June 24, 2024

C Z Rocket tests distance ability in Steve Sexton Mile

C Z Rocket
C Z Rocket wins the Count Fleet Sprint (Photo by Coady Photography)

Steve Sexton Mile — Race 11 (8:35 p.m. ET)

The $400,000 Steve Sexton Mile (G3), the feature on a stakes-laden card at Lone Star Park on Memorial Day, lost a lot of its luster with the reported defection over the weekend of multiple graded stakes winner By My Standards, who would have been a solid favorite. The race might come down now to one of the nation’s best sprinters, who is stretching out, and a speedy rival cutting back in trip.

C Z Rocket handed reigning champion sprinter Whitmore back-to-back losses in the Hot Springs S. and Count Fleet Sprint H. (G3) earlier this year, but both of those races were over six furlongs. The veteran City Zip gelding has raced around two turns five times previously, but placed in only one of them. That was a close second-place finish to multiple stakes winner Pioneer Spirit in a Churchill Downs allowance in November 2019.

The speedy Grade 3 winner Warrior’s Charge weakened to fifth after setting the pace in the Oaklawn H. (G2) and is a potentially a stronger threat in this shorter affair. Multiple graded winner Silver Prospector also exits the Oaklawn ‘Cap, where he finished sixth after getting within a head of the lead a furlong out. Hunka Burning Love and Mo Mosa also have the class to earn a share or more.

Texas Derby — Race 9 (7:31 p.m. ET)

The inaugural $300,000 Texas Derby over 1 1/16 miles has attracted former classic prospects Super Stock and Get Her Number.

Super Stock, upset winner of the Arkansas Derby (G1) prior to a 16th-place run in the Kentucky Derby (G1), breaks outside all his rivals in post 10. Get Her Number, who edged eventual Preakness (G1) hero Rombauer in last fall’s American Pharoah (G1), ultimately bypassed the first two legs of the Triple Crown after finishing seventh in the Rebel (G2) and fourth in the Arkansas Derby.

Also in the mix are Warrant and Scarred, second and fourth, respectively in the May 1 Oaklawn S., and the Bret Calhoun-trained Mr. Wireless, who makes his stakes debut after a couple photo-finish scores at Oaklawn.

In other stakes action Monday, Mundaye Call figures a short-priced favorite in the $100,000 Memorial Day Sprint for fillies and mares over six furlongs, while the five-furlong, $100,000 Chamberlain Bridge S. on the turf includes Archidust, Chaos Theory, and California invader Texas Wedge.

The latter is a Peter Miller-trained stablemate of Laura’s Light, one of the prime contenders in the $200,000 Ouija Board Distaff at one mile on the turf. Summer in Saratoga, Tuned, Raven’s Cry, and Summering are other potential threats.