the Spiral undercard, earned a day-high 92 Beyer with her nose decision over longshot Marathon Lady.

Aron Wellman, who heads the Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners group that purchased Silsita off a maiden victory in November, said he will discuss what to do next with the gray filly in regard to a potential run in the May 3 Kentucky Oaks. Wellman has the luxury of knowing the filly most likely will make the 14-horse cutoff for the Oaks after earning 50 points toward eligibility in the one-mile Bourbonette.

“We really haven’t thought much beyond this race,” said Wellman. “Todd has thought a lot of her since the first day he came to her. You don’t get a lot of days like this, so we’ll enjoy this. I’m sure we’ll come up with a plan soon enough.”

Pure Fun, third as the 4-5 favorite in the Bourbonette when making her first start since winning the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet in early December, came out of her race in good shape, McPeek reported Sunday morning via Twitter.

Pure Fun “struggled with track last quarter-mile,” wrote McPeek. “Drank bucket of water, she needed the race.”

McPeek said later he is looking at either the April 6 Ashland at Keeneland or the April 10 Fantasy at Oaklawn Park as a next race for Pure Fun, “assuming she comes out of this one with a lot of energy.”

Crop Report may target Peter Pan

The next start for Crop Report, the odds-on winner of the ungraded Rushaway Stakes on the Spiral undercard, could come in the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park, said Barry Irwin, who heads the Team Valor International partnership that owns the colt.

Crop Report, by Medaglia d’Oro, earned an 85 Beyer with his last-to-first run in the Rushaway.

Regarding the Rushaway trophy presentation, where he was both the presenting sponsor and recipient of the trophy, Irwin said with a laugh: “It was pretty weird, actually. But fun.”



michael More than 1 year ago
Nice horse, but he wont win with a six week lag. He needs to race, he'll lose his form.
ECarlos727 More than 1 year ago
If they finally decide to keep this system this horse would have never won this race. After this initial year top trainers are going to ship more and more, this is going to be great for the sport!
Julie Gregory More than 1 year ago
what diff does the system make. points or graded money up for grabs this race would get you to the derby either way. i cant understand why people dont see that the points really wont change who would get in. if black onyx makes it with points from just this race then he would have made with graded earnings from this race
D Lange More than 1 year ago
True that.
george cernansky More than 1 year ago
Hey Ed Derossa, nice pick with Mac The Lame, you are an idiot!
zkid9914 More than 1 year ago
Take it easy man, can't someone be wrong.
Elijah Allison More than 1 year ago
he was pulled up
Steven Wells More than 1 year ago
Very interested to see if 50 points is going to be enough. Have a feeling the two wild card races will actually play a big part. Horses that are tied with points running in derby trial to try and break the tie.
Julie Gregory More than 1 year ago
50 points will be way more then enough. are you kidding.. i would be guessing something like 25 to 30 will be on the bubble. if $250000 in graded earnings would get you in then 25 points will do it. this new system isnt changing much except the fact horses winning at 2 and early 3 doesnt mean as much. i think the trainers are going learn they cant aim for one race because if something goes wrong there going be screwed. im waiting to see how many top horses dont make the derby because something doesnt go according to plan. im thinking next year trainers will run horses more and try to get points a.s.a.p then rest the horses
Steven Wells More than 1 year ago
We will see Julie. 28 horses have 10 points and 25 of them are running in the next 3 weeks unless which means 14 horses are going to most likely have at least 50 points or more. You are going to get a lot of owners that go in those wild card races to get that 20 or 8 points that can put you over or around 50. Also if Shanghai Bobby runs 3rd next Saturday he will only have 44 points. If by chance he can't run due to not enough points you will see a change in this point system.
zerosumzen More than 1 year ago
41 is an assured spot. Most likely 40, but that could be a tie.
Julie Gregory More than 1 year ago
will see. i just dont quite see it that way im thinking 25 maybe 30 tops. you have to figure with the points races left everybodys kinda figuring on horses that already have points will take all the points. you would almost have to have every horses with more then 10 points rite now not hit the board anywhere from here non out. i really doudt the rest of the points will be taking by horses with no points. but i do think we will have some good horses or some horses that r derby horses not make it because of bad luck. i think theres too many horses that dont have enough points to all run first or second in the last of there preps. will see
Eric More than 1 year ago
Since the start of the year, the 20th place horse on the points list has had between 1.0% and 1.3% of the total points awarded to that point. If those %'s hold up over the final round of prep races, the floor for getting in will be between 22-29 points. Small changes in the distribution of points can have a significant effect, but I'd peg ~30 points as the likely cut-off for gettin into the derby.