Updated on 09/17/2011 9:56AM

Two emerge from the pack

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Badge of Silver got a 108 Beyer Figure for winning the Risen Star. Next up: the March 9 Louisiana Derby.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Both Trust N Luck and Badge of Silver, who scored overpowering victories in the weekend's key 3-year-old stakes, came out of their races in good order and established themselves as the horses to beat in the next round of Kentucky Derby preps in March.

Trust N Luck, in Saturday's at Fair Grounds, used their greatest weapon, their natural speed, to run their opponents off the track. Their performances left rival trainers wondering how - or if - they could beat them when they race next. Trust N Luck will come back in the Florida Derby on March 15, and Badge of Silver in the Louisiana Derby on March 9.

"I thought the winner ran a hell of race," said T.V. Smith, the trainer of Offlee Wild, who finished fourth in the Fountain of Youth. "There's no doubt this track favors speed, and unless someone gets into a duel with [Trust N Luck], he's going to be tough to catch."

Trust N Luck got a Beyer Speed Figure of 106. Badge of Silver got a 108. Lion Tamer, who scored a runaway victory in the Hutcheson Stakes on Saturday, got a 98, and Region of Merit, who was a stylish allowance winner on Saturday at Gulfstream, got a 92.

Last weekend's races coincided with Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which closed Sunday. The weekend's races greatly affected the betting. Badge of Silver was hammered down to 11-1 after being 35-1 at post time for the Risen Star. Trust N Luck closed at 19-1 and Lion Tamer at 20-1. Still, no individual horse was deemed by the bettors superior to the lure of the mutuel field, which closed as the 2-1 favorite.

Trust N Luck made a grand appearance in the paddock before the Fountain of Youth, then ran to his looks. Although he is by the speed sire Montbrook, Trust N Luck is a tall, handsome colt, certainly not a muscle-bound sprinter. He obviously got some of his body type from his dam side; his damsire is Dahar.

"He looked the part to me," his trainer, Ralph Ziadie, said Monday morning from his barn at Calder Race Course. "He's a good-looking, bright chestnut. He came out of the race very good, thank you. He was a little tired. He was lying down on Sunday morning. But I'm very happy, extremely happy. He had an easy lead, but he still set pretty fast fractions."

Trust N Luck had never raced outside of Calder, and Saturday's victory proved he is more than a one-track wonder. Badge of Silver had hurdles to clear, too. In the Risen Star, he was stretching out around two turns and was making his first start in a stakes.

"It was a huge stepping-stone," his trainer, Ronny Werner, said Monday morning from Hot Springs, Ark., where he had gone to run a horse at Oaklawn Park. "Everybody questioned whether he had stamina or could stretch out, and he showed us all. He's the kind that keeps stepping up to the plate and handling anything thrown at him."

Supah Blitz, Midway Cat, and Offlee Wild - who finished second, third, and fourth behind Trust N Luck - all could come back in the Florida Derby. The trainers of all three expressed concern about catching Trust N Luck on Gulfstream's track, but reasoned that the $1 million purse - with $600,000 to the winner and $200,000 for second - was a worthy enticement.

In the Kentucky Derby, if more than the maximum 20 runners are entered, the first tiebreaker is money earned in graded stakes.

"My horse only has $40,000 in graded money," said Manny Tortora, the trainer of Supah Blitz. "That's why I'll probably run in the Florida Derby instead of the [$150,000] Tampa Bay Derby."

Rick Hiles, the trainer and co-owner of Midway Cat, said he thought his colt was too eager early for his own good. "He was a little rank the first quarter," he said. "He got a little too fresh on us."

Hiles said the Florida Derby was likely for Midway Cat, but he might wait another week for the Lane's End Stakes at Turfway Park.

Offlee Wild was four paths wide the whole way in the Fountain of Youth. "I think with a little better racing luck we could have been second, but we weren't going to beat the winner," Smith said.

Ten Cents a Shine, who finished sixth in the Fountain of Youth as the 5-2 favorite, came out of the race with a lung infection, according to his trainer, Ken McPeek.

As often happens when the distances of the 3-year-old preps increase, some hopes were dashed along the road to the Derby. Whywhywhy finished fifth in the Fountain of Youth, and that was all trainer and co-owner Patrick Biancone needed to see. The Derby, he said, is out.

"No excuses. He just can't stay the distance, simple as that," Biancone said. "I knew there was a chance he might not stay. It was a question mark."

Biancone said Whywhywhy would race next in either the one-mile Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on March 16, or the seven-furlong Swale Stakes at Gulfstream on March 15. Both are around one turn.

"And after that he will stay around one turn," Biancone said. "We don't want to follow the wrong trail."