02/13/2010 12:00AM

Lewis could provide some answers


ARCADIA, Calif. - With Lookin At Lucky, trainer Bob Baffert has the most accomplished prospect for this year's Kentucky Derby. His bench is deep, though. Baffert is excited about several other 3-year-olds, most notably Tiz Chrome, who makes his graded stakes debut Saturday in the Grade 2, $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita.

The Lewis was originally scheduled for last Saturday, but was postponed when racing that day was canceled because of a soggy track. Of the seven horses entered in the race last week, five came back for this version, which was re-drawn Wednesday.

Although he has raced just twice and never around two turns, Tiz Chrome likely will go favored in the Lewis based on his eye-catching local debut in the restricted Stuka Stakes going six furlongs at Hollywood Park on Dec. 19. Tiz Chrome wowed Baffert that day with a four-length victory only hours before Lookin At Lucky took the CashCall Futurity.

"I didn't think he would run like that at Hollywood Park," Baffert said. "He blew them away that day. He's a laid-back kind of horse. He shows you a lot more in the afternoon than in the morning."

He will be easy to spot before the 1 1/16-mile race. Tiz Chrome gets his name from the generous amounts of white covering his legs and face.

"He looks like a Budweiser horse," Baffert said.

Tiz Chrome won first time out at Churchill Downs, after which he was privately purchased by a partnership headed by gaming executives Terry Lanni and Ernie Moody. With Tiz Chrome having so little experience, Baffert believes the Lewis offers a stern test.

"This is the first prep where you can really get a line on horses," he said. "It's a pretty strong bunch."

The biggest challenger to Tiz Chrome should be American Lion, who like Tiz Chrome is a son of Tiznow. American Lion won the Hollywood Prevue going seven furlongs on Nov. 21, then was purposely kept out of the CashCall Futurity by trainer Eoin Harty because of the presence of Lookin At Lucky and a growth spurt American Lion was going through.

"He's grown a lot," Harty said. "He's quite an imposing horse now. He was unfurnished. He's filled out nicely."

Harty said the week's delay for the Lewis was not a problem.

"I just put another work in him," he said. "That was it."

Like Tiz Chrome, American Lion will be racing around two turns for the first time.

"It's a tough race," Harty said. "I think he'll run better than he trains. He's not a good work horse in the morning, so I'm basing my opinion on that."

Caracortado is unbeaten in four starts, and though he is facing his toughest test yet, he did win at this distance Dec. 26 in the California Breeders' Champion Stakes.

Dave in Dixie was a powerful debut winner at Del Mar, then headed straight into the Norfolk Stakes on Oct. 4, and ran a deceptively good race, finishing sixth by 2 1/4 lengths. This is his first start since then. He has plenty of upside.

Tango Tango heads south after winning twice in four starts, all in sprints, at Golden Gate.