Willis Has Four in HP Derby

Trainer Eddie Willis goes into the Heritage Place Derby with good odds.

Q-Racing Journal

Trainer Eddie Willis is in the envious position of having four horses in Saturday’s $257,050 Heritage Place Derby (G2), including the three-fastest qualifiers, on Saturday night at Remington Park.

The 400-yard Heritage Place Derby is part of a stakes-laden card that includes the $1,020,980 Heritage Place Futurity (G1), $250,000 Remington Park Invitational Championship (G1) and the $50,000 Junos Request Stakes (G2).

Topping the qualifiers and the Willis contingent are the co-fastest-qualifiers This Dude Can Fly (One Famous Eagle-Helens First Choice by First Down Dash) and Shades Of Blues Girl (Corona Cartel-Run The Dash by Sixarun), third-fastest qualifier The Ultimate Eagle (One Famous Eagle-Ladys Heart Of Gold by Strawfly Special) and eighth-fastest qualifier Fire Tested (Walk Thru Fire-Blushing Lady Bug by Blushing Bug).

Luis De La Cerda and Abel T. Flores’ This Dude Can Fly has won two of his three starts this year with a third-place finish in the $200,000 Oklahoma Derby. He followed that Oklahoma Derby effort with a 2 1/4-length romp in his Heritage Place Derby trial. His time of :20.019 while facing a 20 mph headwind set the standard in the second trial.

Reliance Ranches LLC’s Shades Of Blues Girl came out two races later to equal This Dude Can Fly’s time at an equal headwind. The filly won the trial by 1 1/2 lengths after finishing a close third, beaten by a neck, in the $298,000 Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Derby (RG3).

This Dude Can Fly and Shades Of Blues Girl have each shined at Remington Park. They each have three wins and one third from four local appearances.

Ed Melzer’s The Ultimate Eagle pulled out to a half length win in his trial while making his 2014 debut. He was timed in :20.145.

Last year, The Ultimate Eagle qualified for the $910,260 Heritage Place Futurity (G1), but had a horrible start and finished last. It was his only off the board effort from seven 2-year-old starts, highlighted by three wins.

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