The KYD qualification is in its very early stages but it is now that people are sorting the best of their barn to launch into the qualifying races so i thought i may have a look at the work times to try and see who are the main contenders.
I decided to look at all the sub 1.37 workers so far this year in an attempt to glean a star that may emerge as a KYD contender but has yet to shine. These are the top ten mile workers this year.
Final Verse, trained by Mb Stables
Ran a 1.36.11 and is at this point the fastest worker this year over the mile. Bought pre race for just $20 he won on debut at TUP way back in April last year and was then gelded before racing again 4 months later. That was in a small race at LAD and he again won prompting his trainer to go to black type for his next two races. He was second and third in the NY Breeders and the Hopeful before going to GP for an overnight and winning fairly comfortably. His form looked good but something happened when the clocks chimed midnight on December the 31st because he went from a 1.37 and 3 work on the 12th December to a 1.36 work on the 5th January. Backing that up he has also worked a 1.10 and 1 against a 1.11 and it seems that he has either received a good sprinkling of the magic fairy dust or Mb has found something that has grown this one an extra leg. Either way its going to be very interesting to see him on the track.
Beach Dandy, trained by Joshua Stables
Second fastest with a 1.36.12 he is the one with the form on the board and he is looking to break a jinx that has run for a long time in winning the BC Juvenile and the KYD. He beat Final Verse in the Hopeful before winning the BC Juvenile and out of all the runners he is the one with least to prove. He too got some magical improvement on January 1st going from a 1.36 and 4 to a 1.36 in the space of 5 days. The one thing about this one is that he is proven at the top level and also has that all important ‘heart’ hidden gene so of all the runners he will be the standard that all the rivals have to measure to.
Glitter Deity, trained by Mb Stables
Mb Stables will no doubt be running several horses in every prep race and he will be keen to get this one into a race. Working 1.36.46 he is the third fastest and is one of ten from the stable that is working like a KYD runner works and that will be competing in the preliminaries. His form doesnt really measure up to his works with just one maiden win from three runs and in that he only managed to get home by a nose so he still has plenty to prove.
Sport Guide, trained by Estero Farms
Worked a 1.36.57 and is one of the main hopes from last years KYD winning trainer. He was bought for $400 after finishing fifth in the Best Pal and went on to finish fifth again for his new trainer in the Pharaoh. He looked good in his last run in the mud of the Remsen when getting home by three parts of a length and whilst he is certainly not just a wet track horse the KYD can come up wet and he will be happily placed if that happens again.
Fear The Dragon, trained by LionKing Stables
For a stable that sells plenty of good horses they have managed to buy one here that is starting to look like a KYD contender. He won his maiden on the third attempt prior to being bought for $126 and to be fair didnt look much like a bargain after that being well beaten in the Pharaoh and Grey Stakes before a disappointing effort in an overnight. He finally came good in his last start as a two year old just holding on to dead heat in the Springboard Mile and with the current sixth best mile time at 1.36.66 he will be looking for a prep race or two to get into the big one.
Questionable, trained by Mb Stables
An interesting name for a horse with his form lines because questionable really sums up his last start in the Springboard Mile. Tenth that day 4 lengths behind Fear The Dragon it was an awful run when you consider he had beaten the same horse when winning the Pharaoh by five lengths making it a nine length turnaround. In between those runs he was only beaten a neck in the BC Juvenile so why on earth he ran so badly in the Springboard Mile is anyones guess. A 1.36.68 mile work suggests he is still in contention for KYD glory but he will have to put that last effort behind him pretty quickly.
Pure Authority, trained by Joshua Stables
Interestingly the 8th best worker this year with a 1.36.72 is still a maiden but with a 1.10 and 1 work for the six furlongs to back up his mile work i doubt he will be for much longer. The only worry is that he was working 1.10 and 1 when he got beaten in a maiden in December and it is always a worry when a fast worker can’t get his nose in front. Time is the factor he has against him but not many were calling Pretty Ferro a Derby winner at this point last year so he still has enough if he can pull it all together.
Chai Bay, trained by Serenity Stables
The 9th best worker took 9 races to break his maiden but was widely regarded as the best maiden in the country after a close fourth in the Pharaoh. Bought for $142 pre race he had been very frustrating never losing by more than a length after his debut but not able to get his nose in front. The worry is similar to Pure Authority but magnified a bit as we have seen plenty of these consistent bridesmaids in the three year old ranks and none of them manage to win a KYD. He is good thats for sure and i reckon he will get the points required to get a start in the big race but he may have to do that in second and third place finishes.
Yes Maam, trained by Mb Stables
Yet another from Mb Stables he is another that managed to find some improvement overnight on the 31st December. A winner on debut he tried three ungraded stakes in a row but couldnt get a win until backed down to a little race at FE which he won by eleven lengths. He is an unknown quantity at this stage.
Panentheism, trained by Smokey Stover
This filly has the fifth best work time at 1.36.65 and could really put the cat among the pigeons if she takes the fillies weight allowance into a qualifier for the KYD.
They paint part of a picture but only one part because whilst that 1.36.11 looks a great work these are the top ten sub 1.37 workers from last year and they add a different perspective bearing in mind they took place when the horses were still two year olds.
Ranger, trained by Aer Stables
With a work of 1.36.11 as a two year old you must put this one as the best working three year old in the game at the moment. He was a well beaten second on debut after being bought for $40 pre race but looked much better when trouncing a good field by four lengths in a maiden at PRX. His next start saw him beaten in a non graded stakes race by a horse that can’t work within a second of his best time and that fact is the one that just begs a few questions to be asked. He will need to prove he has the class gene to go with his super fast works but f he does then this could be the stables next King Cobra.
Chrystal Believer, trained by Maxmillion Farms
This horse was very busy as a juvenile and recorded a 1.36.39 as a two year old, the second fastest. The winner in his last start of the grade one LA Futurity he has never really run a bad race cashing in the DMR Futurity and the Pharaoh before a wide gate saw him beaten int seventh in the BC Juvenile. He is right up there with the best at this stage but needs to prove he has trained on before we can really start to call his name from the roof tops. Another that will be among the favorites at this stage to qualify for the KYD.
Opus Force, trained by Mb Stables
When he was bought for $300 from Drabfantasy he was working quicker than plenty of runners in the BC and he hadnt even raced. The interest that surrounds this one is huge because he looked like a freak at that stage and having won two from two since still has that aura about him that will make everyone watch very carefully when he is rolled out as a three year old.
Commanding Bee, trained by John Henry
With a 1.36.44 he is right in the mix and has some form to his name to match the works. Bought for $500 at the end of the season he will be the stables main contender and has gone under 1.37 this season too although not as quick as his two year old work. A winner of only one from seven, that being a maiden is not so encouraging but he was beaten a head in the DMR Futurity and a neck in the Champagne so is right n the clump of good horses at the top of his generation.
Into The Light, trained by Mb Stables
Another who was busy as a juvenile he managed two wins but his best races came in defeat. He ran in the BC Juvenile Turf after qualifying for the race but wasnt far behind in the Remsen after that race suggesting he is just as good on the dirt. Which way the trainer will go with him i dont know but i am pretty sure he will be thrown at the wall to see if he sticks.
Not To Be Denied, trained by D J C Racing Stables
He ran up 4 wins in a row including the SAR Special and the Iroquois putting among the favorites for the BC Juvenile. He stalked as usual in the BC but couldn’t finish it off finishing fifth beaten just a length, still a good run but just a shade disappointing. He was pretty lack lustre in The Remsen but that may have been down to the mud or the fact that he had all his adds removed. Time will tell whether he has trained on but he is working well enough this year to suggest he will be among the leading contenders in the run up to the TC.
War Command, trained by Fractious
This is a bit of a dark horse as he hasnt got the form on the board but is certainly working like a stakes winner. He took five goes to win his maiden and on bare form doesnt look more than slightly above average but his works are very good and its clear he has moved on significantly from his juvenile form.
So there they are, is the KYD winner among them? Well it certainly could be, i wonder how many of these will be lining up for the run to the roses.