Millionaire Webslinger Heads Field Of 13 At 1 1/8 Miles On Grass In Saturday’s Grade II, $250,000 Twilight Derby
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
MILLIONAIRE WEBSLINGER HEADS FIELD OF 13 AT 1 1/8 MILES ON GRASS IN SATURDAY’S GRADE II, $250,000 TWILIGHT DERBY
ARCADIA, CA (Oct. 31, 2023)—Easily the most accomplished horse in a field of 13, trainer Mark Casse’s millionaire Webslinger should be tough to beat at a mile and one eighth on grass in Saturday’s Grade II, $250,000 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita.
Most recently second by a head at 1 3/16 miles on turf in the Grade I Saratoga Invitational Derby Aug. 5, Webslinger ships in from his Keeneland base and will be handled by regular rider Javier Castellano.
A winner of the Grade II American Turf May 6 at Churchill Downs, Webslinger is a three-time stakes winner that would prefer to rally into a fast pace but has proven he can lay close if necessary.
Owned by D.J. Stable, he was purchased for a bargain $50,000 as a 2-year-old and has amassed earnings of $1,025,320 from an overall race record of 11-4-3-1. By Constitution out of the Hard Spun mare Arana, Webslinger, who was beaten four lengths in last year’s Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland, seeks his second graded stakes win on Saturday.
Trainer Leonard Powell’s consistent Irish-bred Maltese Falcon, a winner as a maiden of the Grade III La Jolla Handicap three starts back, was subsequently second by a head in the Grade II Del Mar Derby at a mile and one eighth on grass Sept. 3 and was most recently fourth as the 2-1 favorite in a classified allowance here Oct. 8.
Owned by Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal, Maltese Falcon, who is 9-1-3-2, will be handled by regular rider Juan Hernandez and is another that would prefer to sit off of a lively early pace.
Phil D’Amato’s English-bred Almendares, who rallied impressively to take his U.S. debut in a first condition allowance going a mile and one sixteenth on grass July 23, came back to run a solid third, beaten one length in the Grade II Del Mar Derby and with Antonio Fresu set to ride him back, appears very much on the improve as he comes back at the same mile and one eighth distance.
Owned by CYBT, McLean Racing Stables, Saul Gervitz, Michael Nentwig and Ray Pagano, Almendares, who is 7-3-1-2 overall, is another solid contender who looks to be on the improve.
Lightly raced, Richard Mandella’s English-bred Seal Team has nonetheless been very impressive through his four starts. A 3 ¾ length maiden winner at a mile and one eighth on turf three starts back at Del Mar Aug. 19, Seal Team was in command in his most recent out, a half length allowance win at the same trip on Oct. 8 here at Santa Anita—a race in which he earned a lofty 90 Beyer Speed Figure.
Bred by Bass Stables and owned by Perry and Ramona Bass, Seal Team, unbeaten at a mile and one eighth on turf, will make his first stakes appearance with regular rider Umberto Rispoli.
John Sadler’s Irish-bred gelding Panic Alarm is yet another horse that appears to have considerable upside. Second, beaten one length by Maltese Falcon in his U.S. debut, the Grade III LaJolla Stakes Aug. 6, Panic Alarm was in tight quarters around the far turn in the Grade II Del Mar Derby when fourth, beaten 1 ½ lengths on Sept. 3.
Owned by Hronis Racing, LLC, Panic Alarm, who is 10-2-1-3, will be making his third start for Sadler on Saturday.
THE GRADE II TWILIGHT DERBY WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 2 of 12 Approximate post time 10:40 a.m. PT
- Reiquist—Ramon Vazquez —124
- Be Your Best – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – 121
- Reincarnate – Luis Saez – 124
- Packs A Wahlop – Hector Berrios – 124
- Panic Alarm – Lanfranco Dettori – 124
- Webslinger – Javier Castellano – 124
- Seal Team – Umberto Rispoli – 124
- Almendares – Antonio Fresu – 124
- California Bay – Tiago Pereira – 124
- Maltese Falcon – Juan Hernandez – 124
- Mondego – Joel Rosario – 124
- Silver Knott – William Buick – 124
- Watsonville – Flavian Prat - 124
Saturday is day two of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita. With a blockbuster 12-race card that will include nine Breeders’ Cup races, first post time is at 10:10 a.m. with admission gates opening at 8 a.m.