The Gate is Full, Spring is Here – It’s Time for SA Derby

13 SA     SA Derby (GI)  [KYD]

$1,000.000         3yo          1 1/8m  Dirt          122lbs

It’s about to get real…  When you see the SA Derby (GI) you know the best 3yo’s in the land are getting ready to head to Louisville, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves as we have twelve set to go the classic mile and an eighth with $1,000.000 on the line.

There is some tough knocking horses, as you would tend to expect when this much is on the line, and the toughest to me looks like Immoral.  He has four wins from seven starts and has been tough as nails in his last three, all against  graded horses. I’ll put my $2 on him, anyway.

I really like Groovy in this one as well.  He only has a single win from eight starts, but the four seconds proves that he’s always around when they hand out checks, and he may be the most due horse in the race.

Right next door is Geronimo and that last out win in the San Felipe (GII) where he beat Groovy shows that he has everything it takes to get the job done and he has to be part of the discussion.  It’s loaded, it’s tough… grab a cold snack and let’s tune in for a good one.

Here’s The Field –

 Laffin Hero  Alydar Stables  Velazquez J R 122 5/1

He’s never far away from a win landing 1-2-3 in just about all of his races.  Changed hands for $750.000 two races back, so you know the barn thought a lot of him to plunk down that king of cash.  Just missed when third in the TAM Derby (GII) and won over this track from the rail in the Sham (GIII).  Every reason in the world to like him.

 Orion Nebula  John Henry  Gaffalione T 122 5/1

I had no words for that effort or lack there of in the San Felipe (GII) over this track last out.  He was the 2/1 favorite and didn’t beat a horse that afternoon.  That’s certainly not what we were used to out of this one, but it makes you wonder why.  Let’s hope he bounces back today.

 Groovy  Mb Stables  Beschizza A 122 7/2

Back to back runner up finishes facing some very tough company including a second in the San Felipe (GII) over this track.  He’s had two seconds over the track, so I think he likes the home cookin’.  The extra distance looks like it will fit right into his style and I think you have to give him a big look.

 Geronimo  Nakamura Stables  Gryder A T 122 3/1

Won the San Felipe at 30/1 odds and changed the entire way he was looked at.  Prior, he seemed to be more of a sprint/miler type, but he closed well, knew how to get the job done and proved that he belongs in any field.  A repeat of that obviously puts in right in the thick of the battle.

 Aggravated Sky  Estero Farms  Saez L 122 4/1

Just missed in the Gotham Mile (GIII) after doing all of the heavy lifting in that one.  That was a bit of a change for him as he usually does his best work just in behind the lead.  He did have two off-the-board finishes prior so maybe they wanted the traffic out of the way.  Either way, he can run.

 Jak The Ripper  Aer Stables  Franco G 122 8/1

Got back to the winning side of thing taking down an Alw race over this track in his most recent.  He’s only three races from breaking maiden and this is a heck of a step up in class.  The works are there, so can he convert that to what would probably be an upset win?

 Lock Away The Key  Fractious  Van Dyke D 122 8/1

Some late gain in his last out race at AQU in the Gotham (GIII) but was still seventh at the end, although the extra distance seems to be something he will cherish.  That was a change of style and the traffic may have gotten the best of him in that one.  Can he turn the table?

 Rendezvous  Waldo  Bravo J 122 5/1

Broke maiden and ran a huge race in the FoY (GII) at GP, while closing late.  He was beaten two lengths that afternoon, which in this type of racing is daylight; however, he’s always on the board, even when facing stakes foes as a maiden.  He has talent, so this could be his stage.

 Local Dude  D J C Racing Stables  Hernandez R M 122 8/1

Another that looks like he’s been waiting for the longer distances.  Close well to be fourth in the San Felipe (GII) and comes back on short rest as the barn tries to chalk up some KYD points.  Twelfth to fourth down the lane here… that is something to watch.

 Lord Of Peace  Fractious  Wilson
122 8/1

It’s been a bit tough for this one since changing barns back in December.  Was eighth in the Holy Bull (GIII) but did show some life last out when fourth only a half length back in the TAM Derby (GII).  He’s back quick, but it’s time to get points stowed away if you want to run the first weekend in May.

 Immoral  Mb Stables  Bejarano R 122 5/2

Dang’ed shame to see him parked out in the eleven hole, but he ran big from the 10 post at TAM when third in the Davis Stakes (GIII).  Four wins in the last five races… you get the idea, the big barn has a big horse with a big chance in a big race.

 Ngannou  Mb Stables  Franco M 122 8/1

Draws in off of the AE list and did run a big race in the Winkfield at AQU from the nine post, so maybe he’s ok parked out here.  He’s never really run with this type of horses other than a fifth in the TAM Derby, so he obviously needs to improve on that if he wants a check here.

Categories: FEATURED STORIES, Grade I

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