'Timber' may face 'Deelites' March 19

March 07, 1995|By Dallas Morning News

ARCADIA, Calif. -- The two favorites for the Kentucky Derby, Timber Country and Afternoon Deelites, could meet earlier than expected, in the San Felipe Stakes on March 19 at Santa Anita Park.

Still smarting from Timber Country's loss in the San Rafael Stakes, the colt's trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, said Sunday that he's leaning strongly toward altering his original plan on how to get the big colt to the Kentucky Derby, which still is two months away.

Timber Country, last year's juvenile champion, was expected to have two outings before the Kentucky Derby: the San Rafael and the Santa Anita Derby. But that plan assumed an easy win in Saturday's San Rafael, and that didn't happen. Timber Country rated off a soporific pace (48 4/5 seconds for the opening half-mile), tried to advance along the rail but got stopped, and fell back but then rallied to be third, two lengths behind Larry the Legend.

And so Sunday morning at his barn on the Santa Anita backside, Lukas said Timber Country didn't benefit from the San Rafael as much as expected and probably would make his next start in the San Felipe.

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