Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Updated: January 31, 6:39 PM ET
'Michael' takes on Dynamic Sky
By Steve Haskin
The last time trainer Dave Cotey developed a top 2-year-old in Canada and gave him up to a big-name U.S. trainer was in 2008 when he captured three stakes, including the important Grey Stakes, with Mine That Bird, who wound up in California with Richard Mandella. One race later he was in the hands of Chip Woolley at Sunland Park.
Last year, Cotey sent out My Name is Michael to a second-place finish in the Display Stakes at Woodbine, but here the son of Macho Uno is running in the Feb. 2 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay under the care of Bill Mott.
My Name is Michael's main opponent will be fellow Canadian Dynamic Sky, who is coming off an impressive victory in the seven-furlong Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay, in which he had to overcome a troubled trip, but still won going away by three-quarters of a length.
My Name is Michael gets the services of Joel Rosario and will break from post 3 in the 10-horse field, while Dynamic Sky will have to overcome post 9 with regular rider Luis Contreras aboard.
In the Pasco, Dynamic Sky, owned by John Oxley and trained by Mark Casse, ran down his stablemate Sky Commander, who finished second. In the Sam Davis, he will be accompanied by another stablemate, Northern Lion, who broke his maiden by 5 1/2 lengths at Gulfstream Dec. 22 in his third career start, stretching out to 1 1/16 miles. The son of Lion Heart will break from post 6 under Patrick Husbands.
There are several others in the field who are looking to stamp themselves as Derby contenders.
Speak Logistics, trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., who won last week's Holy Bull Stakes with Itsmyluckyday, hasn't run since finishing seventh in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile. In his previous start, the son of High Cotton won the In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder by 2 3/4 lengths, earning a 90 Beyer speed figure. That followed a 5 3/4-length maiden score at Monmouth Park. He will be ridden by Angel Serpa and break from post 4.
Breaking from post 2 will be the lightly raced Divine Ambition, owned by Silverton Farm and trained by Darrin Miller. The son of Divine Park broke his maiden by eight lengths at Turfway Park before finishing third in the Pasco in only his second career start. Willie Martinez has the mount.
Nick Zito, always on the lookout for a Derby horse, will rest his hopes on My Meadowview Farm's homebred Midnite Poppa, a son of Unbridled's Song who is coming off a 1 1/4-length maiden victory at Tampa going 1 1/16 miles. He'll have to break alertly and get good position breaking from the far outside. Jose Lezcano rides for the first time.
John Terranova is hoping Falling Sky can stretch out effectively to two turns after winning two of his first three starts, including a 1 3/4-length score in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream, in which he earned an 89 Beyer speed figure, the same as Dynamic Sky in the Pasco. Luis Saez rides back.