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Jan 30, 2015

Upstart enters top 10 on the 'Road to the Kentucky Derby'


Louisville, KY ( - Upstart, owned by Ralph Evans and trained by Richard Violette, moved into third-place in the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" points system after winning Saturday's Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

The victory was worth 10 points for Upstart to enter the Kentucky Derby on May 2. The 3-year-old now has a total of 16 points trailing just El Kabeir and International Star, each with 21 points.

"We were pretty confident that he was going to run well," Violette said. "You just hope that the talent he showed as a 2-year-old transfers into a good 3- year-old, and a lot of horses don't. They're a little more precocious, a little more mature as a 2-year-old, and sometimes that's their best stuff. You hope to see the graduation, and I think we saw it.

"We could do the Fountain of Youth (at Gulfstream on Feb. 21). If we need a couple more weeks, we could wait for the Gotham (at Aqueduct on March 7). We have a two-week cushion and at some point we'll get to use it. Whether we go the whole route here (at Gulfstream) and go Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby (March 28) to give us a little extra time to get to the Kentucky Derby or if we need it before then and he stubs his toe or doesn't eat, we can back off and do either the Gotham or the Wood Memorial (at Aqueduct on April 4). We have some flexibility, which is really nice."

Tied with 14 points are Carpe Diem and Calculator followed by Texas Red (12), Mr. Z (12), Far Right (12), Ocho Ocho Ocho (10), American Pharoah (10), Daredevil (10), Dortmund (10), Leave the Light On (10) and Lucky Player (10).

There are no points-worthy stakes this week, however, Santa Anita will host the San Vicente Stakes on Sunday, Feb. 1 when Breeders' Cup Juvenile champ Texas Red will start.

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