The KYD – Grade I
CD 1 1/4m Dirt
Purse $2,000.000 For Three Year Olds.
Looking at the history of the KYD we may be able to find some pointers as to how the 2018 running will pan out.
This will be the 15th running of the HRP KYD and there are a few facts that can be easily gleaned from looking at its history. Only one jockey has won the race more than once and that was K J Desmoreaux who has won it no less than four times. With a great strike rate he may be the one everyone wants on the big day.
In the training ranks we have no outstanding trainer with fourteen different trainers taking the prize so whilst there are clearly those trainers that have an outstanding record at HRP it seems the KYD puts no weight on reputation or past achievements.
The fastest ever KYD was won in 2.00.56 by Sanny Villages Cryptomagic whilst the slowest was Willow Groves slog through the mud in 2011 when he stopped the clock at 2.08.14. We have seen five off tracks in the fourteen running’s so the possibility of rain is very real.
The draw is a constant factor here at HRP not because outside or inside draws can’t win, Water Mummy won from gate one in 2016 and Fusion won from gate 20 in 2007 so its not the gate thats the problem but which instructions will work from that gate. Certainly draw 4 through to 10 would be the favoured gates.
So that is the background to the race and the people, what about the important part, the horses.
Prep races must play a part and if we look at the lead up races of previous winners it makes for interesting reading. All 14 previous winners have raced between 2 and 4 times as a three year old before their wins in the KYD with the clear average being 3. So that’s the first clue. The other significant clue is the fact that only three horses have won either the SA, FL or AR Derby races before winning the KYD. They were the great Five Fives and the first ever HRP KYD winner Fuji Ninja and last years winner Shootfromthehip. Dani Dauntless and Laffin To Mia both finished second in the Wood Memorial before the KYD but no Wood Memorial winner has ever won the KYD. So what does that all tell us? Well don’t be afraid to discount a poor prep race and don’t automatically go for the winner of one of the big four qualifiers the SA, FL, AR Derby’s or the Wood Memorial. With the exception of Five Fives, Fusion, Ghost Walker and shootfromthehip all the other winners have suffered a significant defeat in one of their prep races, in fact only 7 of the 14 previous winners won before the KYD. 2014 winner Laffin To Mia was a poor seventh in the TAM Derby, Commanding was ninth in the Risen Star, Willow Grove fifth in the FL Derby and Water Mummy third in the Wood Memorial.
Last years winner Shootfromthehip was probably the most qualified to win a KYD winning the Southwest and the FL Derby on the way to his brilliant win and Fusion was two from two before the KYD taking the Risen Star on his way to victory.
The last big question is HRP’s biggest source of controversy at the moment and thats whether a rabbit will be used. With 4 of the owners in the race having more than one runner it is a real possibility that one will be sacrificed as a pacemaker. The KYD is the KYD though and i feel that no-one will be able to sacrifice a runner to set it on fast and end up with a ridiculous race like the SA Derby. Everything has a chance in this race and i can’t imagine any trainer setting a pace faster than AA just in case their front runner can last home. So do we end up with a Calvary charge and more blocks than minecraft or will we see an even race with the best horse on the day having every chance regardless of instructions, it will be down to the 4 owners as to which KYD we will see this year.
So with no more ado lets looks at each of the runners for the 2018 KYD
1 Performance Artist Serenity Stables Maldonado E
He has changed hands a good few times but the fact that he has got more expensive each time is a good indication that he is an improving sort. He won his maiden at his second attempt and had already changed hands twice in that time but showed some glimmer of Derby potential before being sold a third time by Aer Stables. Estero Farms raced him twice before selling him on once more, firstly he ran a solid third in the Smarty Jones and then ran on pace from a wide draw and stuck on pretty well to be beaten under a length by Lane Frost in the Fountain Of Youth. With plenty of Derby prospects already in their barn Estero Farms took the cash and sold him to his current owner for $450.000 who rolled the dice once more in the FL Derby. Running from gate 12 he once again went on the pace and again kept on pretty well to hold second and i must say i am impressed with the way he handled those two wide gates, a real positive for this race.
He worked a public dirt mile in 1.36 and 3 and whilst not the quickest mile work it is plenty good enough. That work was an improvement over previous mile works which i always like to see heading into a KYD and his prep work for this was good enough to let us know he is in good form.
There is a lot to like about his pedigree on both his sires side and his dams. Stars and Bars has made an OK start to his career in the shed, as yet this one is the only one to achieve much but there are plenty of nice types and he will only get more popular if Performance Artist runs well. A graded stakes winner over a mile and a half there is plenty of stamina to come through in the genes with the likes of Copper Bottom and Laffin Policeman in his lineage.
On the dams side whilst the mare herself was unraced there is Chai Latte and Steel Ball blood there and there is a lot to like about the genes, again this one is the only one of her offspring to achieve much but with only six foals there will be plenty of time.
Most people would steer away from the average heavy forehand but he has proved he has ability so too much can’t be read into it. A routers conformation is bourne out by his size and weight.
This one is bred for this trip and as i said earlier i like the way he performed from outside draws in his qualifying races. It will be very different today as he races from the dreaded one gate but as long as he gets away fast enough and stalks an average pace then i dont think his chances are ruined by the draw. He wont be among the favourites for the race but i do like him a lot and he could be a bit of a dark horse.
2 Local Hero D J C Racing Stables Centeno D E
His form is a bit in and out and i have a feeling he is better than his form figures suggest. He took a long time to win his maiden as a juvenile finally taking a statebred sprint maiden but then he followed up in a quick time in an optional claimer on seasonal debut as a three year old. A widish draw saw him finish an anonymous sixth in the Withers but he was a lot better in the TAM Derby when flying home late just a length behind the winner Regret Nothing. In his last start he tried hard in the Wood Memorial to dead heat for second just a half behind the winner Ride Or Die. His form it has to be said isnt screaming Derby winner but he is entitled to run well and i wouldnt be writing him off.
His last public dirt mile work was way back as a two year old when he ran a 1.37 and 4 but more recently he ran a 1.10 and 1 six furlong work which is pretty quick compared to some others in this race.
Well if there is a better bred horse in the field i would like to see it as this one is sired by the great BC Classic winner Niagra and out of the BC Fillies and mares sprint winner Distant Cousin. This is Niagra’s second runner in the race and as i have said about that one if this horse has 10 percent of his father’s abiility he will go close.
His dam is all about ability too, she was super racehorse and has produced another black type winner in Tourist so as far as successful parents go this one is head and shoulders above these.
A pretty good conformation with more speed than stamina but nothing there to be worried about.
Its true his form just isnt KYD winning form but its not bad and its hard to get away from how good both his parents were. However he runs today i have a feeling he has a big future in the shed. He has a decent draw but will find it tough if he goes too far back as the inside gates can get a bit buries. He was closer to the pace in the Wood last time and i think his best chance from the draw in this race is if he can get into the top 4 early on.
3 Zombie City Pan Farms Gallardo A A
He took a fairly unorthodox route as a two year old finishing close seconds in two maidens but then taking on better company rather than seeking a third maiden. He ran well in an allowance before a good second in a statebred stakes race before winning the Sleepy Hollow to finally get the off the mark. Hos final start as a juvenile saw him flying late to take second in the KY Jockey Club and really spelt out his owners ambition to get this one KYD bound. The dream didnt take long to come about as on the 1st January he beat What Have You Done by a fairly comfortable length in the Jerome before an impressive on pace win in The Risen Star Stakes. Running from a horrible wide gate he went up onto the speed and was in the lead well before halfway and never really looked like being caught. He had a length to spare on the line from People Doubted and people were really beginning to sit up and notice this one as a real Derby prospect. His run for second in the LA Derby last time out was even better than his final placing as he tracked fairly wide for much of the race and got beat only a half length by Blindfold who had a much better trip. His efforts this year make him a leading contender in a very open KYD.
His only public dirt mile work came as a two year old last August when he clocked 1.37 and 4, a very respectable time for an August two year old. Since then his public works have been pretty difficult to read although the last Handy work he had resulted in a 57 and 3 five furlongs so i think its safe to say he is working well enough.
Though his sire City Of Angels never won a race he has been a consistent producer as a stud.His daughters City Bus and Mortality won at graded level and his son City Ball Drop continues to run well at a high level. His Sires sire Hollywood Moon has produced plenty of quality and there is Charley Farley on both his female side as well as Zombie City’s dams line.
His dam Zombie Island hasnt produced any other winners in her 8 offspring but did manage a couple of small wins on the track. Overall this is a decent bloodline without being outstanding and would not stand in the way of this gelding taking the win.
A very sound horse he has a balanced conformation with enough speed and stamina to balance it nicely. At 15.3hh and 1204 Lbs he may be a little heavy for a router but that could also mean that he is well muscled and strong enough to shoulder the 126Lbs.
I liked this horses run in the LA Derby and he has been one of the more consistent Derby qualifiers over his three year old campaign which is normally a good sign. He gets a perfect draw here so he should be able to take up a good early position without too much trouble. I very much like his chances and with some of the more fancied horses drawn wide this may be his Derby to lose.
4 Gumshoe EasyMoney Stables Hernandez R M
A champion two year old he won the DMR Futurity and of course the BC Juvenile in a great season that saw him earn nearly $1,500.000. In his first start as a three year old he was drawn wide and got put in front weakening late to be second to Blindfold in the Holy Bull Stakes. Though beaten the wide draw certainly didnt help and his reputation remained intact as he went to the San Felipe for his next start. Once again drawn wide this time he stalked the lead but was a little one paced inside the distance ending up fourth but only beaten a length. Again the wide draw seemed to be the problem and when he graced the field in the AR Derby drawn 3 we all expected to see the real Gumshoe. For some reason this time he was spat out the back and although he made ground he lost places ending up 12th and leaving his trainer scratching his head as to what went wrong. It seems like many BC Juvenile winners he has failed to train on so well as a three year old and it would need the old Gumshoe to return in order to feature here.
His only public mile work was way back in July as a two year old when he ran a 1.38 and since then we have only seen him over six furlongs in public. A quick glance at his works show us Gumshoe’s biggest problem is that there is very little improvement between October last year and the present and whilst 1.10 and 4 was great as a two year old it is only above average as a three year old.
The sire Big Easy a Charley Farley offspring did nothing on the track remaining a maiden in 6 attempts. He fared much better in the shed siring both this one and Rifleman in his first season. The sires Dam was Red Gemini who was a grade one winner who finished third in the BC fillies and mares turf. There does seem to be a bit of a turf bias in this side of the genes.
His dam Express Empress only won one on the track but she has had a little success as a broody although Gumshoe is the only one to go past the $100.000 in winnings mark. Her sire Inspector Clouseau had a turf bias too and I must admit there is a part of me that wonders if Gumshoe may rediscover himself if given some grass to run on.
There is nothing in his conformation to suggest he wouldn’t train on from his champion two year old days. The biggest and heavyist horse in the race he has a near perfect conformation and may just need plenty of racing to get him fit. A short illium means he wont be afraid of any rain.
Well if this race was run 6 months ago he would almost be favourite but a lack of improvement since his two year old days has seen him fall back into the pack a little. Its great to see him with a really competitive draw as there can be no excuses this time and i for one hope that we see the old Gumshoe.
5 Handsome D J C Racing Stables Saez L
Just average at two he only raced at six furlongs and won his seasonal debut at that trip in January. His owner is the eternal optimist and his placement in the Battaglia Memorial Stakes paid off as he ran over the top of the average sprinter Red Angel Dragnet to win by a quarter length. That still didnt look enough to make him a serious contender but his last start in the SUN Derby certainly did as he beat the strongly fancied Indistinguishable by a strong three quarters of a length. I liked the way he took up a good position in that race and did everything right showing good manners and plenty of heart. This may be the best of the stables two runners and a good win record must be respected.
A recent public mile work of 1.36 and 4 isnt too bad but he isnt the best worker in the field. That often happens with horses that have plenty of heart as they out perform their works and i wouldnt be overly concerned that his work times are a little off the best of them.
Well there is little doubt that he has the most successful sire in the field in Niagra the great BC Classic winner and of course the fourth placed finisher in this very race. He hasnt exploded as much as i hoped in the shed and that may be something to do about the depth in his bloodlines rather than his own ability. If he is a tenth as good as his Father he will go close.
On his dams side Festival only won once as a racehorse but there are some nice bloodlines in her make up most notably Jolly Be Great and HRP Secretariat and she has produced a few good ones in black type winners True Code and theory.
An average forehand is balanced with an ideal lumbo which seems fine but there is more speed than stamina in his make up. His weight to size ratio is fine though so all in all he gets away with it.
This horse really has done nothing wrong and there was a lot to like about his SUN Derby win. I like the fact that he settles nicely not too far back as the winner of the KYD often comes from a good spot and the perfect draw certainly gives him every chance. His trainer must be thrilled with the draws his horses have got although i do know that he liked Fox News over the stable companions so the delight may be a little gilt edged. This horse knows where the winning line is and will be competitive for sure.
6 Lane Frost Sanny Village Ortiz I Jr
He built nicely as a two year old improving with every race and taking a decent turf allowance in his last start. As a three year old he stayed on the turf to win the Kittens Joy with a strong front running display but after being bought by Sanny Village for $210.000 his true potential was unlocked as he went back to the dirt. His first effort for his new owner saw a flying finish just fail when beaten a neck by Storming Cobra in the Davis Stakes and whilst that wasnt to prove the strongest field i liked the way he finished from a tough position. In his last start he went to the Fountain Of Youth running much closer to the pace and running out a fairly comfortable three quarter length winner. He had some notables behind that day in Performance Artist and Blindfold and whilst he did get a clear trip i liked the way he went about his business to win. If you take out the obvious emotional ties to this horse you are left with a horse who is very consistent, stays the trip and hasnt done much wrong, is he going to be the fairytale winner of the 2018 KYD?
He has never worked beyond 5 furlongs on the dirt in public so its very hard to make a case on his works and with only one public four furlong work this year it is virtually impossible to find any clues to his chances.
His sire Thats Entertainment was pretty useless on the track but has produced some very good offspring including Tin Lizzie and many $100 plus earners. By the prolific sire Charley Farley there is plenty of depth to his pedigree on the sire side.
His dam was just as bad as his sire on the track, another kick in the teeth for track performance against breeding but she has produced a rather nice full brother to Lane Frost called Beckner. We see Out Of The Park and Tiz Elemental in her bloodlines so there is plenty of stamina there.
If you were to pick the perfect make up for a Derby winner this one would be it. Loads of stamina in his conformation, an ideal lumbo and light average forehand and very sound. At 15.3hh he is just about big enough to hold his own and 1188Lbs is just about the perfect weight to size ratio.
It goes without saying that this would be a hugely popular winner and the fact that Sanny Village targeted the horse is a big plus to his chances. On form he has as good a chance as any but there are a few question marks around him that he will have to answer today. A great draw see’s him with every chance of making Sanny Village the only owner to have two KYD winners, what an epitaph that would be.
7 Flying Around Aml Racing Geroux F
A debut winner at little FP he certainly wasnt Derby material as a two year old in fact up until his last race he would have struggled to have got 10% of the $400 that Aml Racing paid for a Derby runner. Beaten twice in optional claimers he then won a little race at TAM in a quick time and was thrown into the TC chase along with all of the three year olds that have any ability from Mb Stables. He ran on nicely in the Wood Memorial to dead heat with Local Hero a half length behind Ride Or Die and that effort certainly gives him some sort of hope of paying back some of his rather large price tag.
He put up a 1.36 and 2 work in March which certainly put him in the Derby picture but a 1.37 and 1 work on the day he was sold certainly muddies the waters as far as his chances go. Its difficult to assess his chances as the Wood Memorial doesnt look like the best of the qualifiers but you have to be in it to win it.
There is some nice blood running around his veins and his sire In Control was not only a pretty good racehorse he has Chai latte in his male line. The sire hasnt produced much as yet with this one being the best of his offspring but he is supported here by a nicely bred mare in For Charity.
For Charity only raced the once when beaten in a free track maiden but the reason for that was some nice breeding which includes her sire Commanding as well as Noble Warrior on her female side.
Not the greatest of conformations but he does have a very good lumbo to balance his average forehand. His legs are poor so he may not last much longer than this race but a short illium will ensure he goes if the rains come. He is the biggest horse in the field which may not be the best thing with bad legs but horses arent an exact science.
Its difficult to weigh this one up as we are only looking at the one race but he did pretty well in the Wood and certainly deserves to take his chance. A great draw wont hurt his chances and his running style looks perfect for this race. It would be pretty difficult to put him in your top four but everything in this race has a chance and he is very close to many runners here.
8 Blindfold Mb Stables Bejarano R
Just raced twice as a two year old taking his maiden at the second attempt and he showed ability in that race sticking to his guns from an on pace position in a fairly fast run mile and seventy yard race. His trainer obviously held him in high regard as after a seasonal pipe opener at GP he went straight to the Holy Bull where he put up a good display to win comfortably by a length. He beat Gumshoe in that race so we know that was good form but his next start left a good few pondering and more than a little confused. The Fountain of Youth Stakes saw him shuffled back a bit and whist he may have had excuses as he got lost in the pack he ran a pretty ordinary eighth, four lengths off the winner. I know his trainer was as disappointed as the rest of us that day and it was great to see him bounce back with a game win in the LA Derby beating Zombie City by a half length in a decent winning time. Apart from that one blip on his form you would have to say that he is right up there with Pretty Ferro as far as achievements go this year and he probably represents the best hope of the powerful Mb barn.
The thing i like about his works is that they are showing a steady improvement. A 1.37 and 1 mile work back in December moved to a 1.36 and 3 by April and then 1.36 and 2 in his last public work on the 18th April. I like to see that sort of improvement heading into a KYD and that last work time was a doozy.
Of all the great horses that Mb Stables has sent to the shed this sire, Engine Failure, has surprised me. Not a bad race horse he never quite got the breakthrough with maybe his best race being a sixth beaten just a length in the Sword Dancer. That was the tale of his career really full of good runs in good company but never quite making it to the big stage. As a sire he has done much better with the likes of What Have You Done and Most Charming bolstering his stats and he is maybe one of the better second season sires around at the moment. By General Motors Engine Failure hasnt got a great pedigree but he has given Blindfold a touch of class whereas his female line may have given him the genes to be better than his Father.
On the mares side we see Pink panther, Dammit Jenn and Steel Ball so there are certainly some nice genes there.
He hasnt got the greatest of conformations but there isnt anything too bad there. Just an average forehand is balanced by a very good lumbo and he does have a decent routers make up balanced nicely with a large frame and a lean weight.
Ignoring his poor run in the Fountain Of Youth he has an excellent record and with only six career starts and is certainly still on the improve. I give him a big chance in this from a perfect draw and with Pretty Ferro out in gate 20 he may just end up as the race favourite.
9 Liverpool Rocket Estero Farms Court J K
He had an up and down two year old career being sold after winning the OT Juvenile Turf for $175.000 and then getting handed some horrible draws to deal with in his remaining juvenile races. In all three cases he was drawn wide and went to the lead and whilst he weakened in the Grey Stakes and the BC Juvenile Turf he managed to hold on in the LA Futurity for a game win over Wicked Orange and Centrepiece. He debuted as a three year old in the Risen Star and was a one paced sixth but ran much better in the Spiral earning him one more crack at qualification in the AR Derby. Settling back from a wider draw this time he ran on well but was out battled at the end finishing second to Indistinguishable and only beaten a quarter length. He seems the sort that lacks a finishing punch so it may pay to set him in the lead and hope he gets away with some soft fractions, if he does he may be in the race for a long way. Having said that he may not be the best stayer in the field and a place may be his best hope.
He worked a 1.36 and 2 back in February but after a 1.36 and 3 work in March he then put in a 1.36 and 4 in April. I dont like to see that sort of decline heading into a big race but he does look a bit inconsistent so you can’t read too much into that.
His sire Flecha Hero was a fair sort on the track and has had some success in the shed producing CT Oaks winner General Flecha as well as this one. He has since been deactivated but that was because his owner left the game so who knows how good he could have been. His grand sire Charley Farley speaks for himself so there are quality genes there too.
His Dam, level Headed did very little on the track but has done well in the shed producing Level Charge and Level Moon as well a promising three year old filly called Level Farley. She has Five Spirits on her male side who has been a good producer as well a Five Daddy Five the sire of the great Five Fives.
Another with a short illium that wont be bothered by the rain he has a nice conformation that slightly favors speed. At 15.2hh he comes in at only 1157Lbs which is OK for a router but i do worry about the roughness of this race if he gets in amongst horses.
There are a few negatives for this one, the trip being a big worry but also that decline in work times. In all likelihood he will be used as a pace maker for his stable mate but if he isnt sent off at a suicidal pace he is good enough to last to the stretch and then who knows what will happen. A mid pack draw will give his trainer choices and i must admit he has done absolutely nothing wrong so shouldn’t be thrown out just on the basis of his stable companion.
10 Commands Fate Eastern Equine Castellano J J
Very lightly raced and the fact that he has only had one start as a three year old may be a big plus in a field full of highly tested three year olds. A winner on debut he hasnt won again but was close up in the Best Pal as a two year old and it is clear that the trainer was targeting this race with a one hit hope run in the SA Derby. The infamous SA Derby was run in a stupid fast early pace and this one settled back behind the eventual winner Pretty Ferro some 14 lengths off the early speed. Whilst Pretty Fero went round the outside he tried to pick his way through and his eventual placing of second was a lot better than a four length defeat. I have a sneaking suspicion that he is going to run a big race today as i like the fact that he is fresher than most and that second to the probable favourite Pretty Fero was his first start for almost six months.
His work times have been improving nicely and a mile work in January of 1.37 turned into a 1.36 and 3 in March. The more i look the more i see this one as the dark horse in the race.
His sire Twist Of fate won two from two on the track before being retired and must be one of the few unbeaten sires in the game. He has a decent record in the shed producing Twisted Estate the winner of the Preakness as well as plenty of other black type winners.
His Dam Moms Command was pretty awful on the track but does have plenty of good HRP blood back in her pedigree.
One of the worst conformations in the race he features a good lumbo with an average forehand. Lots of speed through his legs but poor soundness and he may be just a little heavy for a router.
As I have alluded to earlier i rather like this one as he is the freshest horse in the rest and relatively untested. The SA Derby was his first run for six months and with normal improvement he is entitled to get a lot closer to Pretty Ferro this time. Its pretty hard to see him winning as there are plenty of things to sight as reasons he can’t but for some reason i keep coming back to him as a lively outsider.
11 Dream Controlled Mb Stables Talamo J
I was surprised to see Mb Stables include this one instead of Indistinguishable but there must be a good reason and when you look at this ones form you can begin to see why. Just average as a two year old he won twice at overnight level but that all changed when he turned three. First out in the Withers he scorched home ny three lengths with both Regret Nothing and Local Hero behind. That was a pretty good effort and stamped him as one of the stables big Derby hopes but he has since been drawn a little wide in races and left his challenges far too late. Firstly in The Gotham he was taken back and finished well enough to be beaten just two lengths into eighth and then in the FL Derby when taken a long way back and finishing very strongly for third again beaten two lengths. Some would see those runs as disappointing but they were both very good from very tough positions and i think that if he can get on the speed today we will see a different horse.
A super fast 1.36 and 1 dirt mile on the 12th April was the fastest recent work among the Derby runners and that may have been the big thing that swayed the champion trainer. There has definitely been some huge leaps in improvement and that is essential in a Derby winner.
Bred by LionKing Stables he is by Controlled Hook a pretty awful racehorse that has managed to produce some nice offspring in a relatively short time at stud. Controlled Power a recent dual grade one winner is the best of them so far but he has a good few winners as well. By Controlled Mayhem and out of a Condotteiri mare there’s enough in his bloodlines to satisfy the requirements for a Derby winner.
His dam was unraced and has since been deactivated, this is her only successful offspring but she does have some Charley Farley blood and that clearly has transferred to her best son.
Pretty good on the conformation front he is sound and has a good balance of speed and stamina. My only worry is his diminutive 15.1hh frame which may find it tough drawn right in the middle of such a big field.
The fact that this one got in at all says enough for me to give him a big chance. The trainers biggest challenge will be to get him somewhere near the front without to much hustle but if anyone can Mb Stables can. I really liked his effort in the FL Derby and he may turn out as the best of the stables entries which may surprise a few.
12 People Doubted Aml Racing Hernandez B J Jr
Out of the two that Aml Racing bought from Mb Stables in order to be involved in this great day this one may be the stronger of them. A good two year old placing third in the Brett Futurity and fourth in the DED Jackpot he wasnt one of the strongest in the Mb barn but he was pretty good. After a prep race in an optional claimer he went to the Risen Star and ran very well coming from a fair way back to be beaten a length by Zombie City. That was a good effort and he went to the Florida Derby pretty well fancied but ended up fourth after getting a little stuck in the one stall traffic. The best thing about his form is consistency my only doubt is whether he will find this trip beyond him.
He hinted that he may be a turfer with a 1.34 and 4 turf mile work in January but came out five days later and ran a 1.36 and 3 on the dirt suggesting at the least he was just as good on either surface. He worked 1.36 and 3 again just before he was bought which may have been the main reason that Aml Racing went for the $800 deal for the two starters but he would’ve been equally pleased by the 57 and 4 he worked on the 21st April followed by another 1.36 and 3 6 days later.
His sire People Want To Know was best known as a sprinter and ran well in the BC Turf Sprint of 2016. In a short career as a stallion he has produced this one and the rather nice filly Helping People so clearly he transfers hs genes pretty well although it has to be said that Helping People looks a sprinting type too. Chai Latte and Iron Kaki both feature in his heritage.
The Dam Highly Doubted wasnt too bad on the track either although again she was a sprinter, she has produced three nice foals from nine with one of them staying a mile plus.We see Charley Farley and Steel Ball through her bloodline.
A perfect routers conformation with an ideal lumbo and a light average forehand. Great legs and good weight to height ratio this one has it all.
His breeding suggests he would be better over shorter and he himself hasn’t really seen out further than a mile and sixteenth yet. That is my main worry about this rather nice sort as apart from that his form doesnt stack up too badly. His draw isnt too bad but he will have to get away quickly so as not to get squeezed out.
13 Gene Chandler Double Cross Ranch Desormeaux K J
This one is probably the biggest ‘story’ in the race being claimed for just $12.500 as a two year old. That claim came after his second win after being gelded the month before the race and his new owner would’ve been thrilled to see him romp home by a very easy four lengths. For his next three races his owner put him on the turf winning two more races including another claimer where someone could’ve got him for just $28.000. His owner will be sighing with relief because after that winning effort this horse exploded onto the Derby scene with two great wins. the last one being in none other than the FL Derby. Whatever it was that made the owner put him on turf and then enter him in a claimer and then switch him back to dirt was either blind luck or great foresight because he took the MTB Derby in solid fashion before storming home for an impressive win the FL Derby beating Performance Artist and Dream Controlled. So here he is, in the Derby field with a great chance after a very unusual route to get there.
The horse ran a 1,34 and 4 turf mile before being switched to work in public on the dirt where he clocked a 1.36 and 4 twice and then a 1.36 and 2 before his FL Derby win. Those works say very good horse although his prep work was a little disappointing at 1.37 and 1.
His sire was a pretty poor maiden as a racehorse and probably because of that hasnt seen much action in the shed. With just 23 offspring he has produced a few winners but nothing even remotely close to Gene Chandler so there is very little to learn from this horses direct Father. However Conducives father was Condottieri the AR Derby winner that failed in the KYD and never won another race but he would be the best on that side to give us any clues as to how Gene Chandler got here today.
On the mares side Complusmentus was a better racehorse who raced in the BC Juvenile although she never won more than one race She has Charley Farley in her line but like the sire has yet to produce anything remotely close to her sons ability.
Its a pretty non descript conformation with just an average forehand balanced by a very good Lumbo. He looks as though he may have a turf preference and his legs arent the greatest but it merely adds to the story of this once claimer running in the Derby.
Well there isnt much on the breeding side to get excited about but this surprise package is working very nicely and there was no fluke about that FL Derby win. Could he be the big story in the race? Well you have to give him a great chance and it seems he can run from anywhere so he will have options from this draw.
14 Centerpiece Mb Stables Velazquez J R
One of the best two year olds in the field he took the grade one Hopeful and then the Champagne before a battling second in the BC Juvenile. His seasonal debut was a quiet one hacking up in an optional claimer before going to the San Felipe to top up his KYD qualifying points. He got further back than normal and finished well into second but was well held by Fox News in the end. Even though he was beaten his reputation was in tact when he went to the SA Derby but that race made to look a bit mickey mouse by his pace making stable companion and he ran no sort of race to finish a well beaten ninth. An outside draw wouldn’t have helped his chances that day but it has to be said he has been a little disappointing since his stellar two year old season.
After working a 1.36 and 2 in January he was a strong fancy for this race and may have even been the early favorite. He hasnt worked as well since clocking a 1.36 and 4 but more recently a 1.36 and 3 but those works are certainly good enough to be a contender.
Sire, Anybody’s Home was just OK on the track but being a son of Commanding he was always going to be a prospect in the shed. He has been well used but this is by far the best of his offspring and his successes are a little few and far between.
His dam Chai Chai Again was a maiden on the track but does have some lovely bloodlines featuring Chai Latte and the prolific producer Ironbound.
Lots of stamina in his conformation and his average forehand is balanced with an ideal lumbo so no problems there. A good sound sort who at 16hh wont be worried about being pushed around.
Its hard to say this one has been disappointing this year but by the standards he set as a two year old he certainly has. I can’t really place him in the race but a speed map would certainly see him in the top half of the field early on to have his best chance. He has something to prove in this race but i know his owner hasnt lost faith in him so nor should we.
15 Fox News D J C Racing Stables Lanerie C J
A decent but not outstanding two year old he was pretty consistent but only managed the one win. Clearly he had shown his owner enough at home because on his three year old debut he took on the Holy Bull and ran pretty well stalking the pace and keeping on at one pace for fourth behind Blindfold. After stalking in the Holy Bull he was taken a fair way back from a wide draw in the San Felipe Stakes and he showed an impressive turn of foot to beat Centerpiece by three quarters of a length. That was enough to get him in this race but his trainer took another go at a big purse in the SA Derby and it all fell apart as the farcical pace set by the rabbits saw him with no chance down the stretch after attempting to stalk them. I think we can safely write off that last run so on his San Felipe form he would have a chance if things go right for him.
His best public dirt mile work is 1.37 which isnt among the best but subsequent six furlong works of 1.10 and 2 suggest there has been improvement and i would expect him to go under 1.37 now.
His sire Diplomatic Immunity was sired by Charley Farley and performed pretty well on the track winning the Brett Futurity as a two year old and then running in the KYD at three and being beaten just three lengths. His most recent success apart from this colt is the KYO bound Diplomatic Chaos. Further back we have Laffin Diplomat and Neto so there is enough to suggest this is a line that can produce quality.
His dam was unraced and also has had success with offspring Foresight and American Horror both claiming black type wins. There doesnt look too much in her bloodlines on the face of it but further back we have Cymba and Swarley so there is enough there to suggest ability.
Nothing here to worry the owner, a solid all round conformation who has grown to 15.3hh and has a good weight to height ratio for routing.
Just looking at his form he looks like a closer to me and may have his best chance if trusting to luck late in the race as the track gets crowded. The draw suggests he will only have the two choices so i hope he can fall back but stay in touch.
16 Ride Or Die Delta Farms Albarado R J
This one is the real surprise package of the race having been completely invisible until his shock win in the Wood Memorial. A winner as a juvenile of his debut maiden race at lowly FP he didnt run bad at allowance level in his only other run at two but could only manage fifth of seven. On his debut as a three year old he was very one paced in the mud at FG ending up fourth in an allowance but stepped up on that effort next out when the ground was dry. Some way off the pace he flew late to be beaten just a head by Big Drama a horse that went on to be last beaten eight lengths in the BG Stakes. So whilst he was showing some improvement there were no obvious signs of what he was to do in the Wood Memorial which was one of the most dogged performance of all the qualifiers. Drawn wide he was sent to the front like a sacrificial lamb but he showed plenty of heart to stay there and battle on for a half length win. He beat Flying Around and Local Hero that day and whilst many said that he got away with the fast fractions because of traffic in behind i am always impressed with a front runner that ends up winning.
He has never publicly worked a mile so the comparisons have to be made with six furlong works and the 1.10 and 2 work he put in April was good enough to put him right amongst them in this race. That was his fastest work which shows improvement another big plus in his favor.
He hasnt got the sort of pedigree you expect from a KYD runner but there is enough in his heritage to suggest he will do ok. His sire Slow Rider won 3 times on the track but was never better than an average overnighter and was bought for just a dollar to serve in the Delta Farms stud. His first crop saw the grade three winning filly Deserves It who appeared from just ten foals and the remaining four have produced Ride Or Die so he may turn out to be an untapped talent in the shed. His sires sire was third in the BC Dirt Mile so there is some quality there in the genes.
His Dam Viking Juliet has also been successful before with Laffin Juliet a grade two placed two year old although she was a non winner on the track herself she does find Charley Farley and Romeo in her blood.
Again nothing too bad in his conformation he has an ideal lumbo which outweighs his average forehand nicely. A pretty balanced make up apart from that with both speed and stamina there.
His owner must be thrilled with this one who had one shot at the Derby and took it with both hands and whilst some will say he didnt beat any main contenders in that race he did it from the front which is pretty tough. The draw suggests he will be trying for the lead again and who is to say he can’t repeat hos great Wood Memorial win by making all.
17 Simple Request Saratoga Stud Garcia Alan
Won his maiden and then an allowance as a two year old before going on the statebred circuit and running well enough to place in ungraded stakes races. He looked like he would be a router back then despite most of his races being in sprints and a first run of the season when fifth in the Mucho Macho Man suggested again that he needed in excess of a mile. He was bought for $130 from Barcelona Farms after that run and it proved to be an inspired purchase when the horse ran a cracker from a wide draw to be second in the Risen Star and then went on to a comprehensive one length win in the BG Stakes, again from a wide draw. He beat On The Spot and Regret Nothing that day and whilst the ground was very wet i dont think he overly benefitted from the conditions. Another that will lap up the mile and a quarter he wont be as strongly fancied as some but he could be a surprise package.
His best public dirt mile work is a fairly sedate 1.37 and 1 a time that puts hime a fair way behind some of these but he has clocked a 1.10 and 3 for six furlongs which is much closer to the mark. He isnt the best of workers but there has been the all important gradual improvement over time.
On the face of it his breeding doesnt look overly impressive but there is some depth in his genes that gives us a few clues about him. His sire French Quarters has produced a few fair offspirng but this is the first that has broken through at this sort of level. First Quarters himself only ran the once as a race horse when well beaten in a free track maiden and he never worked better than 1.01 so as far as ticks in boxes goes that would be a negative.He has however got Creative Officer and Jolly Be Great on his male side and some Northern Dancer way back on his female side so there are some glimmers of hope there.
Stealing Info, his Mother, is another who didnt win on the track and whilst this is her first foal to get into black type grade she has got a couple of good winners in her offspring. She has both Red Roja and Steel Ball in her lines so again there is some good blood there that her son seems to have inherited.
A pretty balanced make up and a good weight for his 15.3hh. The only question mark in his conformation would be the average forehand but an ideal Lumbo balances that pretty well. Sound and ready to run.
There are a fair few question marks with this one, his best win came in the mud, his work times arent as competitive as some and his breeding doesnt look as good as some but whilst they are pretty big negatives there is also a few positives that should be seriously considered. He won the BG Stakes very well and has raced all season from terrible draws but done very well from them. That in itself is a big positive in a big field and if i were his trainer i would be carrying some hope that this could be the best purchase in the race. He once again gets a tough draw for this race but he has proved he can do it before so i dont think it dents his chances.
18 Motor City First Class Stable Rocco J S Jr
He won his debut as a two year old and then followed up after a couple in an allowance earning him a tilt at both the Nashua and the Remsen. He ran a cracker in the Nashua to chase home Nowhere Man and then ran well from on the pace in The Remsen winding up a one length third and having Regret Nothing behind. Those efforts ended his juvenile career but he returned quickly to win the Lecomte from Broken Tap and put himself in the picture for KYD qualification. Drawn wide in the Southwest he made ground into seventh but needed a big run in the Rebel to get into the field for this race. Steadied back he came with a great run to beat Simple Request by three quarters of a length and that win is more than enough to make his owner very hopeful of a first grade one win.
A 1.36 and 1 public dirt mile work back in February stamped this one a KYD hope and a more recent 1.10 and 2 six furlong work said he was going along nicely enough. I think this may be the forgotten horse in the race because looking at those works i can’t see any reason he can’t do very well.
His sire General Motors wasnt too bad on the track and he has had a good few winning offspring including Cliffs Of Moher, General Belle, Toleration and Make It Known. There is plenty of speed and stamina in that bloodline with his sire General Assembly producing winners and he still is.
On the dam side Lil Choir Girl did nothing on the track and Motor City is her only foal of note but she does have Swarley blood and some HRP Northern Dancer further back.
Nothing flash in his conformation with just an average forehand and a very good lumbo. Apart from that he is just OK on the looks front but at 16 hh he is on the bigger side which will help with the hustle and bustle of a big field.
The more i look at this one the more i like him, that win in the Rebel was impressive and i can see him running this trip out strongly plus he has the work times to live with the best of them. The draw will be tough and the last time he was drawn wide he ended up making ground in the Southwest but getting a bit stuck in traffic. No reason he can’t do very well.
19 Regret Nothing Estero Farms Chirinos R
He was looking pretty hot when taking his maiden and then romping home in the grade three Bourbon as a two year old but he then failed in both the BC Juvenile and the Remsen which was somewhat disappointing after a promising start. He was drawn wide on seasonal debut in the Withers and just stayed on from behind ending up a well beaten seventh. In his next start in the TAM Derby he showed plenty of guts to go on the pace and battle back after looking beaten to triumph over the Mb pair What Have You Done and Pure Gifts. That was a real gutsy run from another wide draw and the winning time was very good too. In his last start he took on the mud in the BG Stakes and was a little weak in the finish when beaten into third behind Simple Request and i guess the question has to be asked about the mile and a quarter as his best form has been over a mile and sixteenth. His win in the TAM Derby was tenacious but i am not sure that was the hottest field and i do worry about his ability to get the trip, at the end of the day he has plenty of plus’s and if not tested early he could run a big race.
I do wonder whether he will end up more a turfer than a dirt horse as he has worked 1.34 and 4 on the grass but you can’t blame his trainer for going in this direction especially when you see he has worked 1.36 and 2 on the dirt as well and that was back in January. His last work was a scorching 1.36 and 2 as well and sandwiches a couple of rather sluggish works which suggests there may be some inconsistency there.
His sire Mucho Hype was a very ordinary racehorse and so far he is untested in the shed with only 4 foals seeing tha track. There is Spanish Force on the male side and Chai Latte on the dams side so he has enough on the genes front to be successful.
Regret Nothing’s Mother, Pink Snow was a poor maiden on the track and this is the only one of her offspring to see the track that isnt much of an advert but she does have some great blood in her veins. Her sire Pink Panther is a son of Charley Farley and her dam was the good race mare Silver Mile who was out of Christmas Snow.
With a light lumbo and a light forehand this is one of the prettiest runners in the race, he has speed and stamina in his make up and that short illium for if the rains come. At 15.3hh and weighing in at 1155Lbs he is perfectly built for a router.
There is enough to give this one a strong chance, his best work and his game run in the TAM Derby, but i do have a niggle about his ability to see out the trip. The horrible draw will test him too as he runs best from on pace and he will have to use up plenty of energy reserves to get there. He will need some things to go his way but if they do he has as good a chance as any.
20 Pretty Ferro Estero Farms Pennington F
Well there isnt much you can find in Pretty Fero’s form that doesnt say winner of the 2018 KYD. He has done everything right since the start of the year and has just got better and better as he has been put over more ground. A fair but untested two year old he didnt race over more than six and a half furlongs until he took on the Swale Stakes in his second start as a three year old. Showing enough early speed he out stayed One Dance with a determined run winning by a quarter length. In his next start he took the Gotham in much the same fashion taking down La Grand Terre by a half length and whilst his trainer was starting to get excited there still needed to be a bit more for him to become the KYD favourite he is today. It was in his last start that he exploded into the minds of HRP owners when a rather crazy SA Derby saw him fly past the field like they werent there to win by an unextended four lengths. That awful race saw the first half run quicker than any sprint this horse had been in and by the time they got to the mile pole everything was flagging apart from this horse who went on to win with contemptuous ease. I guess the question we have to face with this one is just how good was that SA Derby win? it was such a ridiculous race that taking too much out of it may be a mistake but no-one could fail to be impressed with the way he won it.
I think work times are fairly moot in this type of race but they have to be in the right bracket and this one falls into that bracket with no problems. A fastest public dirt mile work of 1.36 and 1 was impressive but a worrying 1.36 and 4 on the 27th April causes concern.
His sire Ferro was known more as a sprinter than anything else never running beyond seven furlongs. He won teh grade one Crosby but only raced the 12 times winning 5 of them. With relatively few foals the only one he has produced of merit so far in Pretty Ferro but with Charley Farley blood on his male line and Jolly Be Great on his female side he looks set to become a sire of note.
His mother was a lightly raced and very average mare who hasnt produced anything near the quality of this one before..She has some good HRP blood but doesnt look overly graced with royalty.
At only 15.2hh he is a pocket rocket especially when you look at his weight which tends towards sprinting but also says he is very strong for his size. His conformation is good without being perfect and a short Illium will help if the rains come on Derby day. Overall he has a good mixture of speed and stamina with good sound legs.
If you look at the top qualifier for the KYD in the previous 4 years you dont see much success and that could be for a few reasons. Firstly to be the top qualifier you have to have done pretty well in two or three KYD qualifiers and that can be a negative as you approach the big race as some horses boil over with too much racing. On form it is hard to see a better chance but whilst he looks an obvious choice his tough campaign leading up to today and the draw of 20 wont make it easy for him. He can still win, gate 20 is not the kiss of death but things will really need to go his way.
AE Mist Maker Crocker Ggs – Also Eligible –
AE Trojan Defense Treaux Farms – Also Eligible –
AE Processing Class Toppedout – Also Eligible –
I guess the only thing left is to try and pick some horses and to be honest its not an easy choice and never is.
Blindfold and Pretty Ferro probably have the best form leading up to the race but Pretty Ferro’s draw will make it very tough for him. Blindfold has the perfect draw but i do wonder whether Mb has an ace up his sleeve with Dream Controlled. DJC Racing Stables has three good chances and two nice draws and of course who could discount the late great Sanny Villages runner Lane Frost who would be a fairytale winner. There really is nothing without a chance, so I am going for four of the lesser lights to box up in a trifecta (although who can tell with HRP’s crazy oddsmaker). Performance Artist, Zombie City, Commands Fate and Dream Controlled for me in the hope of a big payout.