09/12/2014 10:20AM

Rowdy Dylan looks to challenge Wake Up Nick in Barretts Juvenile

Benoit & Associates
Wake Up Nick, the winner of the I'm Smokin Stakes, is on a four-race winning streak heading into the Barretts Juvenile on Sunday at Los Alamitos.

CYPRESS, Calif. – Rowdy Dylan will try to end Wake Up Nick’s four-race winning streak Sunday at Los Alamitos, where the 2-year-olds meet in the $100,000 Barretts Juvenile.

Rowdy Dylan has not raced in two months and has only a single maiden win. By contrast, Wake Up Nick fires back 13 days after his fourth victory, including three stakes. The two colts are closer in ability than their achievements might suggest.

A field of nine entered the Barretts Juvenile, a 6 1/2-furlong race restricted to 2-year-olds who were offered at a Barretts sale. Other contenders include likely pacesetter Rollins, debut runner-up Zendai, and three outsiders.

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The betting will focus on Rowdy Dylan and Wake Up Nick, who entered the weekend as one of only three North American juveniles with four wins. Conquest Tsunami was scheduled to seek his fifth win Saturday at Woodbine, and Trackattacker won four at Emerald Downs.

Rowdy Dylan trounced maidens July 12 at Los Alamitos in his second start, earning a 75 Beyer Speed Figure in a race intended as a prep for the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar. Instead, he took the summer off.

“I didn’t like the way he was training,” trainer Peter Miller said. “He just seemed kind of knocked out after the Los Al race. We thought it was prudent to send him up to San Luis Rey and get him ready for the Barretts.”

Although Rowdy Dylan did not work for seven weeks after his maiden win, he stayed fit.

“We kept him in light training all along,” Miller said. “He seems like a horse that naturally keeps himself fit.”

A $200,000 March purchase by owners David Lanzman and Rockingham Ranch, Rowdy Dylan has three good recent works, including a five-furlong work Sept. 6. Miller said he galloped out six furlongs in 1:13. Edwin Maldonado rides Rowdy Dylan, who breaks from post 2.

Doug O’Neill trains Wake Up Nick, by the late sire Cindago, with a career-high 75 Beyer. Numbers aside, he keeps winning, though O’Neill recognizes the challenge in wheeling back.

“It’s a little quick back,” he said. “But he’s doing super and should be tough in there.”

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Key contenders

Rowdy Dylan (Last 2 Beyers: 72-69)

* One potential knock on Rowdy Dylan is that he broke slowly in both starts. He was last from the gate in his debut and steadied at the break in his maiden win. His winning Beyer is the highest last-out Beyer in the field.

Wake Up Nick (Last 3 Beyers: 69-71-76)

Purchased for $35,000 at the Barretts March sale, Wake Up Nick has earned $251,100, with three stakes wins – the Santa Anita Juvenile and two California-bred stakes at Del Mar, the Graduation and I’m Smokin.

Wake Up Nick’s most recent win was by a half-length over Global Magician, a Miller trainee not generally considered as talented as Rowdy Dylan.

Zendai (Last Beyer: 66)

Eoin Harty trains this son of Zensational, a runner-up by three-quarters of a length in his career debut Aug. 3. As a general rule, Harty-trained maidens tend to improve with racing.

The horse Zendai lost to (Inexcess Time) returned to finish next to last as a longshot in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity.