The IND Derby – Grade III
1 1/8 Mile Dirt Stake Purse $300.000 Open 3 Year Olds.
1st Shadow Man Axeman Hernandez R M
The first thing i want to do here is congratulate Axeman. A player since 2007 they go about the game quietly but with over a thousand winners and a decent EPR they punch well above their weight. They bred this gelding using their own stallion and mare and in days where it seems only the big money breeders succeed they are a beacon of hope for the rest of us.
The second thing i want to do is congratulate the horse. Very few horses can make the running from an outside gate and last home but this one not only lasted but repelled what is thought to be the best three year old in the game. It seems a shame that some of the horses he beat today may well get a spot in the BC Classic whereas it will be an uphill struggle for him but wherever he ends up he can always look back to this remarkable win.
The third thing is probably what everyone else was thinking, how the hell did this horse win?
His works were OK, the mile work about 3 lengths sower than Brittle, his six furlong works slower than the horse that finished last.
His only run in a graded stakes before this was in the LA Derby where he finished an eight length last.
Before winning an optional claimer the race before he was beaten six lengths when last in an optional claimer over 1/16th less than this trip. In fact he had only won a maiden and three optional claimers before this.
He was racing from a gate that is usually a race killer especially when they get thrown to the front by the wide gate speed push.
So how did he win?
Well he is improving, albeit not at the rate that you would think he could beat this field, he was a close second in the El Camino which although the horse that beat him hasn’t won since was still a fair run.
I think the bottom line is until the next time this horse runs this win from my point of view was inexplicable. It will add to the argument that some feel HRP results are too random, it will add argument to the fact that even the smaller stables with experimentation and determination can get a good horse to perform miracles. Which one of those is true will only be known when this horse runs next.
2nd Brittle Aer Stables Bridgmohan S X
Looked to be a good enough trip to sweep past the leader and win as expected but for some reason that just didn’t happen. It could be that he needs further than nine furlongs these days, it could be that the BEL took more out of him that 32 days rest but at the end of the day this run has to be seen as a little disappointing.
3rd= Relate D J C Racing Stables Velazquez J R
If the winner was a shock to all but the trainer then this one’s dead heat for third was pretty much the same. He has never raced beyond seven furlongs, had only win twice and struggled to win a small state bred stakes race last time. Fast forward 5 weeks and here he is beating a horse that was a close fourth in the BEL. His works were even slower than the winners so like the winner we will have to wait and see whether this was a fluke result or this one is on the up. Congratulations to the trainer who is never afraid to have a go with his horses and this time it certainly paid off.
3rd= Lord Of Peace Fractious Desormeaux K J
A good effort from a tough draw he certainly deserves a stakes win and it shouldn’t be far away.