TOYOTA BLUE GRASS STAKES | PURSE: $750,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS | GRADE 1 | 1 1/8 MILES
In the final Polytrack edition of the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, a California shipper who has shown extremely good form over synthetic surfaces found his way home.
Dance With Fate, coming in off a runner-up fininsh in the Feb. 15 El Camino Real Derby over the Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields, started outside of California for the first time and earned 100 points -- enough to get into the field for the May 3 Kentucky Derby.
But trainer Peter Eurton said the Derby, run at 1 ¼ miles on the dirt at Churchill Downs, is an unknown for the Florida-bred son of Two Step Salsa.
"I don't know [if we'll go to the Derby]; it's pretty quick three weeks back and I know he likes synthetic, I just don't know if he likes dirt," said Eurton, who trains for Sharon Alesia, Michael Mellen's Bran Jam Stable, and Joseph Ciaglia's Ciaglia Racing.
Dance With Fate now has three wins and three seconds from eight starts, with two of his victories coming on synthetic tracks and one earned over the turf. Last year, he was runner-up in the both the Del Mar Futurity and the FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita Park. In his biggest dirt test, the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, he fizzled to eighth after getting slammed coming out of the gate.
In the Blue Grass, Dance With Fate had much better luck. Well back early in the pack of 14 3-year-olds, Dance With Fate bided his time under Corey Nakatani behind a :23.58 quarter-and-a-half in :47.59 set by Pablo Del Monte, who held his advantage turning for home.
The front-runner's joy was short-lived, however, as Dance With Fate reeled him in en route to a 1 ¾-length score. Transylvania Stakes winner Medal Count was second, while Pablo Del Monte held another 1 ¾ lengths back in third. It was 5 ¼ lengths further to the fourth-place finisher, Big Bazinga.
Off at odds of 6-1, Dance With Fate paid $14.80, $6.80, $5.80 while Medal Count paid $7.80 and $5.20.
Pablo Del Monte brought $6.80. The 7-2 favorite, Bobby's Kitten, ran off the board.