The AR Derby – Grade I [KYD]
OP Race #4 1 1/8m Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $1,000.00 For Three Year Olds.
1 Out On A limb, trained by Smokey Stover
traditionally this race is the last chance cafe for many KYD hopefuls and this is a great example of the type of horse that fits that description perfectly. he started out well enough finishing second in the Allison Derby on seasonal debut he then ran an absolute cracker in the Gotham to finish like a train for a very close second to How To Laff. His last start was in the LA Derby but he got the wide draw in that race and was a victim of the wide gate speed push thus ruining any chance he had. Ignoring that run and back on the inside today he has a very good chance of taking the win.
2 Lord High Admral, trained by John Henry
This is an intreging race with the two that dead heated in The Rebel taking each other on again. This son of Iron Throne was flying at the finish that day after getting well back in the running so you would expect him to be more suited by this trip. A blistering 1.36 flat work at the beginning of the month told us this one is still improving and there are plenty of plus’s next to his name on both form and works. He can certainly win but i am very dubious about these races and it takes a lot to win two qualifiers in a row.
3 Major Weiner, trained by Night Rider Stables
Finally won his maiden at the start of the year but then ran a poor race in the Risen Star and looked little more than a KYD pipe dream. He put those doubters to bed though last time out when he was running on strongly to be third beaten less than a length in the SUN Derby. That was a pretty good run and with a decent draw he certainly has a shout in an open race.
4 Profound Approach, trained by Blushing Meadows
Bought for $375 after a good third in the Remsen he has been largely disappointing since with three starts for no wins. Having said that he ran a cracker in the CA Cup Derby to be beaten just a head into second but then was pretty absent in both the Fountain Of Youth and The LA Derby. This being HRP he will probably come out and win this off the front in a record time but in a tight race i cant see too many reasons to get excited with his chances.
5 Winged Feeney, trained by Four Winds Racing
Flew late to be second in the El Camino and then did the same to be fourth in the SUN Derby. His running style will always get him into trouble but if he can find a clear passage he may squeek into the money.
6 The Force Awakens, trained by Diablo Diablo
He was a lively Derby hope after winning the Front Runner as a two year old before a close sixth in the BC. His reappearance in the Holy Bull was full of promise as he finished from the clouds for a one length fifth so he was expected to do the business in the SUN Derby last time out and make the KYD field. For some reason he ran very flat in that race staying on for a never dangerous ninth and lost plenty of supporters in the process. It would be great to see him bounce back today and his works havent suffered so there is no reason he cant get back into the big picture.
7 Winter Is Coming, trained by D J C Racing Stables
Has been highly tested in his career but has yet to really break through as a serious contender for the Roses. A poor effort in the Fountain Of Youth saw him return to allowance company last time for a confidence boost and he did the job nicely winning by an easy two lengths. I am not sure that is enough to convince me he is a Derby horse but he is entitled to take his chance today.
8 Finished Laffin, trained by Buddhabase
Had been pretty good a ungraded stakes level as a two year old but when he won the CA Cup Derby on seasonal debut he convinced his trainer that he could be a KYD hope. He took his chance in the San Felipe but ran pretty poorly to be eighth but has improved in his work times since that race so can be expected to do better today.
9 Mucho Cruncher, trained by Aer Stables
He has been on the fringe of KYD qualification all season kicking off with a promising second in the Davis Stakes. He kept on well in the San Felipe but could only finish a never dangerous fifth but put in a career best effort in the LA Derby to finish like a train for fourth beaten just a length. He put in a 1.36 and 1 mile work at the end of last year so is certainly entitled to a big race and on that last start in the LA Derby should be a big threat in this field.
10 Cube Zero, trained by Yahudi Stables
Bought for a tilt at the Derby he ran well enough in both the Southwest and the Spiral to suggest it was a decent purchase. There’s no reason he shouldnt run an honest race but i just get the impression a mile is about as far as he wants to go.
11 Shen Valley, trained by Keikowin Racing
A top two year old he was a close third in the Bret Futurity and a brilliant fourth in the BC Juvenile from a terrible draw. He reappeared in the Holy Bull ad stayed on to be seventh so was expected to get into the frame for the San Felipe last time out. Whether it was by default or planned he went to the front in that race and followed the HRP playbook by weakening and in the end finished a poor eleventh. There is no doubt he is better than that effort but you would have to more hope than facts to back up any confidence.
12 All Out Blitz, trained by Mb Stables
Stop the presses Mb Stables only has one runner !!! With his top hopes already in the KYD he gives this one a last go and he does have a lively chance despite a poor draw. Third in the Southwest and fourth in the Spiral he is certainly in the mix for an open looking race.
13 Jolly Be Native, trained by Kopites
Was mighty impressive in the game way he held on in the Rebel after making all the running he may end up in front again as this wide draw will ping him out the front unless Kopites can find some brakes. He is certainly one of the form horses in the race being a nose third in the BC and a close fourth in the Holy Bull. If he had been drawn three i would be tipping him to win but this is a tough place to win from.
14 Banshee Star, trained by Joseph Racing
Its such a shame that Joseph Racings top three year old ended up with the car park draw as again with an inside draw he would have been high on my list of chances. A head second in the Southwest and a half length second in the SUN Derby put him right up there with the best of these but he will have to work hard from this draw to get into the race.
Two of my fancies for this race got horrible draws so whilst Jolly Be Native or Banshee Star may still win i find it hard to tip them from gate 13 and 14. Out On A Limb gives me some good feelings so i may take him at a price with Lord High Admiral and Mucho Cruncher chasing him home.