04/14/2010 11:00PM

One More Dude may make Derby Trial


Game on Dude, the newly acquired Bob Baffert colt, was supposed to run in the Lexington but had "some mucus and a little lung infection" earlier this week and was not entered, said Baffert.

"It's pretty minor, so we still might be able to get him to the Derby Trial" on April 24 at Churchill Downs, said Baffert.

Game on Dude has no graded earnings and therefore was not under consideration for the Derby. A son of Awesome Again, Game on Dude came into the Baffert fold after being based this winter at Gulfstream Park with trainer Mike Mareina, for whom he was seventh in his third and most recent start, the March 20 Florida Derby.

Rice has two turf sprint contenders

Besides the Lexington, the Saturday card at Keeneland also includes the Grade 3, $100,000 Giant's Causeway Stakes, a 5 1/2-furlong turf race that drew eight fillies and mares.

Trainer Linda Rice, who specializes in just such races, has major contenders in the uncoupled duo of Ahvee's Destiny and Canadian Ballet, who bookend the field from posts 1 and 8, respectively. Both mares are making their first starts of the year.

Libor Lady and West Ocean also rate consideration in the Giant's Causeway, which directly precedes the Lexington as the day's eighth race.

Dogwood colt wins debut

Partners in Dogwood Stable suffered a tough beat when their first-time starter, Deets, was outnodded on the wire in the sixth race Wednesday, but turnabout was fair play when another first-timer, Lou Brissie, was up in the final jump to win the first race Thursday for Dogwood and its president, Cot Campbell.

"Cot's been high on this colt from the outset," said Charlie Pigg, a 14-year Dogwood member who was on hand.

Lou Brissie, a Limehouse colt trained by Neil Howard, is named for a World War II veteran who pitched in the major leagues from 1947 to 1953 despite a severe leg injury suffered in a December 1944 battle in Italy. Brissie, 85, still frequently visits injured veterans in and around Savannah, Ga.

Just as Well switches surfaces

Eight older horses have been entered in the Sunday feature at Keeneland, the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes, with Just as Well making his first start of the year for trainer Jonathan Sheppard. Just as Well has specialized mostly in turf races and will be making his synthetics debut in the 1 1/8-mile Ben Ali.

Other main players in the Grade 3 Ben Ali include Dubious Miss, Giant Oak, and Palladio.

After Sunday, just two stakes remain at the meet, both of them turf marathons: the $150,000 Bewitch on Thursday, and the $200,000 Elkhorn on Friday, closing day.

* Affirmatif ($2.80) made easy work of the Wednesday feature by pulling away to a 1 3/4-length victory in his first start in seven months. Garrett Gomez was aboard for trainer Todd Pletcher in the 5 1/2-furlong turf allowance.

* The Wednesday card also featured the longest-priced winner so far this meet when Sir Smart ($112.20) led throughout the first race to prevail for jockey Rafael Mojica Jr. and trainer Ed Frederick.