VA-BRED TO DANCE WITH DERBY BID

(By Nick Hahn)

Dance City (inside) in allowance win. (Photo: Joe Ganley/EquiSport Photos)

In Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby, trainer Todd Pletcher is expected to start Dance City, bred by Edward P. Evans and owned by his estate.  Dance City upset stablemate Cal Nation in a Gulfstream allowance race in March at a mile. 

The City Zip colt is out of Ballet Colony by 1981 Kentucky Derby winning Virginia-bred Pleasant Colony.

Evans bred and owned Quality Road who would have been the morning line favorite in the 2009 Kentucky Derby if not for developing a quarter-crack in the week leading up to the draw.  Evans passed away on New Year’s Eve.

In order to guarantee enough graded stakes earnings for the Kentucky Derby, Dance City would have to win the event.  The $200,000 that goes to the second place finisher would place the runner up on the graded earnings fence.  Thirteen starters are expected for the Arkansas Derby including another Pletcher colt, Brethren, who worked on Saturday with Dance City prior to reportedly shipping to Oaklawn on Monday.

Dance City broke his maiden in the Gulfstream slop in January going a mile and an eighth.  In his first career start he ran second to Derby contender Arthur’s Tale at Aqueduct.