04/15/2013 3:58PM

West Hills Giant to focus on Big Apple Triple

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Michael Amoruso
West Hills Giant is being pointed to the Mike Lee Stakes on June 1 at Belmont Park.

While trainer John Terranova and his connections ponder whether to run Falling Sky in the Kentucky Derby, the focus for West Hills Giant is a different sort of Triple Crown.

West Hills Giant, who finished 12th in the Blue Grass Stakes, will likely be pointed to the three-race series restricted to New York-breds known as the Big Apple Triple.

The series includes the $125,000 Mike Lee Stakes at Belmont on June 1, the $150,000 New York Derby at Finger Lakes on July 20, and the $150,000 Albany Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 21. There is a $250,000 bonus awarded to the connections of a horse that can sweep all three races.

Terranova said that West Hills Giant simply didn’t handle Keeneland’s Polytrack.

“He completely floundered over it,” Terranova said, who noted that West Hills Giant would likely ship back to Belmont this week.

Meanwhile, Terranova said that Manuka Honey, second in the Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn, would most likely point to the $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico on May 17.

“She’s probably a cut below the top few that are out there,” he said. “There’s still a lot of money to win not facing those ones. Plus, it gives us a couple of extra weeks.”

Charlie Ludlow More than 1 year ago
And Shug McGaughey. The big exception is this year when Orb has literally pulled his connections along the Derby trail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Falling Sky may be effective in some 3 yo races around the country if they do the smart thing and avoid ruining him as a 70, 80, or 99/1 shot in the Kentucky Derby. If he runs he would be the favorite to tire and run last. I like this horse and I hope they follow the lead of Mark Casse and skip the temptation of running in the derby.