Spokesman Corner Adam Coglianese ตอนนี้เป็นการแข่งขันหลัก รองชนะเลิศ Smarty Jones S. และ ‘TDN Rising Star’ Caddo River (Hard Spun) และ GIII Holy Bull’s Greatest Honor (Tapit) แพ้ในอันดับที่สองและสามเมื่ออายุเจ็ดขวบ Belmont Park มีน้ำหนักพิเศษในวันที่ 11 ตุลาคม (วิดีโอ) แต่เกิดอะไรขึ้นกับ Speaker’s Corner (Street Sense – Tyburn Brook จาก Bernardini) ที่เลี้ยงดูโดย Godolphin ผู้ชนะที่น่าประทับใจในวันนั้น? Bellol Jimmy Bell ประธาน Godolphin กล่าวว่า “หลังจากความพ่ายแพ้เล็กน้อยเขาก็วิ่งกลับไปที่ Payson Park พร้อมกับ Bill Mott เรากำลังต่อสู้กลับ” เขากล่าว “ เราประทับใจในความก้าวหน้าของเขามาก เขารอคอยที่จะกลับมา “ เขากลับมาฝึกซ้อมอย่างเต็มที่และจะฝึกซ้อมเมื่อไหร่และที่ไหนเมื่อเขาเปิดตัวเมื่ออายุสามขวบ” สรุปได้ว่า Speaker’s Corner มาเป็นอันดับสองรองจากรายการโปรดของซาราโตกา 3-5 อันดับรองจากโอกาสที่สอง เขาไล่ตามอย่างจริงจังในการแข่งขันครั้งแรกและจากนั้นเล่นในโอกาสที่ห้า ในอันดับที่แปดสุดท้าย 12.54 เหมาะสำหรับ 80 Beyer Speed Figure Joy S. จาก GIII Kitten’s Joy S. ในกัลฟ์สตรีมพาร์ค ได้แก่ อันดับที่สาม Original (Quality Road) Speaker’s Corner อุทิศให้กับ GII Remsen S. ที่ Aqueduct ในวันที่ 5 ธันวาคม เมื่อวันที่ 25 พฤศจิกายนกระสุนห้านัดถูกยิงใส่เบลมอนต์ “ เรามักจะพูดถึงการแข่งขันหลัก ๆ ” เขากล่าว ฉันคิดว่าการแข่งขันของเธอจะเป็นการแข่งขันที่น่าเกลียดที่สุดและดีที่สุดของเด็กผู้หญิงอายุสองขวบเมื่อปีที่แล้ว “แม่น้ำ Caddo ไหลออกจากพื้นผิวใน Smarty Jones และ Greatest Honor คือคะแนน Holy Bull ที่ดีที่สุดของเขาเราหวังว่า Speaker’s Corner สามารถเพิ่มความสำเร็จของกิจกรรมทั้งสองนี้ได้ Road Sense บน Godolphin’s ผู้รับผิดชอบของ Bernardini Cross GISW Maxfield ที่ไม่พ่ายแพ้ที่ Fair Grounds ในวันเสาร์ GIII Mineshaft S. และผู้เข้ารอบสุดท้าย GIII Indiana / Oklahoma Derby ผู้ชนะการแบ่งปันความรู้สึกที่ไม่ได้เป็นสมาชิกในวันเสาร์ตั้งชื่อตาม Godolphin, Greatest Honor, Jimmy Bell, Speaker’s Corner, Street Sense
Friday, February 5, 2021 at 2:15 pm |
Back to: Top News Updated: February 5, 2021 at 2:17 pm
‘TDN Rising Star’ Caddo River (Hard Spun), currently sitting at number two on the TDN Top Kentucky Derby contenders sponsored by Fasig-Tipton, went an easy half-mile in :50.60 at Oaklawn Park Friday morning as he prepares for his next start in the $1-million GII Rebel S. in Hot Springs Mar. 13. It was the Shortleaf Stable homebred’s first serious piece of work since a 10 1/4-length thrashing of his rivals in the Smarty Jones S. Jan. 22.
Breezing prior to the first renovation break beneath exercise rider Gustavo Abrego, Caddo River was clocked in fractions of :12.80, :26 flat and :38 flat before galloping out five-eighths of a mile in 1:03 flat.
The stable of Eclipse Award winner Brad Cox will be represented in the track’s second leg of the 3-year-old series, the Feb. 15 GIII Southwest S., by champion juvenile male and fellow ‘Rising Star’ Essential Quality (Tapit). The GI Arkansas Derby caps the local route to the Kentucky Derby Apr. 10.
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This story was posted in Top News and tagged Arkansas Derby, Brad Cox, Caddo River, Essential Quality, Kentucky Derby, Oaklawn Park, Rebel S., Smarty Jones S., TDN Rising Star.
By T. D. ThorntonThe Nos. 1, 2 and 3 candidates atop this week’s GI Kentucky Derby rankings are fascinating from a tactical standpoint. In order, their styles are that of a relentless stalker, a high-cruising speed specialist, and a dominant, off-the-pace tailgater. But the contenders ranked behind them are poised to pounce as we edge past the 90-day mark until the first Saturday in May.
1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, Tapit–Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality)O/B-Godolphin (KY). T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt & GISW, 3-3-0-0, $1,335,144.Last Start: 1st GI TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, KEE, Nov. 6Accomplishments Include: 1st GI Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity, ‘TDN Rising Star’Next Start: GIII Southwest S., OP, Feb. 15Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 30.
‘TDN Rising Star’ Essential Quality can now add “2-year-old champ” to his 3-for-3 resume after winning Thursday’s Eclipse Awards vote. But there was also big news last week about plans for this Godolphin homebred’s 2021 debut, which trainer Brad Cox said will be the GIII Southwest S. Feb. 15 at Oaklawn (the GII Risen Star S. Feb. 13 at Fair Grounds had been the secondary option). The decision came down to a distance preference (1 1/16 miles for the Southwest versus half a furlong farther in the Risen Star), which is entirely logical for this Tapit colt’s first race back since the winning the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. This athletic gray was a versatile stalker at age two, and looked well within his element employing intimidating pace-pressing tactics. Although “EQ” has twice won at 1 1/16 miles, both of those Grade I victories came over Keeneland’s short-stretch configuration, where races at that distance end at the sixteenth pole. How have Eclipse champs fared in the Derby? In the 21st Century, Street Sense, American Pharoah and Nyquist all managed that double. There were no Eclipse/Derby winners in the 1980s or ’90s. But in the ’70s that feat was quite common, and the honor roll includes some legendary names: Spectacular Bid, Affirmed, Seattle Slew, Foolish Pleasure, Secretariat and Riva Ridge.
2) CADDO RIVER (c, Hard Spun–Pangburn, by Congrats)O/B-Shortleaf Stable (KY). T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: SW, 4-2-2-0, $166,092. Last Start: 1st Smarty Jones S., OP, Jan. 22.Accomplishments: ‘TDN Rising Star’Next Start: GII Rebel S., OP, Mar. 13 or GI Arkansas Derby, OP, Apr. 10Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 10.
‘TDN Rising Star’ Caddo River is still basking in the afterglow of his tour-de-force, 10 1/4-length blowout in the opening-day Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn. A homebred for Arkansas lumberman John Ed Anthony’s Shortleaf Stable, trainer Brad Cox has confirmed that this colt will remain on the Hot Springs prep path. But considering how Cox is a proponent of spacing races, it seems likely that Caddo River might bypass the upcoming Southwest S. (which has already drawn commitments from the Nos. 1 and 5 contenders on this list) in favor of using the Mar. 13 GII Rebel S. and Apr. 10 GI Arkansas Derby as his launch pad to Louisville. This Hard Spun colt’s past-performance lines got a nice lift Saturday when Greatest Honour (Tapit) won the GIII Holy Bull S., because Greatest Honour had twice finished third in “loaded” New York MSW races in which Caddo River ran second. Although speed is Caddo River’s main weapon, he’s not so much a blast-out-of-the-gate presence as a colt who breaks fluidly then rapidly attains a high cruising speed and stays there, which is the type of speed that can be better leveraged into excelling over 10 furlongs.
3) GREATEST HONOUR (c, Tapit–Tiffany’s Honour, by Street Cry Ire)O/B-Courtlandt Farms (KY). T-Claude R. McGaughey III. Lifetime Record: GSW, 5-2-1-2, $175,240.Last Start: 1st GIII Holy Bull S., GP, Jan. 30Next Start: GII Fountain of Youth S., GP, Feb. 27 or GI Florida Derby, GP, Mar. 27Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 10.
Greatest Honour, a Courtlandt Farms homebred by Tapit, makes a leapfrog debut onto the Top 12 this week after unleashing a bold, sustained Holy Bull S. run that was as impressive in watching him build it up as it was in seeing him uncoil that devastating kick in the stretch knowing he was “just playing around,” as jockey Jose Ortiz quipped post-race. “I was really, really happy going to the five-eighths,” said Ortiz. “Luckily, I didn’t have to fight for any position. I was just able to take it. Honestly, when I put myself four wide in the clear, I showed him the whip one time and from that point I knew I was going to have a really, really good shot to win. When we got to the quarter pole, I knew I had it.” Greatest Honour earned an 89 Beyer Speed Figure, and trainer Shug McGaughey said in the winner’s circle this colt will prep for the Derby in at least one other Gulfstream stakes. Asked if the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (FOY) was a possibility, McGaughey said it was before quickly adding, “But I think we need to wait a little bit. I mean, he’s not going to be a hard horse for me to have ready for the [Mar 27] GI Florida Derby. And a mile and an eighth is going to suit him even better than a mile and a sixteenth” in the FOY.
4) LIFE IS GOOD (c, Into Mischief–Beach Walk, by Distorted Humor)O-CHC Inc & WinStar Farm LLC. B-Gary & Mary West Stable (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $525,000 ylg ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GSW, 2-2-0-0, $94,200.Last Start: 1st GIII Sham S., SA, Jan. 2Next Start: Possible for GII San Felipe S., SA, Mar. 6Accomplishments: ‘TDN Rising Star’Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 10.
‘TDN Rising Star’ Life Is Good, a $525,000 KEESEP Into Mischief bay, is the top gun among California-based horses. But like many Bob Baffert phenoms who dominate short-field Santa Anita stakes as prohibitive favorites, it can be difficult to gauge just how talented these sophomores actually are. This past Saturday, we got a little help in judging where Life Is Good stands from a company-line perspective. Fellow Baffert trainee Medina Spirit (Protonico), who finished three-quarters of a length behind Life Is Good in the Jan. 2 GIII Sham S. (and 13 lengths ahead of everyone else), won a three-horse photo to tenaciously snag the GIII Lewis S. But bettors who participated in Pool 2 of the Derby Future Wager the previous weekend needed no such convincer: They made Life Is Good the 7-1 second choice behind the “field” option. What is perplexing about the Future Wager odds though, is that Life Is Good actually closed at a lower price (5-1) back in November’s Pool 1 when he only had a highly hyped maiden win on his record. So anyone who waited for Life Is Good to win a stakes race and edge two months closer to the Derby got rewarded with the better price despite the proposition looking much stronger. It’s supposed to work the other way around, but future-bet markets are rife with inefficiencies.
5) JACKIE’S WARRIOR (c, Maclean’s Music–Unicorn Girl, by A.P. Five Hundred)O-J Kirk & Judy Robison. B-J & J Stables (KY). T-Steve Asmussen. Sales History: $95,000 ylg ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 5-4-0-0, $502,564.Last Start: 4th GI TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, KEE, Nov. 6Accomplishments: 1st GII Saratoga Special, 1st GI Runhappy Hopeful S., 1st GI Champagne S.Next Start: GIII Southwest S., OP, Feb. 15.Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 12.
Now that Essential Quality’s connections have committed to the Southwest S., the highly anticipated grudge match between the two Breeders’ Cup Juvenile favorites is on for Feb. 15, representing the first true clash of the year between “headline” horses on the Derby trail. The first time they met, then-undefeated Jackie’s Warrior was bet down to 9-10 odds and got first run into a sacrificial speed duel after enjoying an in-the-clear stalking trip. Still-undefeated “EQ” was the 7-2 second choice in the Breeders’ Cup, and he was content to drop a dozen lengths off the action and build gradual momentum that didn’t crest until a sixteenth of a mile from the wire, catapulting him to victory while “Jackie” was fourth, beaten 3 1/4 lengths. Purely from a next-race perspective, this $95,000 KEESEP Maclean’s Music colt is likely to hold the upper hand based on his wicked turn of foot and the tendency for speed-oriented horses to do well at Oaklawn. But until Jackie actually wins a two-turn race (he was 4-for-4 at age two, winning at five, six, seven and eight furlongs), the jury is still out as to whether or not a 10-furlong Derby is within his scope.
6) PREVALENCE (c, Medaglia d’Oro—Enrichment, by Ghostzapper)O/B-Godolphin (KY); T-Brendan Walsh. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $25,800.Last Start: 1st Maiden Special Weight, GP, Jan. 23Next Start: UncommittedAccomplishments: ‘TDN Rising Star’Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 0.
Prevalence is one of three Godolphin homebreds currently ranked within the Top 12. This Medaglia d’Oro-sired ‘TDN Rising Star’ is the only one based in Florida though, so it would seem that the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. could be his next start. That would work out to five weeks between races and keep him geographically separated from Godolphin’s other two top sophs, Essential Quality and Proxy (Tapit), who appear bound for the Southwest S. and Risen Star S., respectively. The 89-Beyer MSW debut for Prevalence on the Pegasus undercard a week and a half ago at Gulfstream still resonates as a “Wow!” effort, both for how this colt won it (by 8 1/2 geared-down lengths after dominating a five-way fight for the lead) and the well-intended colts whom he beat (Justify’s half-brother and a $1.05-million KEESEP buy).
7) MIDNIGHT BOURBON (c, Tiznow–Catch the Moon, by Malibu Moon)O-Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-Steve Asmussen. Sales History: $525,000 ylg ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GSW & GISP, 5-2-1-2, $221,420.Last Start: 1st GIII Lecomte S., FG, Jan. 16Next Start: GII Risen Star S., FG, Feb. 13Accomplishments: 3rd GI Champagne S., 2nd GIII Iroquois S.Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 16.
Trainer Steve Asmussen indicated after Midnight Bourbon’s 91-Beyer wiring of the GII Lecomte S. that win that he’d like to keep this $525,000 KEESEP colt in New Orleans to try and sweep the Risen Star S. and GII Louisiana Derby en route to a berth in Louisville. Those were the same races that Midnight Bourbon’s half-brother, Girvin, won for different connections in 2017 prior to a trip-troubled 13th in the Kentucky Derby. Although Girvin benefitted from weak renewals of those Fair Grounds stakes, he did mature into a level-headed sophomore who could handle multiple levels of in-race pressure, which is something that Midnight Bourbon still must prove, because his Lecomte score had an “everything his own way” flavor to it. Three horses have swept the Lecomte, Risen Star, and Louisiana Derby: International Star in 2015 was the most recent, but he did not did not start in the Kentucky Derby. Friesan Fire swept the series in 2009 prior to running 18th in the Derby. Dixieland Heat won all three New Orleans races in 1993, and then (underscoring that he raced in a very different era) additionally ran third in the GII Blue Grass S. prior to finishing 12th in the Derby.
8) PROXY (c, Tapit–Panty Raid, by Include)O/B-Godolphin (KY). T-Michael Stidham. Lifetime Record: GSP, 4-2-2-0, $107,700.Last Start: 2nd GIII Lecomte S., FG, Jan. 16Next Start: Possible for GII Risen Star S., FG, Feb. 13Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 4.
Proxy isn’t one of those colts whose past performances leap out at you as a top-tier Derby candidate, but he does have the look and feel of the type of contender capable of quietly rounding into form and sneaking up on everybody by the first Saturday in May. He got first run at a loose leader in the Lecomte S., and while he did not win, this Tapit homebred for Godolphin prevailed in the “race within the race” for second. Proxy’s previous two Fair Grounds victories were on the lead, so he’s no longer so one-dimensional, tactics-wise, and he’ll bring four races of two-turn experience into the Risen Star S. if his connections opt for that spot. Proxy’s pedigree has a versatile, distance-centric slant: In 2007, his dam, Panty Raid, won the GI American Oaks Invitational S. at 10 furlongs on the turf, the GI Spinster S. at nine furlongs on a synthetic track, and the GII Black-Eyed Susan S. at nine furlongs on dirt.
9) HIGHLY MOTIVATED (c, Into Mischief–Strong Incentive, by Warrior’s Reward)O/B-Klaravich Stables, Inc (KY). T-Chad Brown. Sales History: $240,000 wlg ’18 KEENOV. Lifetime Record: SW, 3-2-1-0, $124,050.Last Start: 1st Nyquist S., KEE, Nov. 6Next Start: GIII Gotham S., AQU, Mar. 6Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 0.
Highly Motivated breezed a half mile in :49:20 (9/35) Saturday at Payson Park, one day after trainer Chad Brown disclosed the colt’s 2021 debut will be in the GIII Gotham S. at Aqueduct Mar. 6. This $240,000 KEENOV Into Mischief colt needed patient handling after emerging “a little stiff” from his Nov. 6 track-record-setting Nyquist S. score, Brown told DRF.com. “I gave him a little extra time, and that put me behind a little bit,” he said. “I approached him like I have some of these other horses that I have, in that I don’t want to run him too much before the Derby because if they’re not good enough I want to have the rest of the year.” Highly Motivated has yet to race beyond 6 1/2 furlongs, so the one-turn-mile is a natural progression. But if he runs well enough to remain under consideration for a two-prep path to Louisville, that means Highly Motivated will go into the Derby with (most likely) only one two-turn race under his belt. The betting public let Highly Motivated drift to 24-1 in last week’s Pool 2 of the Derby Future Wager after an 18-1 opening back in November.
10) MEDINA SPIRIT (c, Protonico–Mongolian Changa, by Briliant Speed)O-Zedan Racing Stables. B-Gail Rice (FL). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $1,000 ylg ’19 OBSWIN; $35,000 2yo ’20 OBSOPN. Lifetime Record: GSW, 3-2-1-0, $105,200.Last Start: 1st GIII Robert B. Lewis S., SA, Jan. 30Next Start: UncommittedAccomplishments: 2nd GIII Sham S.Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 14.
Medina Spirit’s 91-Beyer GIII Lewis S. score on Saturday rates as one of the grittiest winning runs on the Derby trail this season. Seizing the lead from the rail, he took heat on the front end in a three-way go while drilling splits of :22.89 and :46.61, looked like he might be cooked at the quarter pole when two fresh closers barreled at him from off the pace, then dug in and never once relinquished the lead in a stretch battle that had him a neck in front in a three-way photo. “That reminded me a little bit of [1997 Derby winner] Silver Charm,” trainer Bob Baffert said post-race. “He had every reason to give it up late down the stretch [when] those horses came to him; I thought he was beat. I thought they were going to get by and he wouldn’t let them by. He fought on. He really is not as tired as I thought he would be. He got caught up in the speed duel. We were afraid about the one hole and I was hoping he could just back off a little bit … He’s going to get a lot out of this race, but I think you have to take him pretty seriously now.”
11) MANDALOUN (c, Into Mischief–Brooch, by Empire Maker)O/B-Juddmonte Farms Inc. (KY). T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: GSP, 3-2-0-1, $111,252.Last Start: 3rd GIII Lecomte S., FG, Jan. 16Next Start: GII Risen Star S., FG, Feb. 13Accomplishments: ‘TDN Rising Star’Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 2.
Trainer Brad Cox said last week that he was going to equip ‘TDN Rising Star’ Mandaloun with blinkers for a Saturday half-mile work that clocked in :48.20 (2/99), and that this 2-for-3 colt would wear them when he next starts in the Risen Star S. on Feb. 13. The beaten 4-5 fave when three wide around both turns behind a tepid pace in the Lecomte S., this Juddmonte homebred by Into Mischief now has to scramble a bit to regain Derby relevance. Speaking on “At the Races with Steve Byk,” Cox said that coming back on four weeks of rest with an elite-level sophomore is “something I’m not wild about, but at the end of the day, when a 3-year-old is on the Derby trail, you’ve got to push him along a little more.” Mandaloun displayed good fighting instincts when crashing through heavy traffic to break his maiden, and ranged up threateningly after stalking the leaders in his allowance score. But he had to be ridden with vigor in both of those races to uncork his best rally, and his subpar third in the Lecomte lacked a similar display of self-confidence. Perhaps the blinkers will offer a different perspective.
12) KEEPMEINMIND (c, Laoban–Inclination, by Victory Gallop)O-Cypress Creek LLC & Arnold Bennewith. B-Southern Equine Stables, LLC (KY). T-Robertino Diodoro. Lifetime Record: GSW & MGISP, 4-1-2-1, $394,320.Last Start: 1st GII Kentucky Jockey Club S., CD, Nov. 28Accomplishments: 2nd GI Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity, 3rd GI TVG Breeders’ Cup JuvenileNext Start: GIII Southwest S., OP, Feb. 15.Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 18.
This Laoban bay will celebrate his Feb. 8 foaling birthdate prior to his next start in the Southwest S. at Oaklawn. As a maiden, Keepmeinmind ran second and third behind No. 1-ranked Essential Quality in to Grade I stakes, beaten only 5 ¼ combined lengths. He then went off favored in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S., and his rally from last to collar a tiring leader was notable for how much lateral movement he made while trying to pick a spot at the back of the pack (three wide first turn, six deep entering backstretch, then down to the rail and gradually out to the seven path turning for home). The effort produced one of the weaker stakes Beyers (80) on this year’s Derby trail, and it clocked .54 seconds slower than 2-year-old fillies covered the same 1 1/16 miles distance in the GII Golden Rod S. earlier on that same card. But this off-pace specialist will benefit from any sort of speed setup that might occur in the Southwest, and any progress in his 2021 debut should not be judged so much by whether or not he wins the race but by how he finishes. This guy could be a slow-developing surprise.
On the Bubble (in alphabetical order):
Freedom Fighter (Violence): Away since wiring Aug. 1 Del Mar debut for Baffert as 1-2 fave. Listed by Santa Anita as “possible” for Saturday’s GII San Vicente Stakes.
Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow): Half to 2019 sprint champ Mitole ($17,000 FTKFEB; $110,000 FTKOCT) stumbled at break of Lewis S. and took bumping in deep stretch when rallying capably for third in three-way photo. That was his first race back off 94-1 second in the Breeders’ Cup.
Prime Factor (Quality Road): This ‘TDN Rising Star’ is relegated out of the Top 12 after a no-excuse third in the Holy Bull S. in which he stalked two long-shot pacemakers and never fired when called upon for run. Fellow Todd Pletcher-trained stablemate Likeable (Frosted) also lost his standing within the Top 12 after running up on heels and coming up empty in the GIII Swale S.
Roman Centurian (Empire Maker): Nice try first time against winners when rallying from last and beaten only a neck in the Lewis S. over a tiring, drying-out track.
Tarantino (Pioneerof the Nile): Eye-catching 26-1 effort in Holy Bull S. on Saturday. Hustled for lead, attended pace, put nose in front three-eighths out, got inhaled by stalkers but stayed on with purpose to regain second.
By T. D. ThorntonTwo new shooters debut on the Top 12 this week and there was a large leap forward from the previously ranked No. 10 contender all the way up to the No. 2 spot. Four qualifying races on the Road to the GI Kentucky Derby points series are on the docket for the next two weekends.
1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, Tapit–Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality) O/B-Godolphin (Ky); T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: GISW, 3-3-0-0, $1,335,144. Last Start: 1st GI TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, KEE, Nov. 6Accomplishments Include: 1st GI Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity, ‘TDN Rising Star’Next Start: GII Risen Star S., FG, Feb. 13 or GIII Southwest S., OP, Feb. 15Equineline PPs. Ky Derby Points: 30.
‘TDN Rising Star’ Essential Quality will likely add an Eclipse Award to his résumé on Thursday as this undefeated colt preps for either the GII Risen Star S. Feb. 13 at Fair Grounds or the GIII Southwest S. Feb. 15 at Oaklawn. Remaining where he is stabled at Fair Grounds means this Godolphin homebred by Tapit doesn’t have to ship while competing for five times more Derby qualifying points (50-20-10-5) than what are up for grabs at Oaklawn (10-4-2-1). But the Risen Star is a more arduous nine furlongs as opposed to the Southwest’s 1 1/16 miles. Beyond the choice for Essential Quality’s 2021 debut, trainer Brad Cox said earlier this month that the GII Louisiana Derby at 1 3/16 miles would be “in play” Mar. 20. At age two, this colt looked comfortable settling into authoritative stalk mode for all three of his victories. But in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, he did benefit immensely from a speed setup–the Juvenile’s fastest opening quarter mile since 2014 and its fastest half-mile split since 2003. Essential Quality must overcome the historical burden of only two Juvenile winners in 36 years (Nyquist and Street Sense) parlaying a Breeders’ Cup win into a blanket of roses on the first Saturday in May.
2) CADDO RIVER (c, Hard Spun–Pangburn, by Congrats)O/B-Shortleaf Stable (Ky). T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: 4-2-2-0, $166,092. Last Start: 1st Smarty Jones S., OP, Jan. 23.Accomplishments: ‘TDN Rising Star’Next Start: Uncommitted.Equineline PPs. Ky Derby Points: 10.
I normally wouldn’t get too excited about a recent maiden-breaker who looked dominant on paper wiring an ungraded stakes field. In fact, well-bet, wire-to-wire horses have won each of the previous three editions of the Smarty Jones S., but none made an impact as Derby contenders. Caddo River resonates differently, though. This ‘TDN Rising Star’s 10 1/4-length crushing of the competition on opening day at Oaklawn (92 Beyer Speed Figure) represents the third race in a row this Hard Spun homebred for Shortleaf Stable set or forced the issue while looking relaxed, torqueing out effectively and leaving the impression there was untapped power in reserve. Caddo River broke fluidly, then was subtly cued to quicken from the outermost seven post to make sure he cleared the field and put a length or two of cushion between him and a hard-to-handle 57-1 shot. He loped down the backstretch, then was nudged for more entering the far turn (even though his lead was not in danger). He cruised into a higher gear under light coaxing and was hand-ridden for a solo drive to the wire. Caddo River’s emphatic double-digit winning margin came over a short-stretch configuration, meaning he didn’t have an extra sixteenth of straightaway late in the race to pad that margin. Owned, bred (and named after) Arkansas connections, Caddo River almost certainly will remain on the Oaklawn prep path to Louisville.
3) LIKEABLE (c, Frosted–Dashing Debby, by Medaglia d’Oro)O-Repole Stable, St. Elias Stable & Stonestreet Stables LLC. B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, LLC (Ky). T-Todd Pletcher. Sales history: $350,000 yrl ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 3-1-1-0, $49,050.Last Start: 13th GI TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, KEE, Nov. 6Accomplishments: Mdn win, Belmont, Sept. 19Next Start: UncommittedEquineline PPs. Ky Derby Points: 0.
Likeable celebrates his foaling-date birthday Jan. 26 and appears ready to hit the entries now more than a month into his winter training at Palm Beach Downs. This $350,000 KEESEP Frosted colt’s race progression so far includes a very useful debut at Saratoga when second despite trip woes; a freewheeling one-turn mile MSW at Belmont that he wired by 8 1/2 lengths, and what amounts to a thrown-to-the-wolves 13th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, in which Likeable pulled, got hooked four wide into the first turn, then contributed to an unsustainably torrid pace that cooked him by the time the field hit the far turn. He’s the type of horse who projects to run well at Gulfstream, either in a one-turn mile or at 1 1/16 miles around two, because both configurations favor outright speed.
4) PRIME FACTOR (c, Quality Road–Haylie Brae, by Bernardini)O-CHC Inc. & WinStar Farm LLC. B-Two Hearts Farm LLC (Ky). T-Todd Pletcher. Sales history: $900,000 yrl ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $24,000.Last Start: Mdn win, Gulfstream, Dec. 12Accomplishments: ‘TDN Rising Star’Next Start: Uncommitted.Equineline PPs. Ky Derby Points: 0.
‘TDN Rising Star’ Prime Factor closed at 21-1 odds in last weekend’s Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. It’s likely that his prep path toward the Derby will look similar to that of his sire, Quality Road, who used victories in both the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. and the GI Florida Derby to propel him toward Kentucky Derby favoritism before quarter cracks derailed Quality Road’s chances of starting in the Triple Crown. I wrote in the last installment of the Top 12 how this $900,000 KEESEP colt’s MSW romp Dec. 12 at Gulfstream was the most authoritative maiden win among the Derby candidates, but Saturday’s wowza performance by Prevalence (Medaglia d’Oro) has given Prime Factor a run for the money for that distinction (read more below at No. 7). Still, let’s not allow any form of recency bias to erase how convincingly this Todd Pletcher trainee widened under wraps to blast home by 8 3/4 lengths in an 85 Beyer effort that clocked 0.08 seconds faster than the GIII Sugar Swirl S. for established older distaffers on the same card.
5) JACKIE’S WARRIOR (c, Maclean’s Music–Unicorn Girl, by A. P. Five Hundred)O-J Kirk & Judy Robison. B-J & J Stables (Ky). T-Steve Asmussen. Sales history: $95,000 yrl ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 5-4-0-0, $502,564.Last Start: 4th GI TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, KEE, Nov. 6Accomplishments: 1st GII Saratoga Special, 1st GI Runhappy Hopeful S., 1st GI Champagne S.Next Start: Possible for GIII Southwest S., OP, Feb. 15.Equineline PPs. Ky Derby Points: 12.
Although I’m sure the connections of Jackie’s Warrior would have much rather finished first in the Juvenile to cap what would have been a five-for-five season, the fact that this $95,000 KEESEP Maclean’s Music colt was only 3 1/4 lengths behind Essential Quality in the most important race of the year for 2-year-olds now means “Jackie” doesn’t have to prep for his 2021 debut under a figurative microscope. The pressure of being an undefeated champ comes with the difficult task of being a target for the rest of the division, and for some developing colts, that’s too much. Right now, Jackie is projected to start in the Southwest S., raising the tantalizing possibility of an early-season rematch with Essential Quality (who has not committed either way). Speculating which colt might have the upper hand is a fun mental exercise three weeks out from that race. Right now, I’d give the head-to-head edge to Jackie, based on his dominant ability to control the pace. But that assessment might not hold for longer races deeper into the spring, when stamina questions are likely to swirl.
6) LIFE IS GOOD (c, Into Mischief–Beach Walk, by Distorted Humor)O-CHC Inc & WinStar Farm LLC. B-Gary & Mary West Stable (Ky). T-Bob Baffert. Sales history: $525,000 yrl ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $94,200.Last Start: 1st GIII Sham S., SA, Jan. 2Next Start: Possible for GII San Felipe S., SA, Mar. 6Accomplishments: ‘TDN Rising Star’Equineline PPs. Ky Derby Points: 10.
This $525,000 KEESEP Into Mischief bay is on a similar prep-race trajectory as trainer Bob Baffert’s 2020 Derby winner Authentic, who used the GIII Sham S. and GII San Felipe S. as his early-season springboard until the Derby got rescheduled for September. Baffert has noted similarities between the two colts, who, beyond sharing a sire, are hallmarked by a speed-centric, headstrong, aggressive way of going. ‘TDN Rising Star’ Life Is Good won the Jan. 2 Sham in wire-to-wire fashion, racking up an eye-catching 101 Beyer in the process (Authentic earned a 90 Beyer for his Sham). But, like Authentic in January last year, Life Is Good still comes across as more of a raw-talent work in progress, and it’s difficult to gauge just how sharp a crew Life Is Good roughed up in that strung-out five-horse stakes. Baffert has now won seven editions of the Sham, but Authentic was the only one of his six Derby champs to have won that prep race. In fact, Baffert’s only other Sham winner to even run in the Derby was Bob and John (17th in 2006).
7) PREVALENCE (c, Medaglia d’Oro—Enrichment, by Ghostzapper)O/B-Godolphin (KY); T-Brendan Walsh. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $25,800.Last Start: 1st GP maiden, Jan. 23Next Start: UncommittedAccomplishments: ‘TDN Rising Star’Equineline PPs. Ky Derby points: 0.
The seven-furlong MSW on the Pegasus undercard at Gulfstream Saturday had the look of a “loaded” race as soon as the overnight was drawn, and the only real surprise was that one of the talented colts would manage to win it by 8 1/2 geared-down lengths. Prevalence broke inward and brushed with a rival, then righted himself to prowl through the pack and secure the rail in a spirited five-way fight for the lead. One by one his rivals peeled away, and at the entrance to the turn Prevalence had wrested a half-length lead under pressure. He opened up incrementally while still hand-ridden, and by the head of the lane was as good as gone while some pretty nice colts behind him were under full-out drives. Left in his wake were the runner-up Stage Raider (Pioneerof the Nile), a half-brother to 2018 Triple Crown champ Justify, and third-place Ghazaaly (Curlin), a $1.05-million KEESEP buy. The 89-Beyer performance earned Prevalence ‘TDN Rising Star’ status while also giving Godolphin no fewer than three homebreds (for three different trainers) in the current Top 12.
8) MIDNIGHT BOURBON (c, Tiznow–Catch the Moon, by Malibu Moon)O-Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-Steve Asmussen. Sales history: $525,000 Ylg ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 5-2-1-2, $221,420.Last Start: 1st GIII Lecomte S., FG, Jan. 16Next Start: Aiming for GII Risen Star S., FG, Feb. 13Accomplishments: 3rd GI Champagne S., 2nd GIII Iroquois S.Equineline PPs. Ky Derby points: 16.
Midnight Bourbon, who hit his third birthdate Jan. 25, made a positive impression with a wire-to-wire win in the GIII Lecomte S. The question he’ll need to answer is how much he relied on an ideal pace scenario to propel him to that victory. The Lecomte drew flush with early speed, but after three scratches and a stutter-step start by the remaining main pace threat in the race, this $525,000 KEESEP colt was handed the lead from post one, and was allowed to dictate a moderate enough tempo (:24.68 and :48.99) that left him with plenty of energy to flick away two far-turn bids from the Nos. 9 and 11 contenders on this list. But Midnight Bourbon did finish up professionally while being kept to task, and his 91 Beyer for the effort is respectable for a 3-year-old who hadn’t raced since Oct. 10. Seeing two-time GI Breeders’ Cup Classic champ Tiznow anchor the top line in this colt’s pedigree is heartening from a stamina standpoint, and trainer Steve Asmussen confirmed he would be pointed toward the GII Risen Star S. and GII Louisiana Derby.
9) PROXY (c, Tapit–Panty Raid, by Include)O/B-Godolphin (Ky). T-Michael Stidham. Lifetime Record: 4-2-2-0, $107,700.Last Start: 2nd GIII Lecomte S., FG, Jan. 16Next Start: Possible for GII Risen Star S., FG, Feb. 13Equineline PPs. Ky Derby Points: 4.
Proxy got first run at Midnight Bourbon in the Lecomte S., and although this Tapit homebred for Godolphin couldn’t seal the deal to reel in that solo pacemaker, he did glean a useful lesson in how to claw back his position when headed in the stretch by 4-5 favorite and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Mandaloun as they battled for second. Although the soft internal splits worked to the advantage of Midnight Bourbon, Proxy was only a length behind at the wire, and the 1:44.41 final time for 1 1/16 miles was only 0.14 seconds shy of the same-distance clocking set by older horses in the GIII Louisiana S. earlier on the card. The Lecomte also marked Proxy’s return to Lasix-free racing (he’s now won twice on it and finished second twice without it), which is a must this year for sophomores competing on the Lasix-free Triple Crown trail. “The way he dug in and held off the favorite in the end, and was getting to the winner, I couldn’t have been happier,” said trainer Michael Stidham. “I think the farther the better.”
10) HIGHLY MOTIVATED (c, Into Mischief–Strong Incentive, by Warrior’s Reward)O/B-Klaravich Stables, Inc (Ky). T-Chad Brown. Sales history: $240,000 wnlg ’18 KEENOV. Lifetime Record: 3-2-1-0, $124,050.Last Start: 1st Nyquist S., Kee, Nov. 6Next Start: Uncommitted.Equineline PPs. Ky Derby Points: 0.
Highly Motivated is now two half-mile breezes into his Palm Meadows training for a 2021 debut, meaning the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. (FOY) could be in play. Thus far he’s a 2-for-3 sprint specialist, but this $240,000 KEENOV Into Mischief colt’s stalking 6 1/2-furlong Nyquist S. score was a track-record-setting key race that kicked off the Breeders’ Cup undercard, having produced three next-out winners (in the Sugar Bowl S. at Fair Grounds, a Churchill open allowance, and a Louisiana-bred stakes at Fair Grounds). Jockey Javier Castellano, who has been out since after the Breeders’ Cup to heal from scheduled hip surgery, made it a point earlier this winter to say he’d like to be back in time for the FOY, which is key for this colt, because he was Highly Motivated’s rider every time out last season.
11) MANDALOUN (c, Into Mischief–Brooch, by Empire Maker)O/B-Juddmonte Farms Inc. (Ky). T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $91,252.Last Start: 3rd GIII Lecomte S., FG, Jan. 16Next Start: Possible for GII Risen Star S., FG, Feb. 13Accomplishments: ‘TDN Rising Star’Equineline PPs. Ky Derby Points: 2.
‘TDN Rising Star’ Mandaloun was tactically disadvantaged by being three wide on both turns behind a tepid pace in the Lecomte S., and this Juddmonte homebred by Into Mischief also lost the race within the race by letting Proxy come back to beat him for second after Mandaloun looked him in the eye but couldn’t clear him. Still, in the larger picture, one subpar effort in January shouldn’t derail this colt from Derby aspirations. He bulled through heavy traffic to break his maiden and then convincingly won an allowance, both at Churchill, and his 89 Beyer in the Lecomte still represents an upward arc in Mandaloun’s numbers progression. “I think we are going to add blinkers,” Cox said the day after the Lecomte. “I talked it over with the Juddmonte team and Florent [jockey Geroux]. We kind of thought that ever since his first race.”
12) KEEPMEINMIND (c, Laoban–Inclination, by Victory Gallop)O-Cypress Creek LLC & Arnold Bennewith. B-Southern Equine Stables, LLC (Ky). T-Robertino Diodoro. Lifetime Record: GSW & MGISP, 4-1-2-1, $394,320.Last Start: 1st GII Kentucky Jockey Club S.Accomplishments: 2nd GI Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity,3rd GI TVG Breeders’ Cup JuvenileNext Start: Aiming for the GIII Southwest S., OP, Feb. 15.Equineline PPs. Ky Derby Points: 18.
Although Keepmeinmind didn’t break his maiden until he won the Nov. 29 GII Kentucky Jockey Club S., jockey David Cohen said it was the deep closer’s first career start Sept. 2 that stamped him as a Classic-caliber colt. “When we made that first start at a mile, which is very hard the first time out, we came out of the [second-outermost post], and he made it down to the rail, squeezed through a tight spot, had a tough time for a first start. But he showed a lot of heart,” Cohen told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette last week. As an off-the-pace specialist, the Laoban colt might be against the grain of both the 1 1/16 miles distance and the speed-rewarding nature of the Oaklawn surface in the Southwest S. But so long as Keepmeinmind continues to accumulate qualifying points, the more sneaky-good his Derby chances look. This probably isn’t the type of colt who will get to the first Saturday in May by racking up multiple wins in prep races. But as a maternal grandson of Victory Gallop, he’d be tough to leave out of Derby exotics with a running style that suggests he’s capable of passing multiple horses in the stretch of a 20-horse race over 10 furlongs.
On the Bubble (in alphabetical order):
Bezos (Empire Maker): Baffert trainee closed at 26-1 in Pool 2 of the Derby Future Wager on Sunday-a remarkable price because this $190,000 KEENOV and $400,000 KEESEP colt has yet to start in a race.
Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow): Half to 2019 sprint champ Mitole makes 2021 debut in Saturday’s GIII Robert B. Lewis S. at Santa Anita. This two-time Fasig-Tipton sales grad ($17,000 FTKFEB; $110,000 FTKOCT) was a 94-1 second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
King Fury (Curlin): This $950,000 FTSAUG colt was previously ranked at No. 12 on this list, but workout inactivity so far this year has caused him to be leapfrogged by others who are a bit farther along the Derby trail.
Nova Rags (Union Rags): Favored Bill Mott-trained colt looped group five-sixteenths out and was kept to task despite no challengers late in 75-Beyer Pasco S. tally at Tampa Jan. 16.
Santa Cruiser (Dialed In): Figured as main pace threat in Lecomte off tenacious MSW mile win but got shuffled to last at break and really never ran his race. Closed well enough from far back to manage a better-than-looks fourth.
Speaker’s Corner (Street Sense): Formerly rated at No. 7, this Godolphin homebred trained by Mott owns a key-race MSW win at Belmont back on Oct. 11, but workout inactivity this year has triggered relegation out of the Top 12.
The Great One (Nyquist): Runner-up as a maiden in the Dec. 19 GII Los Alamitos Futurity returned on Saturday to win a Santa Anita MSW by 14 1/2 lengths in a four-horse field. Trainer Doug O’Neill said the San Felipe S. is the next logical spot.
Caddo River (Hard Spun) ได้รับตำแหน่ง ‘TDN Rising Star’ เป็นครั้งที่สามโดยได้รับคะแนนสูงสุด 10 คะแนนระหว่างทางไปยัง GI Kentucky Derby โดยมีคะแนนแรกที่ Smarty Jones S. ของ Oaklawn 3-5 ประตูจากภายนอกเขาใช้ประโยชน์จากช่วงแรกของการกดดันใน 23.12 และครึ่ง -47.16 ขี่โดย Florent Geroux บ้านที่ง่ายที่สุดคือส่งกลับไปที่อ่าวเบงกอล เผยแพร่เมื่อวันที่ 5 กันยายน 5 กันยายน ออกอากาศตอนแรกในวันที่ 11 ตุลาคมที่ Beldo แม่น้ำ Caddo เป็นครั้งที่สองในเจ็ดครั้งแรก Romance Kiki Faro (American Pharoah) ผู้ชนะ Dania Beach ในอนาคตท่ามกลางคนอื่น ๆ วิ่งตามความยาว 9 1/2 “ เขาระวังตัวมาก” Geroux กล่าว “ดีมากและผ่อนคลายม้าประเภทนี้คุณทำอย่างถูกต้องอยากเห็นต่อไปกับผู้บุกเบิกไปง่าย ๆ ฉันต้องการทำทุกอย่างที่พวกเขาสามารถเกษียณได้อย่างถูกต้องเขากล่าวว่าทุกอย่างทำงานได้อย่างสมบูรณ์แบบนี่จะเป็นช่วงหนึ่งที่ จะมากับเธอฉันไม่คิดอย่างนั้นฉันตื่นเต้นมากกับสิ่งต่างๆดูเหมือนว่าเขาจะวิ่งได้ทั้งวันนี่เป็นการเดินที่ดีวันเสาร์แรกของเดือนพฤษภาคมคาดว่าจะมีผู้เข้าร่วมเป็นอย่างดี ม้า “รัฐอาร์คันซอที่ได้รับชื่อแม่น้ำจากชัยชนะในศาลโคโมอินมิชิฟเปรียบเสมือนแม่วัย 2 ขวบของน้องสาวของเขาขึ้นอยู่กับระดับที่สามของเขื่อนให้กำเนิดฮาร์ดสปันในปี 2020 ก่อน เด็กหนุ่ม Nyquist สร้างเขื่อนแห่งที่สอง True Love เป็น SW และรับผิดชอบผู้ชนะ GIII Allaire DuPont S. คนล่าสุด Eres Tu (Malibu Moon) SMRARTY JONES S. , 150,000 ดอลลาร์, Oaklawn, 1-22, 3yo, 1m, 1 : 38.19, ฟุต 1 – CADDO RIVER, 115, c, 3, Hard Spun 1st Dam: Pangburn (SW & MGSP, $ 338,480), Congrats 2nd Dam: นี่คือรักแท้ ใช่, ใช่นี่คือ True3rd Dam: Lovin Spoonful, Dixieland Band 1ST BLACK TYPE WIN ‘TDN Rising Star’ O / B-Shortleaf Stable (KY); ที – แบรดเอชค็อกซ์; J-Florent Geroux 90,000 เหรียญ LifetimeRecord: Smart Strike Contour – Tempers Flair 4-2-2-00; $ 166092.2 – แวน; 115 ค 3 $ (185,000 Ylg ’19 KEESEP; .OL) วิลเลียม & โครินน์ไฮลิกโบรด์; Madaket Stables LLC และ Spendthrift Farm LLC; ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, Inc. (KY) ของ B-Hill; T-Steven M. Asmussen $ 30,000.3 จาก SuperSaver – Big Thorn, 117, c, 3, Big Beast-Save a Rose O / B – Alex & JoAnn Lieblong (FL); T-Stephen M. Asmussen 15,000 ดอลลาร์ระยะขอบ: 10 1/4, 7 1/4, NK อัตราต่อรอง: 0.60, 2.40, 12.40. Aso Ran: Moonlite Strike; Martini Blu คลิกแผนภูมิ Equibase.com หรือวิดีโอที่สนับสนุนโดย Fasig-Tipton