05/09/2007 11:00PM

Slew's Tizzy heads derby field


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - The Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Derby on Saturday is an intermediate step for some of its 10 starters, a chance for them to sort out where they fit in the division. Such is the case for probable favorite Slew's Tizzy, who with a good performance in the 1 1/16-mile race could move on to the Belmont Stakes.

The consistent Reata's Rocket is here with an eye to the Queen's Plate. Reporting for Duty gave a glimpse of his potential in his stakes debut last out when finishing second in the Grade 2 Illinois Derby. The Lone Star Derby also drew stakes winners Takedown and Slew By Slew, as well as the stakes-placed runners Forty Grams and Harrow Land.

Slew's Tizzy enters the race off a front-running win in the Grade 2 Lexington at Keeneland on April 21. He removed blinkers for the race and won by 3 1/2 lengths in a powerful performance.

"He's so businesslike in the morning, he took that same attitude to the races at Keeneland, and really, as professional as a horse could be, went out there and did what he could do," said Greg Fox who trains Slew's Tizzy.

Slew's Tizzy will break from post 5 under Robby Albarado.

The chief threat appears to be Reporting for Duty. An improving horse, he showed courage in the Illinois Derby when he split horses to close for second behind wire-to-wire winner Cowtown Cat. Chris Emigh rode Reporting for Duty for the first time in the race and will ship in to ride for trainer Steve Asmussen.

"I liked how he ran so well last time; I wanted Chris to ride him back," Asmussen said. "I don't think the race unfolded well, but Chris still rode him instead of the rest of them, and I think that's the most important thing with that horse."

Reporting for Duty could get a good pace setup, in a field that includes the quick Mr. Nightlinger and Taksent. Another horse who should be prominent is Reata's Rocket, who was third last out in the $100,000 Rushaway at Turfway, a race won by Dominican, the eventual Blue Grass winner. Reata's Rocket flew into Lone Star on April 25, and worked five furlongs in a bullet 58.80 seconds on May 5.

"He's been training here really, really well," said Joe Orseno, who trains Reata's Rocket. "We've been pleased with his progress."

The Lone Star Derby shares a card with a pair of $125,000 divisions of the Texas Stallion Stakes.