Trainer Dale Romans' name was part of the 2017 Triple Crown picture with J Boys Echo but a pair of late-developing 3-year-olds, Stronach Stables' Singing Bullet and Albaugh Family Stable's Watch Me Whip, could shake up the picture for the second half of 2017.
“We have some solid 3-year-olds in the barn,” Romans said. “We always try and gear our 2-year-olds for the Kentucky Derby but sometimes things go awry.”
Singing Bullet broke his maiden at Ellis Park as a 2-year-old at first asking last September but was on the shelf for 236 days before returning to the winner's circle Friday.
“This horse ran a monster race Friday,” Romans said. “He had a bit of a setback after he broke his maiden last year but the way he came back I'd like to point him to the (Aug. 26) H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes (GI) (formerly known as the King's Bishop) at Saratoga.”
Watch Me Whip dazzled while winning his career debut at Keeneland by 3 ¾ lengths at odds of 10-1. Romans would joke in the mornings following his victory, “Did you see my horse for the (July 30) Haskell (Grade I)?”
Romans tested the waters with Watch Me Whip in the Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard but he never really got into the race and finished a disappointing eighth.
“He had a lot of little issues as a 2-year-old and that's why we could never get there early enough,” Romans said. “I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up running in some of the better races this summer and end up in some big races this fall.”
Watch Me Whip is listed as 9-2 on the morning line in Race 9 on Sunday, a first-level allowance event for 3-year-olds.
Following a disappointing conclusion to the Triple Crown season for J Boys Echo, Romans is aiming for a late summer return for the 3-year-old son of Mineshaft.
“He was completely eliminated from the Derby at the start and I don't think he liked the track at Belmont,” Romans said. “He'll come back in the late summer and could run in the Haskell and hopefully make it to the (Aug. 26) Travers (GI).”
The Haskell at Monmouth Park is a “Win and You're In” race for the Breeders' Cup Classic.
After Singing Bullet's victory Friday, Romans was only four wins behind Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott for the all-time winningest trainer mark at Churchill Downs, 701 wins to 697.
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