This Saturday marks the return to the races for the 3 year old colt, Wilcox Inn, by Harlan's Holiday. Last seen in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile Turf, he finished up a sneaky-good, rail-skimming third to Pluck and Soldat. His total lifetime earnings after that race, placed him 18th on the Derby earnings list.
After breaking his maiden first time out at Arlington, the colt was third to JP's Gusto and Santiva in the Breeder's Futurity at Keeneland. He has kept good company in his short campaign.
The race at Fair Grounds is the Grindstone, going 7 &1/2 on the turf.
Harlan's Holiday (who stands at WinStar) was a multiple Grade 1 winner of 6+ million, all on dirt. But Wilcox Inn's bottom line ( DeAar, by Gone West ) is loaded with grass horses. De Arr is out of Alletta Marie ( Diesis), who the dam of SW's Cetawayo and Bowman Mill.
Is dirt in the cards for this colt? Should he enter the starting gate on Saturday, as planned, then he would be 9 weeks out to Derby Day. Is that enough time to get a race on dirt, around two turns, for him?
Inquiring minds want to know.
His trainer Mike Stidham can certainly get a horse ready off a layoff. And Rosie Napravnick is named to ride on Saturday.
It would be a great year for her to have a Derby mount.