06/08/2012 12:19PM

Woodbine: Prospective tops field for Victoria Park Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Prospective will make his first start since the Kentucky Derby in Sunday's $150,000 Victoria Park Stakes.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Prospective makes his first start since a troubled run in the Kentucky Derby on Sunday at Woodbine in the $150,000 Victoria Park Stakes.

Barring a scratch, Prospective will face four rivals in the nine-furlong test for 3-year-olds. He was one of the leading 2-year-olds on the grounds last year, when he took the Grade 3 Grey Stakes before finishing up the track in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill.

Prospective ran three big races in stakes at Tampa Bay Downs over the winter. He rallied stoutly to take the seven-furlong Pasco in January and then wound up second in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis in February.

Prospective won the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby over 1 1/16 miles with a career-high 90 Beyer Speed Figure in March. He was a non-threatening sixth in his final derby prep in the Grade 1 Blue Grass on Keeneland’s Polytrack.

Trainer Mark Casse said nothing went right for Prospective before he checked in 18th of 20 under Luis Contreras in the May 5 Kentucky Derby.

“It was a nightmare from the start,” Casse recalled. “He went 100 yards, and then Hansen came over on him and clipped heels. Luis lost his iron and went up on his head. He got cut up on three of his four legs. Then, he got bothered again on the clubhouse turn.”

Casse said Prospective’s five-furlong work in 59.20 seconds on the Polytrack here May 26 suggests that the handsome son of Malibu Moon may still be a force to be reckoned with on synthetic surfaces.

“I’ve always thought that he’s better on the dirt, but he worked extremely well on the Poly the other day,” Casse said.

Casse also entered Moon Traveler and Patrioticandproud.

Moon Traveler, another expensive Malibu Moon colt, came wide from left field to earn his diploma in a recent 1 1/16-mile maiden special at Churchill. His synthetic form also is good.

Patrioticandproud graduated here in the fall before racing at Gulfstream and is coming off back-to-back seconds here in first-level allowance company. He could end up setting what figures to be a slow pace.

Holiday Promise, based at Saratoga with trainer Todd Pletcher, should be the second choice in the betting. He was a distant third as the favorite here in the May 12 Marine Stakes, in which he raced wide over a track that was kind to speed.

Courtville, who won an Ontario-sired allowance route in his last outing, also was entered in Saturday’s Bold Ruckus Stakes.