No trainer has ever won the race – which had its first running in 1969 and was called the Volante Handicap prior to 1997 - two times in a row. Cassidy can accomplish the feat in the 41st running after winning with The Usual Q.T. in 2009.
Owned by the Gould Family Trust, Kid Edward, a son of Singspiel and the Efizio mare Baize, has won two of five – all on grass – and earned $99,360. In two previous appearances in Grade II events, the Irish bred was second behind Sidney’s Candy’s record setting performance in the La Jolla Handicap on Aug. 14 at Del Mar, then was fifth in a controversial Del Mar Derby won by Twirling Candy.
David Flores, who won the Oak Tree Derby two years ago aboard Muny, retains the mount on Kid Edward.
A three time winner on the turf in his native France, Blue Pans will make his United States debut Saturday for owner G. Normand Augustin and trainer Fabrice Chappel.
A son of Panis out of the Bering mare Rhapsody in Blue mare, Blue Panis has earned $174,666 in 14 starts. The Derby will be his initial try beyond a mile.
The only two members of the field coming off a win are Haimish Hy and Sebastian Flyte.
Trained by Art Sherman for a partnership that includes Zvika Akin and Richard Franco, Haimish Hy is 2-for-2 on grass, but his last win came over the Polytrack at Del Mar. Dismissed at 31-1 in the El Cajon Stakes on Sept. 3, Haimish Hy prevailed by a neck.
Overall, the son of Ecton Park and the Equalize mare Tifonica has won four of eight, banking $134,980.
An English bred son of Observatory and the Night Shift mare Aravonian, Sebastian Flyte won at 2-1 in his first in this country on Sept. 4 at Del Mar. Owned by Triple B Farms and trained by Ben Cecil, Sebastian Flyte has won two of nine and earned $86,003.
Make Music for Me will make his first appearance since finishing 10th in the Belmont Stakes on June 5.
Trained by Alexis Barba for owners Ellen and Peter O. Johnson, the Bernstein colt out of the Carson City mare Miss Cheers won his only other race on turf. He captured the Pasadena Stakes as a maiden on March 6 at Santa Anita.
The one length victory over Macias remains Make Music for Me’s lone win in 10 starts, but he has hit the board on three occasions in graded stakes. He has earned $362,260.
Jairzinho will be seeking to end a 14 race losing streak. A son of Royal Applause and the Polish Precedent mare Polish Belle hasn’t won since his debut. His victory came against five opponents at Leicester in his native England on June 25, 2009. Owned by Anthony Thompson and Neville Callaghan and trained by Simon Callagah, Jairzinho has suffered nine of those defeats since coming to California early in 2010.
Second most recently in the Del Mar Derby, Jairzinho’s bankroll is $100,249.
Completing the field is Royal F J. A Royal Academy gelding out of the Kingmambo mare Perpetual Motion, Royal F J has won once in 12 starts, earning $137,760 for La Canada Stables LLC and trainer Jack Carava.
He was third in the Del Mar Derby on Sept. 5 in his graded stakes debut. He has been second or third in 10 of his 11 defeats.
From inside out, the field for the Oak Tree Derby: Haimish Hy, Alonso Quinonez rides, 120 pounds; Sebastian Flyte, Martin Garcia, 118; Kid Edward, David Flores, 118; Jairzinho, Patrick Valenzuela, 118; Fantastic Pick, Corey Nakatani, 118; Blue Panis, Joe Talamo, 118; Royal F J, Rafael Bejarano, 118 and Make Music For Me, Brice Blanc, 118.