The Gang’s All Here – The KYD

May 2nd, 2020


CD 7    The KYD (GI)

 $3,000.000       3YO       1 1/4m Dirt        126lbs   Preference to TC-KYD Qualifications


It’s a crazy crazy crazy crazy world right now, but here at HRP, you just can’t keep a good thing down and we look at the grand field, set to go a mile and a quarter on the famed CD oval in the 2020 running of The KYD.  The 17th installment of the springtime classic proves that big barns run big hoses and only 11 barns will bring horses to the gate for this $3,000.000 purse.  The current weather forecast calls for partly cloudy skies, a high temp of around 80° and only a 10% chance of rain, so I’m expecting a lightning fast strip and a gate full of horses.  I always like a music theme for my big race write-ups but this year I’ll just dedicate my work to my old friend John Prine who passed away from complications of C19.  An unbelievable wordsmith, story teller and good guy.


As we get into the handicapping of this one, it should be noted that I have been horrible of late when it comes to picking winners.  Then again, that’s not my job – I deliver perspective on what I see and let the tickets fly where they land… lately, that’s been the garbage can.

This entire spring, I have not only said that I thought Aer Stables was the barn to beat today, but in all of the TC races… and I’m going away from that script right off of the bat.  My top choice today is Groovy.  I know, it sounds crazy because although when you pick a horse from the Mb Stables arsenal, you are usually in lock-step with everyone else.  The difference here is he didn’t breed this horse and the gelding doesn’t have a win since moving over…. and there’s the angle.  I think the horse is overdue for a win and I think today is when he gets it.  He was third in the Remsen (GII), second in the Smarty Jones, second in the San Felipe (GII) and a nose back when second in the SA Derby (GI).  His only win was a dead-heat in his maiden win at EVD, vs. LA-bred horses.  I liked his return 1m gallop at AQU where he went a bullet in 1:36 and change, then blew out 6f in 1:11 and change in his final am work.  I just think he’s as overdue as a 13-month pregnant woman.

So when looking for my second choice I went right back to the horse that has been my #1 springtime choice… Brittle.  I know, that’s certainly not a shocker.  He wasn’t named the 2yo Champion for nothing, winning the Best Pal (GII), The Iroquois (GIII) over this track and the BC Juv (GI)… that’s a lifetime of work right there.  But he’s been tough this spring although he only win came in the Holy Bull (GIII).  He closed well last out to be third in the Rebel (GII) and truly looks ready to lower the boom on them.  His am works are head-turning… I’ll probably regret now putting him on top.  Egg meets face?

My third pick had a rough trip last out and that could spell a better run in this one.  Geronimo was fifth beaten a length in the SA Derby (GI) after trailing through most of that one.  He certainly can make up ground and looked good winning the San Felipe (GII) prior to that last out traffic jam.  Don’t get me wrong, he could certainly see traffic in this one as well, but I think the extra distance may help fix that issue and he should be a huge factor inside the final eighth.

Obviously, you can make a case for any number of these… class, speed, cash in the bank… it’s the best of the best trying to make history.  Congratulations to every single trainer that has made it to this point – well done!!  Best of luck to all of the entries and let’s just hope for a great finish.  Fire up the Old KY Home, grab a cold snack and let’s get a good
view of this one.  It’s going to be a GREAT race!

Here’s the Field for the 2020 KYD –


1
 Boardwalk  Fractious  Van Dyke D 126 12/1
2
 Laffin Hero  Alydar Stables  Centeno D E 126 8/1
3
 Spirited Stride  Mb Stables  Bejarano R 126 6/1
4
 Into Mischief  Nakamura Stables  Fuentes Ru 126 12/1
5
 Steak And Potatoes  Tiratzo  Hernandez B J Jr 126 5/1
6
 Remson  Aer Stables  Saez G 126 4/1
7
 Groovy  Mb Stables  Beschizza A 126 4/1
8
 Chai Morning  Aer Stables  Court J K 126 2/1
9
 Bound Bay  Gdp Inc  Desormeaux K J 126 7/2
10
 Geronimo  Nakamura Stables  Cedillo A 126 4/1
11
 Notorious Temper  Night Rider Stables  Velazquez J R 126 5/2
12
 Brittle  Aer Stables  Bridgmohan S X 126 5/2
13
 Royal Assembly  Nakamura Stables  Gryder A T 126 4/1
14
 Orion Nebula  John Henry  Gaffalione T 126 7/2
15
 City Sniper  John Henry  Leparoux J R 126 7/1
16
 Anoush Command  Fractious  Contreras L 126 3/1
17
 Charleys Latte  Estero Farms  Davis D 126 3/1
18
 Scafati  Fractious  Tunon M 126 6/1
19
 Tudor One  Mb Stables  Hernandez R M 126 4/1
20
 Class Edge  Chili King Stables  Ortiz I Jr 126 7/2

AE

 Angelsinheaven  Angelos Stable  – No Rider – 126 AE

AE

 Better Back Off  BomBay Stables  – No Rider – 126 AE

1
 Boardwalk Sold two races back for $330.000, so we know the barn saw something in him.  He still doesn’t have a graded stakes win and his most notable races came vs. NY-breds as a 2yo until he woke up at KEE and just missed in the BG Stakes (GII) at 12/1 odds.  Draws the rail which may force his hand to use some early speed, but I think his best work comes from off of the pace. Changes jocks looking for some more improvement.
2
 Laffin Hero Changed hands twice back in the winter and has had three races for the new barn.  A pair of fourths and a third while facing some of the best in the land, and although he is a very consistent sort, he just hasn’t been able to get over the hump in his last trio of starts.  With all of that being said, he certainly is in the thick of things in just about every start so you just never know when he will put his nose down and get there.  Solid bullet work at SA getting ready for today.
3
 Spirited Stride Home bred gelding for Mb Stables was flying late in the LA Derby (GII) and that may have been a game-plan for getting ready for this.  After all, winning five of ten starts and putting some serious cash in the bank, it may have been a good sign to see him close in a race where distance was at a prime.  He has produced early speed when he needed to and has shown an ability to come from off of the pace.  Dynamic ability can be vital in this race so I think he looms as a real danger.
4
 Into Mischief He’s changed hands a few times, the latest was a $40.000 sale back in Nov after breaking his maiden and both starts for the new connections were graded races where he’s done fairly well.  No win, but a nice place finish in the SUN Derby (GIII) and a fourth in the AR Derby (GI) which many feel will be a key race.  His local work wasn’t exactly a barn burner but after racing back quick to get his ticket stamped, it was probably the right move.  Can he continue to improve?
5
 Steak And Potatoes Sold back in Feb for $688.000 and has two solid starts for the new barn including a win in the Coolmore Lexington (GIII) where he got home a length in front.  Four wins from eight starts tells you he knows how to get his picture taken and although I do not think he will be a favorite, he’s a horse I have my eye on.  I’d give him a big shot to pull the upset today.
6
 Remson The Aer homebred is part of his three-headed monster and I think he has a huge chance today.  He has a ton of tactical speed and again, that is vital in this race.  He really flexed his muscles in the SUN Derby (GIII) winning by two, but it looked easier than that.  Solid am prep’s and all systems seem to be go for this one.
7
 Groovy How many OTB finishes can a horse have without a win?  A great pickup for $100.000 as he has three place finishes and a third from the four starts since the purchase and just missed in the SA Derby (GI) by a nose.  Give hime 2-3 lengths and he has 4 more wins in his bank.  Is he the one that overdue for the win?  Maybe…
8
 Chai Morning Rags to riches and hats off to the barn for nabbing this one from a $32.000 claimer.  Since then it’s been star studded action.  Big win in the FofY which was a very impressive race and his FL Derby (GI was also a heck of a run, overcoming a horrible post to set the pace still be three-quarters of a length back.  Steady works and he looks like a tough nut to get past.
9
 Bound Bay The Gdp Inc homebred got a huge win last out in the LA Derby (GII) where he was able to get his nose down when it counted in a huge race.  It will be interesting to see if they go back to the speed or rely on his late kick today.  Style could be the difference between a big run or an up-the-track finish.
10
 Geronimo The Nakamura Stables homebred looked good winning the San Felipe (GII) and then got in some traffic in the SA Derby (GI) while finishing fifth but only beaten a length.  Most of his graded races have brought out his talent and class is something that you just can’t teach.
11
 Notorious Temper The Night Rider Stables gelding has faced some very tough company and has wins in the Lacomte (GIII) and a last out win in the AR Derby (GI) where he came back on short rest to go almost wire to wire to earn the victory.  He did that from the eleven hole, and I know ho w superstitious these jocks are, so he must be smiling.  He is another that has shown tactical speed and a closing ability and that usually spells success.
12
 Brittle The Aer Stables trained monster has been one of my favorites all spring long.  Four graded wins, he’s the BC Juv (GI) champ and was closing well when third in the Rebel (GII) where he seemed to get a less than favorable trip.  I’ve been on his band-wagon for quite a while and he looks ready to bring his A-game again today.
13
 Royal Assembly Nakamura Stables has another entry here and you could have claimed this one before he broke his maiden last fall.  Since then, it’s been black type and a nice win in the Southwest (GIII).  He was a tiring third in the FL Derby (GI) ad it’s going to be paramount to control that speed today.
14
 Orion Nebula John Henry brings the SA Derby (GI) winner into this one with steady works over his home (SA) track.  The gelding also won the Lewis Stakes (GIII) at SA and was a just miss runner up in the BC Juv (GI).  I think you see the writing here, he can flat our run
15
 City Sniper Another from the John Henry barn and has a win since changing hands back in Aug of last year.  He certainly has an affinity for the CD surface… he’s win the KY Juv, the Bashford Manor (GIII) and the KY Jockey Club (GII), along with a runner-up finish in the Iroquois (GIII).  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a horse come into this race with that kind of a record.  Can he do it again?
16
 Anoush Command The Fractious trained colt returned immediate dividends as he was purchased for $950.000 and then won at first asking, taking the FL Derby (GI).  He had a sting of close-but-no-wins prior to that, so maybe he just likes the feed better in this barn.  At any rate you have to look at him and give him a big chance to get the job done today.
17
 Charleys Latte The Estero Farms trained colt has won half of his six starts including the Withers (GIII) and the Wood Memorial (GII) with a nice third in the FofY (GII) in between those wins.  I like that he’s lightly raced and yet very accomplished.  He comes to fight when they put him in the gate, and comes in with a bullet am drill, so he looks sharp.
18
 Scafati Another from the Fractious barn and it’s been a rough road since being purchased for $500.000, showing a tenth and a fourth from the three starts.  He was a runner-up in the Ruby Stakes at TP on a wet strip, but after being undefeated prior to the purchase, it’s hard to go crazy on him at this point.
19
 Tudor One The third entry from Mb Stables and has a single start for the outfit after being purchased for $100.000 prior to that near-miss second in the LA Derby (GII).  Obviously, they see something the like in him because they could have picked an number of horses to put in here today.  The post position doesn’t do him any favors but he does have tactical speed and may use that to overcome that.
20
 Class Edge The Chili King Stables trained colt comes in with a pair of impressive wins in the Rebel (GII) and The BG Stakes (GII) where he just looked like he found another gear in each of those starts.  He had a pair of thirds in ’20 prior to the wins, so he’s been tough all of his sophomore season.  If he can find a clear path, maybe he makes a splash in the end of this on.

AE

 Angelsinheaven From the Angelos barn, he would need some help to draw into the field but has been close in a number of prep races.  I wonder if his early speed makes him a better candidate for the PRK at any rate?

AE

 Better Back Off He would need some help and I’m not sure the Bombay Stables barn wants him in with this group.  Only a maiden win, but he was third in the Withers before a pair of less than impressive races.

COZMAN Picks  7 / 12 / 10        Willies Green Card  7 / 14 / 10     Scotty  12 / 19 / 8

   SRF Picks –      Mauro 14 / 16 / 17          Stu  5 / 6 / 3




Categories: FEATURED STORIES, Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES, TC 2020

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