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Feb 09, 2012

Whiting seeks another Run for the Roses


Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - It's been 20 years since trainer Lynn Whiting saddled longshot colt Lil E. Tee to win the 118th Kentucky Derby. The Midwest conditioner has another three-year-old in his stable at Oaklawn Park giving Whiting a chance at the 138th Run for the Roses.

Lightly raced Cyber Secret is owned by Charles Cella who happens to own the Arkansas track. The colt has just four starts on his resume with a possible start in the track's Southwest Stakes on February 20.

"He still has a lot to prove before we get too pumped up," Whiting said. "He ran big the other day, but it's on him now to move forward while being a young horse that's still learning the game. As a friend of mine once said 'he can't call his momma. He's got to do it himself.'"

Cyber Secret posted a 5 1/4-length wire-to-wire victory last week in an allowance race as the 2-1 second choice in a six-horse field. The rebound win came three weeks after a deflating ninth in a similar race as the 3-1 second pick.

"You have to feel really good about the effort," said Whiting on the win and schooled Cyber Secret in the starting gate after the January loss. "It is some vindication after he had so many problems in his last race. We know we can pretty much toss it out.

"He's still a young horse with something to prove. Times have changed, but sometimes with these Derby horses guys tend to over-do it a bit."

Cyber Secret began his career with a win at Belmont Park last October, but failed in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes when he finished seventh in the 11-horse field. He was previously trained by Bret Calhoun for Silverton Hill Farm.

The $250,000 Southwest Stakes is expected to feature Smarty Jones winner Junebugred and runner-up Reckless Jerry. The President's Day feature will be just 16 days after Cyber Secret's last race.

"With such a particularly strong program of three-year-old races, it feels like he proved he deserves that shot," said Whiting Wednesday morning. "There won't be too many other opportunities if we don't get involved now.

"We only had two weeks between the Arkansas Derby and the Kentucky Derby with Lil E. Tee and I worked him a half-mile a couple days before the (Derby). Even then I could have just let him gallop up to it. We tend to overtrain now."

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