SABER ON LAST WEEK’S TOP RACES

Mar 18, 2003 4:21 AM

Saturday, March 15

GULFSTREAM PARK

FLORIDA DERBY

It was a speed track all day. Rail sitter Trust N Luck, who looked like the lone speed, was bet like he would go wire to wire. Highly touted EMPIRE MAKER had a different outcome in mind. With Jerry Bailey in the saddle, he made his move at the top of the stretch to make a shambles out of this field and stamp himself as the horse to beat the first Saturday in May. Mr. Frankel is really sitting on some big guns with Empire Maker the real deal. Trust N Luck held for second but don’t think you can safely dismiss him for derby consideration.

SWALE STAKES

This race was won in a complete runaway by another Frankel monster to be, a colt named Midas Eyes. This guy was the easiest kind of winner, completely destroying this field by 10 lengths. Don’t know where he will show up next, but this will be a horse to reckon with in the future.

Sunday, March 16

SANTA ANITA

SAN FELIPE

Was suppose to be a three-horse race between Man Among Men, Domestic Dispute and Atswhatimtalknbout. Man Among Men had just beaten Empire Maker, the Florida Derby winner, but was never a factor in a dull try. Domestic Dispute made a big move and looked to have a shot, but flattened out. Top Jock Bailey said the result left him with one less option. Talknbout ran a huge race and made himself a force as the distances get longer. A colt with unlimited potential. BUDDY GIL got a perfect ride by the resurgent Gary Stevens and was able to hold off Talknbout by the shortest of noses. Buddy is not nominated to the Derby. I’m not sure he can get the distance but this colt is a must watch.

AQUEDUCT

GOTHAM STAKES

Won wire to wire by ALYSWEEP in easy fashion. Grey Comet was second with Spite The Devil getting third. Safely dismiss this field from Derby consideration.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS

TAMPA BAY DERBY

Won by solid closer REGION OF MERIT, trained by top horseman C. Clement. Merit has won four in a row and could have a say in the Derby. Clement, noted for his turf horses, has brought this guy along with care. Will have him ready for a big effort at Churchill Downs. The negative is that in a big field he may encounter a lot of traffic problems with his style. Keep him as a contender. Aristocat finished a fast closing second and is another nice colt. Frankel looks to be finally sitting on his first KD winner.

”” Richard Saber