Sweet Catomine isn't intimidating the competition in the Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, despite her status as last year's champion filly and her 5-for-5 record since finishing second in her first race.
Sweet Catomine, who won her first two races this year by a combined 5 1/2 lengths, was made the early 7-5 favorite Wednesday for the $750,000 race in Arcadia, Calif. Ten males will challenge her over 1 1/8 miles in the West Coast's major prep for next month's Kentucky Derby.
"I'm not as impressed with her 3-year-old races as I was with her 2-year-old races. I'm not so sure that she's actually taken a step forward," said Ron Ellis, who trains 7-2 second choice Don't Get Mad.
"She's going to have to kick it up a couple notches numbers-wise and time-wise to get involved with the colts."
Owner Marty Wygod decided to run Sweet Catomine against the boys Saturday as part of a plan to get her into the Kentucky Derby on May 7. She will be the 26th filly to try the Santa Anita Derby. Three have won the race, including Winning Colors, who went on to win the Kentucky Derby in 1988.