Can We Trust Fox News to Repeat Itself in SA Derby?

SA Derby – Grade I [KYD]
SA   Race #14   1 1/8m   Dirt   Graded Stake
Purse $1,000.000  For Three Year Olds.

1  Powerful Suit    Nakamura Stables  Prat F    Things were going pretty well for this home bred entire when he took the Hopeful Stakes at the end of last year and then started off this year with a win in the Sham Stakes. A wide draw in the Rebel last time out saw him taken right to the back of the field and he sort of lost interest and never really improved. That last start was pretty awful but he also ran poorly in an allowance when drawn wide so it could be he just needs a decent draw and if he gets out of the gate well today we could see a return to form for him. His works are good enough going under 1:37 in his last public work and the stable has a Nak of getting good horses in the KYD.

2  Reach For A Latte    Saratoga Stud   Albarado R J
You could safely put this one in the same camp as Powerful Suit as he too was looking sharp when winning the Lewis Stakes but then never made an impression when eighth in the San Felipe Stakes last time. He gets a good enough draw today so if he is ever going to get into the KYD it will be today and like the horse inside him he managed to go under 1:37 in his last public work. He wont start favourite but he does have a decent chance and i certainly would take a serious look at him.

3  Sneaky Little Heist    Joseph Racing   Bejarano R
Has been sold twice recently for fairly low prices which is surprising when you look at what he has achieved so far. A solid third in the Nashua ended a short two year old career but he was soon back as a three year old running a decent fourth in the Jerome before a game win in the TUP Derby. He was disappointing in the mud in the Spiral last time but ignoring that he has some good form and will stay this trip all day. a sub 1:37 work seems to be the qualification for these races and he did that in his last public work so on the face of it he is no better or worse than many of these runners. A good draw will help his chances and the booking of Bejarano is significant.

4  Pretty Ferro    Estero Farms   Velazquez J R
Made it four wins in a  row with a gutsy win in The Gotham last time and will be among the favourites for this race after taking The Swale before that. A 1:36 1/5 work is among the fastest in the field and he is sitting pretty in the four box giving his owner plenty of options with the instructions. There is very little downside with him, he can race on pace and that will be essential in a race that is bound to get blocky in behind and he has shown great racing heart so far. Downsides? well that arent any apart from maybe the trip but he has shown no signs of stopping up to a mile so far.

5  Maniaco del Controll   Threshold   Ortiz J L

Won his maiden on turf as a two year old after four previous efforts and didnt really look like a KYD type. In his only start this year he ran much better than his finishing position in the Davis Stakes when drawn wide getting to within 3 lengths of the winner after a bad trip. A sub 1:37 work suggests he has come on for that run and I expect much better from a  kinder draw today.

6  Joffre                   Mb Stables   Gallardo A A
Ran some good races last year and caught the eye when finishing on late in the Ky Jockey Club but for some reason he switched to turf after that run. He has run well enough since winning a turf route on this track and his last start in the Columbia Stakes wasnt bad when running on for second. His dirt works have been strong and he may be the dark horse of the field.

7  Commands Fate    Eastern Equine   Baze T C
Took his maiden on debut and although he hasn’t won in his three subsequent starts he has run well enough to be a contender in this race. His fifth in the Best Pal last August was pretty good and he went on to place at allowance level before going away for a long break. 6 months later and without another start he worked 1:36 3/5 which certainly puts him in this race but with what chance it is anyones guess.

8  Wild Fame    Jive Inc.    Colon L H
Just a maiden winner as a two year old he put himself into the picture on his second start as a three year old when taking the El Camino with a dominant front running effort. Bought for a very expensive looking $650.000 after that win he then ran a soldi fifth in the Rebel but faded after leading just after halfway. A 1:36 3/5 work back in January was probably the reason for his high price tag but he will have to do better today for his trainer to be smiling at 19:25pm

9  Minutes Hand    Fractious   Bravo J
He was just an average turf sprinter as a two year old but his fortunes changed dramatically when switched to dirt routing as a three year old. A good second in the CA Derby was followed by a good effort from a wide draw in the Southwest but his best performance came in his last start in the San Felipe. Buried from the 2 gate he got well back before powering home for third just a length behind Fox News and Centerpiece. His works are in the ball park and that last run was close to the best form in this race so he must be considered a big chance.

10  Pauls Checkmark    Mb Stables   Garcia Mar
How many horses have we seen from this stable that have won pretty ordinary races, but find an entry in a race like this and have as good a chance as any? Two sub 1:37 works in March suggest he is far better than two narrow wins in starter allowance company but how much better we will have to wait and find out.

11  Fox News    D J C Racing Stables Pennington F
This race is made all the more interesting with two of the principal runners being drawn widest of all. Up until the San Felipe last time this colt had looked pretty ordinary with just the maiden win as a two year old. His seasonal debut was in the Holy Bull where he ran a cracker after stalking the pace to be fourth but then turned all his form upside down last time with a  huge win from a wide gate. Well behind for much of the race he showed a great turn of foot to storm home and win by just under a length and if you look at those last two efforts he would have to among the favourites for this big prize.

12  Centerpiece    Mb Stables   Ortiz I Jr
Second to Fox News in his last start he faces a tough task from the outside gate but with 2 other runners in the race i am sure the trainer can get this one where he wants him during the race. The winner of the grade one Hopeful and Champagne last year before a great second in the BC Juvenile it would be a great shame if he didn’t make the KYD field  on the basis of a horrible draw but he has overcome the car park before so I wouldn’t write him off just because of that.

SUMMARY
On form so far this year this would look to be between Centerpiece, Fox News and Pretty Ferro. The big question will be how the race maps out as two of those are drawn wide and with the possibility they will all ‘out tactic’ each other we may see yet another runner emerge as a KYD hopeful. Of those three Pretty Ferro seems to have most in his favour though and he would have to be my first choice.



Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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