03/11/2012 12:17PM

Santa Anita: Stakes-placed maiden Brother Francis will get shot at Santa Anita Derby


Brother Francis, stakes-placed twice last fall, will be pointed to the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 7, after finishing third in a one-mile maiden race on turf in his 3-year-old debut on Saturday at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Brother Francis finished a head and a nose behind Achilles ($14.80) and No Silent. Brother Francis led briefly in the stretch before being caught. The maiden race was his first start since a third in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park last December.

Brother Francis was out of training for three weeks in January because of an illness, according to trainer Jim Cassidy. He said that Brother Francis was compromised in Saturday’s race by a slow start. The colt was last of seven after a half-mile.

“The break got him,” Cassidy said. “He had too much to do. This race will do him a lot of good. He ran a winning race.”

Achilles, trained by Neil Drysdale for Peachtree Stable, is a colt by Smart Strike, who made his career debut on Saturday.