Updated on 09/17/2011 10:05AM

Whywhywhy back where he belongs in Swale

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - With his two-turn experiment now over, Whywhywhy can begin concentrating on his sprint career, starting with Saturday's $150,000 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

The seven-furlong Swale tops Saturday's Florida Derby undercard, which also includes the $50,000 Marshua's River and $50,000 Flag Down stakes, both of which are scheduled for the turf.

After Whywhywhy finished 10th in the 2002 Breeders' Cup Juvenile to close out his 2-year-old campaign, and a tiring fifth in the Fountain of Youth Stakes to open his 3-year-old season, trainer Patrick Biancone admitted anything beyond a mile was out of his colt's range and began pointing him for the Swale.

"No excuses, he just can't stay the distance. It's as simple as that," Biancone said after the Fountain of Youth.

Whywhywhy was regarded as one of the premier 2-year-olds in the country last summer after reeling off consecutive one-sided victories in the Grade 3 Flash, Grade 2 Sanford, and Grade 1 Belmont Futurity at distances ranging from five furlongs to a mile. Each of those wins came with Edgar Prado aboard.

"I think he should move forward off his race last time," said Biancone. "I never really trained him as a stayer, even up to that race. And with Edgar riding, my job is finished once he climbs aboard in the paddock."

Posse, one of Whywhywhy's eight victims in the Sanford, will come back seeking a bit of revenge in the Swale.

While Whywhywhy was on top of his game at the time of their first meeting, Posse regressed following big efforts in the Grade 3 Kentucky Breeders' Cup and Bashford Manor stakes during the spring. In fact Posse did not bounce back to his best form until last month at Fair Grounds when he broke the five-furlong track record while posting a 6 3/4-length victory over second-level allowance company.

"Hopefully, his performance at the Fair Grounds is an indication he's back where he should be," said Steve Asmussen, who trains Posse for the Heiligbrodt Racing Stable. "I'm really excited about the chance to face Whywhywhy again. Our horse was definitely on the decline the first time they met."

It has been a while since the Swale was a Triple Crown prep. But trainer Jim Hatchett is hoping that it might be one for Massive, an undefeated colt who gets tested for class on Saturday.

"We've always been high on this colt," said Hatchett. "That's why I stopped on him after only one start at 2, so we'd have a lightly raced horse coming into the spring. This race is a big test for him, but if he runs well we'll seriously consider one of the Kentucky Derby preps around two turns."

Midas Eyes, a stablemate of Massive before being sold privately after his maiden win at Calder in August, makes his first start since that sale for trainer Bobby Frankel.

Conservation was an impressive first-level allowance winner earlier in the meet, but like Whywhywhy comes into the Swale off a poor showing in the Fountain of Youth.

First Blush upset the Spectacular Bid Stakes here opening day but was no threat when stretched out to seven furlongs for the Grade 2 Hutcheson.

Trainer Christophe Clement will hold the upper hand in the two turf stakes, sending out the entry of Dedication and Love N Kiss S. in the Marshua's River and Sir Brian's Sword in the Flag Down.

The Flag Down drew an extremely competitive field that also includes Krieger, Free of Love, Baptize, and Mr. Livingston.

THE FIELD


Florida Derby


Purse:
$1 million; 1 1/8 miles; Grade 1

PPHORSEJOCKEYWTODDS
1Roaring FeverE. Coa11612-1
2Eagle EyrieM. Guidry11620-1
3PosseD. Meche1206-1
4First BlushJ. Chavez1205-1
5MassiveP. Day1169-2
6Midas EyesJ. Bailey1164-1
7ConservationJ. Santos1166-1
7WhywhywhyE. Prado1222-1

- Odds by Dan Illman