LA Derby (Grade 2) (KYD)- $1,000.000 Purse
FG- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
March 24, 2018
Coming into the LA Derby, the top two horses looked like Zombie City and Blindfold. Neither of these two would disappoint with their effort, but the result between the two of them is a case of one horse getting a clean trip and the other having a very wide trip. That can make a world of a difference, and it was the determining factor in Blindfold defeating Zombie City on this day. Also want to give a shot out to Sacred Brave, the third place finisher, who started from way outside, and held strong to the end. We don’t see enough performances like this that in this game at this level anymore. The win puts Blindfold at 110 points, and likely locks him into to one of Mb Stables’ three allowed spots by the game, since the game makes KYD entries about the owner and not the skill and qualifications of the horse. Otherwise, I could definitely say Blindfold is in. I can definitely say Zombie City is in, and I don’t think this non-win did anything to jeopardize his status as one of the top KYD contenders. Blushing Meadows will have a tough decision with Sacred Brave. He deserves to be in the KYD from what I see, but will probably need one more race. Do you come back in two weeks and have more rest for the KYD if you enter, or come back in three weeks to OP, but have less rest for the KYD? Either way, he’s an interesting one to watch for his next start.
(½ Mile- :47.16)- Breaking sharply out of the gate were, not surprisingly, our two horses in the outermost gates, who are pushed to the front into the opening turn. Processing Class, from Toppedout, emerges with the early lead, and opens up momentarily by two lengths as they make their way around the turn, but that lead gets cut into a little during the backstretch. Sacred Brave was right there early for Blushing Meadows, before electing to back off of close pursuit and assuming a stalking position for the backstretch. Cheapsnake broke alertly as well for John Henry, but also backed off, sitting just two lengths off the lead, and eventually joining a four wide group that also consisted of his stablemate Stainless Metal, our eventual winner, Blindfold from Mb Stables, and One Dance (Gdp Inc). Blindfold had a good lane here in relation to the two frontrunners. Another length and a half back we had another foursome, consisting of (from inside to outside), Trumpomatic (Night Rider Stables), Alpha Uno (Estero Farms), Zombie City (Pan Farms), and Pass Me By (Mb Stables). Zombie City was in the lane directly behind Cheapsnake, so he would need Cheapsnake to continue to run well or it spell trouble for him. Trailing, we would have Die Nasty (Team 7 Illusions), Subutai (EasyMoney Stables), and Rumble (D J C Racing Stables).
(3/4 Mile- 1:10.94)- This next portion of the race was not the most eventful in terms of horses passing others and making moves, but one pretty important thing was starting to take place which was a determining factor in the outcome. Up front, it was still Processing Class over Sacred Brave, but the latter was starting to move on by. Behind them, though, is where a key component occurs. Two groups of four were running right behind the two leaders. Blindfold, in the second lane, just needed Sacred Brave to continue moving forward, and then he could do his thing at the top of the stretch. Meanwhile, as mentioned above, Zombie City needed Cheapsnake to continue to run well ahead of him. This did not happen, and Cheapsnake would become the slowest of that group of four ahead of him. This forced him to have to alter his lane, which slowed him up. To his outside, Pass Me By was being a good stablemate for Blindfold and not easily allowing Zombie City to move over. Something would have to give for Zombie City, and while we waited for that to occur, things were looking pretty clear for Blindfold.
(Top of Stretch, 2F To Go)- At the front, Sacred Brave continued to run well and takes a lead by about a length, which was looming as an impressive feat giving his starting position in the gate. Processing Class had some fight in him, but could not match up to Sacred Brave. This allowed Blindfold to pretty much gracefully slide over a lane without issue and have nothing but daylight in front of him. He’d have to make up a length on Sacred Brave. It was not that easy for Zombie City, who had to make an outside move to get around One Dance. One problem there. One Dance was also looking to make an outside move, and kept coming down and down. Therefore, Zombie City needed to keep adjusting to that. This went on for about half a mile before Zombie City could actually focus on making a stretch run, and not on running into One Dance. He’d be about eight or nine wide by the time it was done. One Dance had his own intentions on winning as he seemed full of run. Stainless Metal, Alpha Uno, and Cheapsnake all just seemed to be riding along and maintaining positions. Rumble had moved up after trailing the field most of the way, and had a lane open up for him along the inside while all the fighting for position was going on to the outside, and he would capitalize on this opportunity. Others weren’t showing much.
(Finish- 1:48.15)- In the stretch, Blindfold had a tougher then expected challenge from Sacred Brave running along the rail, as they got closer to the wire, he was able to complete the pass. Charging on the outside was Zombie City. This was an impressive run from one of the best three year olds in the game right now, and because of that talent, he’s able to still finish second when the trip completely went against him. Sacred Brave was a good looking third, and as mentioned in the opening, I am eager to see where he ends up next. Rumble closed well for fourth, but will probably need April heroics in one of the final preps to get into the KYD. From there, throw a blanket on the rest of the field, it was that close. Anyone could have finished between 5th and 13th. The official final running order in those positions is One Dance, Processing Class, Pass Me By, Stainless Metal, Trumpomatic, a dead heat between Alpha Uno and Die Nasty, then Cheapsnake and Subutai.
About The Winner: Blindfold, trained by Mb Stables and ridden by R Bejarano, is a three year old colt by Engine Failure and out of Breeze On By. This win gives Mb Stables, and sire Engine Failure the double between the FG Oaks and LA Derby. Blindfold was bred in Ontario by Mb Stables as a third quarter two year old, and they have been together throughout. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his fourth in six starts, and second graded win. His career earnings are now $852.020.
Time: :47 1:104 1:352 1:48
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 3 – 5 Paid 50.60
$1 Trifecta: 3 – 5 – 15 Paid 1,329.50
Scratched: Drift, Indistinguishable, Lucky Phooey
Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES