Updated on 09/16/2011 7:08AM

Request for Parole will go straight to Derby


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Steve Margolis would prefer that his intentions are properly interpreted. Just because Margolis will not run in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland Saturday does not mean he could not run him.

"The horse is fine, he really is," said Margolis, explaining that he and owner Sam Knighton decided to go straight to the Kentucky Derby on May 4 instead. "He's back into his feed, and his work [Sunday] was really good. It's just the move we're making."

Margolis concedes that Request for Parole, a Judge T C colt now stabled at Churchill Downs, exited his third-place finish in the March 23 Lane's End Spiral Stakes a worn-out warrior.

"He wasn't into the feed tub like he usually is," Margolis said. "But that's behind us. Right now, we intend to run in the Derby. We'll train toward that and see how it goes."

Derby, no; Preakness, maybe

, expected to make his next start in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes on April 20, worked six furlongs in 1:14 Tuesday morning at Churchill.

Trainer Steve Asmussen said he does not expect Easyfromthegitgo to run in the Kentucky Derby, even with a good showing in the 1 1/16-mile Lexington on April 20.

"Maybe the Preakness - maybe," said Asmussen. "I think the Derby would be too demanding, especially the mile and a quarter.

"This is a nice, nice 3-year-old," he added. "He's very clean and extremely durable. We're just trying to enter him where we think he'll win."

Easyfromthegitgo, owned by Jim Cassels and Bob Zollars, is a Dehere colt who most recently was caught on the wire, beaten a nose by Repent in the March 10 Louisiana Derby. Among his expected opponents in the Lexington are Ethan Man, Royal Gem, and Flying Dash.

Business up at Keeneland

Business at the Keeneland spring meet is off to a fine start.

All-sources handle on the three-day weekend that opened the meet was nearly $28.6 million, an increase of 8.3 percent over corresponding dates at the 2001 spring meet.

Attendance averaged 15,844, an increase of five percent, while ontrack handle, which includes simulcast imports, averaged just over $1.8 million, an increase of 7.6 percent.

"We think we've gotten off to a tremendous start," Keeneland spokesman Jim Williams said. "It looks like our signal is strong, not only here but particularly throughout the country."

* The Friday feature, the $200,000 Maker's Mark Mile, appears to be coming up a deep race. Baptize, Even the Score, Quiet Resolve, and Thady Quill are the top contenders in the one-mile turf race, which also is expected to attract Honorable Pic, One Eyed Joker, Pisces, Pyrus, Touch of the Blues, and Where's Taylor.

The Sunday feature is the $250,000 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup at seven furlongs. With Snow Ridge and Dream Run expected to run Saturday in the Carter in New York, the field for the Grade 2 Commonwealth appears to be Aldebaran, Binthebest, D'wildcat, Dancing Missile, Orientate, and Prospector's Gift.

Sellers hopes to ride again

Shane Sellers, an eight-time leading rider at Keeneland, was a visitor here Saturday. Sellers, who suffered a serious knee injury in December 2000, said he hopes he is not retired for good and may attempt another comeback later this year. Sellers returned for several weeks last year, but the knee was too painful for him to continue.

In the meantime, Sellers has helped organize a number of benefits, including an April 21 dinner at Furlong's restaurant in Lexington for retired jockey Randy Romero, who is awaiting a kidney transplant.

- Leelanau, the Carson City colt who set a Churchill track record for 5 1/2 furlongs last May, is back in training for Steve Morguelan. A 3-year-old colt, Leelanau returned to the racetrack about a month ago after being sidelined with a strained tendon.