Another Step Towards Louisville – LA Derby

FG 14     LA Derby (GII)    [KYD]

$1,000.000              3yo           1 3/16m Dirt         122lbs

The road to Louisville heats up with a huge purse and a huge race as the sophomores head to the gate for the 2020 LA Derby (GII) to be run at a mile and three sixteenths on the main track.  The distance should help find who want to travel a mile and a quarter for the big race and I’m looking at Spirited Stride to keep his magic working, despite being out in the eleven post.  He looked good winning the Risen Star over this track, so let’s look for more out of this one.  I’ll go right next door and put Gordon Drive in the thick of things here.  The only questions is moving from the turf to dirt, but he looks like a horse that can handle any surface and should make a race of it.  There’s a bunch of horses that give hope in this one, but I’ll take Bobs Ticket as the third choice.  He’s part of the Mb trio, looked good scoring on the grass at GP and seems to have everything going for him right now.  My other handicappers are tied up with the  COVAD19 stuff, so I’m flying solo today…  best of luck at the windows.

Here’s The Field –

 Bound Bay  Gdp Inc  Desormeaux
122 7/1

A pair of fourth place finishes to get his 2020 campaign started is probably not what the owners were hoping for.  He did have a pair of wins in ’19 including the Display Stakes at WO to close out his freshman year, but he will need his very best to get any part of this one, in my eye.

 Cherokee Twins  TwinTowersRacing  Tunon M 122 9/1-

Broke maiden last out over this surface and they go right after the big boys and try to find out if he is worthy of the TC Trail.  I didn’t find that to be an impressive race and I don’t find him to be a major contender in this one.  He could fool me, but he will have to do just that.

 Moline  Team 7 Illusions  Vargas J A Jr 122 8/1

Broke maiden on the grass then just missed vs. Alw horses at GP in his most recent.  That was on short rest and now they run back on even shorter rest for the race of his lifetime.  Maybe the barn thinks a lot of him and is hoping that the KYD is run in Oct?  Or is that just me.

 Stark  D J C Racing Stables  Beschizza A 122 7/1

His recent stakes form leaves a bit to be desired.  That fourth place finish (DH) in the KY Jockey Club (GII) showed some promise, and he certainly has some late foot, but he needs to either stay closer to the pace or get after it a bit earlier.  Maybe the extra distance is the key for him.

 Notorious Temper  Night Rider Stables  Bridgmohan S X 122 5/1

Some nice races out of this one including a win in the Lecomte Stakes (III) and had some traffic issues last out while trying to close in the Southwest (GIII).  I think he can keep his closing efforts going in this one and should be a huge factor in the late going.

 Cairn Toul  The Sidley Stud  Gaffalione T 122 6/1

Hasn’t had his picture taken in quite some time, but does has four seconds in his last six starts.  Two of those were GIII races, and he was a closing fourth in the FofY (GII) in his most recent.  He has the stuff, but can he get it together and score the win?

 Bobs Ticket  Mb Stables  Saez G 122 4/1

What a claim!  Snagged for $10.000 and won the Sage of Monticello in his first start for the big barn.  He had some success at SA/GG prior to that freebie claim, and with that nice closing effort on the GP grass, they move over to the main track and test the longer distance.  This should be interesting.

 Tudor One  Mb Stables  Franco M 122 4/1

Broke maiden and then made that part of a four race win streak… so you know what that means, Mb snatches him for $100.000 and now it’s on to graded company.  He shows a pair of nice works at SA getting ready for this one, so it looks like the big barn has another fast runner.

 Better Back Off  BomBay Stables  Lanerie C J 122 6/1

A bit of a dud in the FofY (GII) where he just didn’t get things going and ended up eleventh.  Prior to that, he was 1-2-3 in every race including a third in the Withers (GIII) so is that just a bounce or did it all go wrong.  I guess we find out here.

 Shadow Man  Axeman  Bocachica A 122 6/1

He’s about as consistent as you could ask for, including a head-off second in the El Camino at GG.  This is a bit of a step up but I think he will take this in stride and continue his solid
performances.  He will probably come with a bit of a price but I’d use him in all wagers.

 Spirited Stride  Mb Stables  Bejarano R 122 7/2

Third of the three-headed monster from Mb Stables and your probably post time favoirte.  He won the Risen Star (GII) last out, over this track, and looks ready to keep his hot hand going.  Was fourth on BC Day as well, won the DMR Futurity… you get it… he’s good.

 Gordon Drive  Estero Farms  Velazquez J R 122 4/1

Another fine looking specimen that kicked tail in the Dania Beach (GIII) at GP over a strip labeled good.  That was an easy win, scoring by three in quick time considering the conditions, but he’s been on the grass most of his career, so can he carry that over to the main track?

 Anoush Command  Fractious  – No
Rider –
122 SCR

Has been scratched from this one.

 King Que Niagra  Aer Stables  Davis D 122 9/1

Was up the track in the Risen Star (GII) where he just never got going.  He’s going to need to find more, especially from this post and against this group.  If not, it’s going to be another long
afternoon at the race track.

Categories: Grade II

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