The Iowa Derby – Grade III
PRM Race #1 1 1/16m Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $250.000 For Three Year Olds.
1 King Riggo, trained by Jackrussell Farms
Went on the TC trail after winning an allowance at the start of the year but fell at the first hurdle in the Spiral finishing a never dangerous eighth. He tried again in the IL Derby but again failed to sire and he was put out for a while to freshen up rather than thrashing the dead donkey. That rest clearly did him good as he ran a nice race to be a very close third in the Pennine Ridge last time out and although that was on turf i am not sure he prefers that surface. His works have been pretty solid and running from the ace draw today he has the ability to surprise a few.
2 Cube Zero, trained by Yahudi Stables
Also ran in the Spiral finishing well in front of King Riggo when second. Bought for $250.000 after that good effort he then tried a win and youre in race in the AR Derby but ran pretty poorly to be thirteenth albeit not beaten far. His works are solid enough and whilst he hasnt set the world alight just yet he clearly has some ability and may put in a decent effort today.
3 Lord High Admiral, trained by John Henry
Won The Rebel and the AR Derby on the way to the KYD and went into that race with plenty of confidence, so much he started favourite. Drawn badly he ran pretty well showing up for a long way before getting tired and finishing sixth. That wasnt a bad effort considering his draw and the sloppy ground and he was again made favourite for his next race, The Preakness. Taken way back this time he kept on past traffic to be fifth, looking a little unlucky in running. His last four runs coupled with strong works make him a very strong chance in this race and it will take an improving horse to beat him.
4 All Memories, trained by Mb Stables
Burst on the scene in the TUP Derby beating a decent field by a length. That set him up for a tilt at qualifying for the KYD but a hard closing fourth in the Rebel saw him miss out at the expense of others in his stable. Without the TC to worry about he then ran second in the Coolmore Lexington before taking on older horses last time out when a nice second in the All American. He has plenty of ability and is working as well as any so could easily be yet another three year old winner for Mb Stables but i am not sure he can beat Lord High Admiral without improving a touch more.
5 Nebraska Heir, trained by Drabfantasy
With just two runs, one of them being a maiden win it is hard to weigh up this lightly raced colt. The maiden win was pretty stylish though and his works are thereabouts so it isnt impossible to see him getting a soft lead and maybe being part of the finish.
6 Warrior Chant, trained by Sccj Stables
Took the Risen Star on his way to the KYD but had a terrible draw and hated the ground ending up a poor seventeenth on the big day. A rest and a change of conditions saw him quietly fancied for the BEL but another horror draw saw him end up a well beaten tenth. He gets a wider draw for the fourth start in a row today but a smaller field wont hurt him so much and i have a feeling it may be the last chance cafe for the colt.
7 Crop Duster, trained by Barcelona Farms
He has an interesting chance here and brings a different form line to most of the field to this race. I liked his effort in the LS Handicap last time where he gave weight to a four year old and was only beaten a half length into second. Before that he was a somewhat long priced winner of the Tessio Stakes and looking at his work times he may turn out to be the sort of improver who is ready to take out some of the big guns in this race.
8 Romper Stomper, trained by Blushing Meadows.
Won two from two before a poor effort in the San Felipe he then changed hands for $115 and failed pretty poorly at allowance level on the turf. His dirt works suggest this may be his surface and in truth he is working as good as many but a wide draw and limited experience at this level may just rule out a winning chance.
An interesting race with TC form mixing with those who failed to get in the TC picture. There is no doubt that Lord High Admiral looks head and shoulders above these on form alone but on HRP that doesnt mean much and it can pay to look outside the box in these races. With that in mind i am going for Crop Duster to beat Lord High Admiral and All Memories.