The AR Derby (Grade 1) (KYD)- $1,000.000 Purse
OP- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
April 14, 2018
At the 13th running of the AR Derby, Mb Stables came out on top with his colt, Indistinguishable, a colt by Moment Of Madness, who had a great career in his own right. Typically, we automatically say that the AR Derby winner is going to the KYD, but that is not an automatic. Due to the unfortunate set of rules that were put into place by the game, thinking it would improve the KYD though accomplishing the opposite, the entries for the race are not about the horses entirely, but about the trainer that nominates them, and as such, Mb Stables is limited to three entries, when he could have qualified six. On the surface, Indistinguishable seems like he’d be selected, but part of me wonders if Mb Stables will simply target the PRK more for him due to the timing between starts. It’s the second time that Mb Stables has won the race, as he also did so in 2013 with Red Echo. Winning jockey J R Velazquez gets his first, and the time of the race was 1:48.32. For a little bit of record keeping, note that there was a late scratch in this race (Wicked Orange), and Splash Mountain, from Smokey Stover, would draw in from the also eligible list. Let’s take a look!
(½ Mile- :46.69)- Splash Mountain, from Smokey Stover, wanted to make sure everyone noticed he was now in the race with an explosive start. In the run up to the turn, and midway through it, he had a lead which was at one time, three and a half lengths. Sacred Brave, from Blushing Meadows, was in the second position, but did not challenge Splash Mountain, and actually dropped back slightly in the backstretch. Emerging second would be Mo Mentum Farm’s Stormin Cobra, who wasn’t initially as fast, but made a strong push around the turn and at the top of the backstretch to get close to the lead, and pull to within a length of Splash Mountain after a mile. Sacred Brave was now third and four lengths back, running with Erupt (D J C Racing Stables), Liverpool Rocket (Estero Farms), and One Hen (Gdp Inc). Indistinguishable was by himself for Mb Stables, between groups of four-wide horses, running seventh, and six lengths out. The foursome a length behind him, from inside to outside consisted of La Grande Terre (Smokey Stover), Gumshoe (EasyMoney Stables), Nowhere Man (Smokey Stover), and Secret To Success (Mb Stables). At the back, and running together were Subutai (EasyMoney Stables), Babalu Time (Night Rider Stables), and Dastardly Havoc (Mb Stables).
(3/4 Mile- 1:10.34)- Not much has changed during the next two furlongs, though some near the back were clearly looking for their path to the front. At the front, though, Stormin Cobra opted to not aggressively chase Splash Stover, and settled into a stalking position of the front runner about a length and a half from the front. No one in the next group of four were pushing quite yet, though Liverpool Rocket seemed to be gearing up for a run soon after this point. Indistinguishable was still behind that four, but still had to like not having anyone to this immediate inside or outside. Further back, Dastardly Havoc was making a move on the outside. Otherwise, just a lot of jostling around for position and searching for lanes for the stretch.
(Top Of Stretch- 1.5F To Go)- Splash Mountain was continuing to look good. His advantage was two and a half lengths, and he could smell the KYD at this point. Did the rest of the field let him get away? All he had to do was not blow it at this point. Behind him, there were moves being made, but Stormin Cobra, who had been chasing him, was not going to be one of them. Liverpool Rocket had moved into second, and Sacred Brave was in good form at the top of the stretch as well. Stormin Cobra slipped into the clutches of them, but still was third at this point. One Hen seemed to have a good run on the rail, while Indistinguishable had a lot to work to do, running seventh still, and four and a half length off the pace. Erupt and Nowhere Man had now pulled up his outside as well. Secret To Success and Dastardly Havoc were hoping for some magic in the outside lanes. La Grande Terre, Subutai, Babalu Time, and Gumshoe looked like they were left behind.
(Finish- 1:48.32)- With half a furlong to go, Indistinguishable still had two lengths to make up. The race leader, Splash Mountain was clinging to the lead but very vulnerable on the lead. If Splash Mountain was the only one Indistinguishable needed to pass, then it would not seem impossible, but how was he going to get by Liverpool Rocket, who also seemed to be in good stride on the outside and was a length and half ahead of him. Nowhere Man had passed him in the stretch, how would he get back by? Sacred Brave still needed to be passed, and stablemate Dastardly Havoc on the outside seemed like he was the trainer’s best bet here. Then, it was as if a switch was turned on. Indistinguishable simply exploded in the dying moments, and I am still at a los for words on how to describe it. It was stunning, and clearly an impressive victory. Certainly with this late stretch performance, he’ll love the KYD. In everyone other stable, he is safely in the race, and while I think that he will be selected as one of Mb’s three, it is not a given and not my decision, so I don’t want to say he is in, officially. Who is official is second place Liverpool Rocket. Splash Mountain did a good job hanging on for third, but may not have picked up enough points. Possible though, probably an also eligible, which means he can just repeat his AR Derby performance. Fourth place Sacred Brave is a name that I don’t want anyone to forget. His performance here should get him in the KYD due to the restrictions on Mb Stables, and if he is in the KYD, watch out for him. He has had the absolute worst luck with post draws this prep race season, and if his luck can change in the KYD post draw, he could be tough and potentially that one who slips under the radar on race day.
Behind the top four the rest of the field will have to make alternative decisions. Nowhere Man ran well, was close, but just fifth. Perhaps he ends up in the PRK. One Hen did well against the boys, all things considered, placing sixth. Dastardly Havoc, Erupt, Babalu Time, and Stormin Cobra were the next four, and further back, a tough day for EasyMoney with Subutai and Gumshoe being left behind, along with Secret To Success, and La Grande Terre.
About The Winner: Indistinguishable, trained by Mb Stables, and ridden by J R Velazquez, is a three year old colt by Moment Of Madness, and out In Your Mind. He was bred in California as a yearling by Mb Stables, and they have been together since the start. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his fifth in 10 starts, his fourth stake win, and second graded win. His career earnings are now $1,559.500.
Time: :463 1:101 1:351 1:481
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 5 – 10 Paid 30.80
$1 Trifecta: 5 – 10 – 15 Paid 716.50
Scratched: General Madness, Wicked Orange
Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES